Google Faces Lawsuit Alleging Student Data Abuses


Education Week (3/13, Herold) reports that Google is facing a lawsuit alleging that “the data-mining practices behind Google’s Gmail electronic-messaging service violate federal and state wiretap and privacy laws,” noting that the firm 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.” Noting that Gmail is an integral part of the Apps for Education portal, Education Week reports that plaintiffs allege that the firm “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 piece notes that ED’s recent student privacy guidance “appears to deem the alleged practices of Google Apps for Education as violating FERPA.”