google for education

Add a check mark to that Google ‘Back to School’ list:


checked_checkbox  Mandate students use Google emails to data mine student information that Google then sells. 

From Google Under Fire for Data-Mining Student Email Messages:

As part of a potentially explosive lawsuit making its way through federal court, the giant online-services provider Google has acknowledged scanning the contents of millions of email messages sent and received by student users of the company’s Apps for Education tool suite for schools.

In the suit, the Mountain View, Calif.-based company also faces accusations from plaintiffs that it went further, crossing a “creepy line” by using information gleaned from the scans to build “surreptitious” profiles of Apps for Education users that could be used for such purposes as targeted advertising.

The U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California is currently hearing the complaint, which alleges that the data-mining practices behind Google’s Gmail electronic-messaging service violate federal and state wiretap and privacy laws. Gmail is a key feature of Google Apps for Education, which has 30 million users worldwide and is provided by the company for free to thousands of educational institutions in the United States.

The article quotes a Houston school spokesman about the issue of student privacy:

The landscape of what districts are facing is changing at light speed. We have to come together as educational entities and say to vendors that certain privacy protections are nonnegotiable,” says Lenny Schad, chief technology officer for the Houston Independent School District.

California legislators share the same concern Mr. Schad in Houston.  They passed a bill to protect student privacy and stop the selling of student data.  From California Legislature passes stiffest U.S. bill to protect K-12 students’ online data:

Trying to protect children from marketers, identity thieves and predators, California could establish the nation’s toughest protections of student privacy and forbid the sale and disclosure of schools’ online student data.

“It’s a big win for kids,” said James Steyer, whose advocacy group Common Sense Media pushed hard for the bill. He called it a landmark for student privacy and said he hopes other states will follow suit.

Despite forceful pushback from high-tech heavies, the bill by Senate President Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg passed the Legislature unanimously last week.

If signed by Brown, Senate Bill 1177 would prohibit targeted ads based on school information and creating student profiles when not used for education purposes. And it would require that educational tech data be kept secure.

Steinberg, D-Sacramento, called the bill “a reasonable but aggressive measure that makes clear that data collected by private companies needs to be used only to enhance and improve the education for young people.”

The bill to protect student data in Missouri this past session was not allowed a floor hearing.  Word had it that the Google lobbyist was instrumental in seeing that this issue was not allowed a debate among Missouri legislators.  We ARE the ‘Show Me’ state.  We see what Google admits to and how student data is being sold without parental knowledge or consent.  We see how California, the state where Silicon Valley is located, is pushing against Google’s invasion of privacy and selling of data.

We will be back with data bill for the 2015 legislative session with language protecting student data/privacy and not allowing Google or other companies to sell any information data mined in educational settings.  The California data bill passed unanimously in its legislature and we couldn’t even get our data bill on the floor for debate?  The legislators need to let Missouri citizens who they stand with in this next session when it comes to student privacy: special interests or the citizens who elect them as their representatives.

Google wants a checklist for a 21st century classroom? Here’s an idea for such a classroom.  How about a classroom in which data is sparingly gathered, assessment data is not shared beyond the school building (as according to Missouri state statute) and any data gathered is certainly not for sale by vendors?


Published September 4, 2014


Gretchen Logue

Share and Enjoy !

0 0