All Your Kids' Data Are Belong To Google

Posted on: Thu, 12/03/2015 - 10:13 By: Tom Swiss

When your kids' school district mandates "cloud computing", they're mandating that your kids be tracked by a company that profits by exploiting people's data.

Roseville City School District Embraces Chromebooks, But At What Cost? (Electronic Frontier Foundation)

Many people—including Jeff—assumed that the law would prevent Google from collecting data on his daughter for advertising purposes. But the truth is more complicated. While Google is legally forbidden from creating a profile on Katherine when she’s using the school-sanctioned Google Apps for Education tools (which include email and document sharing), it can collect data as soon as she uses other Google services that aren’t part of the student-specific suite—including YouTube.

This means that Katherine is required by the school to use Google with a personalized Google Account, and Google can create a profile of her and use it for advertising purposes the moment she clicks away from the Google Apps for Education suite.


For Jeff, the biggest concern isn’t just the data Google collects on students. It’s the long-term ramifications for children who are taught to hand over data to Google without question. It’s normalizing the next generation to a digital world that’s less private by default, and built on proprietary software.