Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Google’s Apps for Education may violate US laws over handling of students’ data

Is MCPS going to be using Google Apps for Education to assign e-mails to students using the new Chromebooks? BOE members tried to ask questions today about acceptable use and policies surrounding these 40,000 new devices but were cut off by Superintendent Joshua Starr.

Google’s Apps for Education may violate US laws over handling of students’ data

Google faces a lawsuit in California over whether bulk scanning of emails to deliver advertisements breaches state and federal wiretap laws.
In its filings for the lawsuit, the company has also admitted scanning the contents of emails sent and received by American students who attend schools which use the company’s Apps for Education suite. ButAmerica’s Education Week magazine says that that raises new questions about the compatibility between US child-protection laws and “big data”.


  1. Hmmm. And MCPS is buying Chromebooks?

    1. Yes. At BOE discussion just brought up that there is a BETA App that connects the two, but it is still in development.


    Google Apps for Education
    Parent/Guardian Permission Form for Student Use

    By signing below, I confirm that I have read and understand the following:

    Under certain federal laws including FERPA and COPPA, a student's education records are protected from disclosure to third parties. I understand that my student's education records stored in Google Apps for Education such as class assignments, school related communications, student work, and teacher communications may be accessible to someone other than my student and the Etiwanda School District by virtue of this online environment. These records do not include student demographic information, contact information, grades, attendance, etc. that are maintained by the school office. My signature and “YES” indication below confirms my consent to allow my student's education record to be stored by Google as part of my student’s use of Google Apps for Education.
    I understand that by participating in Google Apps for Education, information about my student may be collected and stored electronically. I have read the privacy policies associated with use of Google Apps for Education (http://www.google.com/a/help/intl/en/edu/privacy.html).
    I understand that I may ask for my student’s account to be removed at any time by resubmitting this form and indicating “NO”.
    I understand that my student must adhere to all “Acceptable Use” policies when using Google Apps for Education, including but not limited to Student Use of Technology (AR-6163.4).
    I understand that indicating “YES” on this permission form allows the district to act as an agent for parents within the Google Apps for Education context.
    I understand that school staff and administrators may access student accounts for monitoring purposes, and may disable or remove my student’s account at any time.

    YES, I give permission for my child to be assigned an Etiwanda School District Google Apps for Education account. This means my child will receive an email account which can only send/receive from other Etiwanda accounts, and access to all other Google Apps for Education services approved by the Etiwanda School District.
    NO, I do not give permission for my child to be assigned an Etiwanda School District Google Apps for Education account. This means my child will NOT receive an email account or access to any Google Apps for Education services through the Etiwanda School District.

    Student Name: (Print) _________________________________________________________________

    Student ID # (if known)_____________ Teacher: _____________________ Grade: _______________

    Parent/Guardian Signature: _______________________________________Date: ________________
    For more information on the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) please visit

    For more information on the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA) please visit


  3. It is almost a certainty that the appearance of US law violations will deter Google from conducting data mining.

    1. They already did it and it is taking lawsuits to stop them.


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