It is not uncommon nowadays for schools to provide laptops or tablets to their students. This is for many reasons, one being that it is more sustainable. It also gives all students access to the internet which is important because not everyone can afford to buy their child electronics. The article I read in New York Times, “New Mexico Sues Google Over Children’s Privacy Violations” by Natasha Singer and Daisuke Wakabayashi caught my eye; the high school that I had attended gave all students their own Google Chromebook that they can keep for the entire school year, and we even could take them home. The article discusses how Google has been spying on students, by collecting their personal information such as voice recordings, sites visited, videos they have watched on YouTube, and even their location (Singer and Wakabayashi 2020). This frightens me because it has me wondering if they are doing the same thing to my little brother who uses his Chromebook not just for school purposes, but also recreationally. This is a total violation of ethics, taking peoples data for the benefit of your company without consent or notification. Google basically is taking advantage of these children by collecting their data and not asking for any sort of permission from legal guardians or the school distributing its products to the students (Singer and Wakabayashi 2020). Thankfully New Mexico has caught on to this immoral and quite illegal act. This statement from the article is what I find the most disturbing, “The lawsuit also said Google deceived schools, parents, teachers and students by telling them that were no privacy concerns with its education products when, in fact, the company had amassed a trove of potentially sensitive details on students’ online activities and locations” (Singer and Wakabayashi 2020). They literally lied about the entire thing, and since they are a huge company, it is crucial that they do not get away with this via a slap on the wrist. The article also brings up that in 2015 Google signed a voluntary industry pledge that they will not collect student data unless it is required for educational purposes, and the law suit states that those promises from Google were broken (Singer and Wakabayashi 2020). I hope that this lawsuit turns in favor of not just New Mexico, but all of the school systems that have been giving Google business. They should all be compensated for this total violation of privacy.
Singer, Natasha, and Daisuke Wakabayashi. “New Mexico Sues Google Over Children’s Privacy Violations.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 20 Feb. 2020, www.nytimes.com/2020/02/20/technology/new-mexico-google-lawsuit.html.