Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Google Chromebooks track students, collect personal data, build profiles and send students ads

Google's Chromebooks collects student personal data, target students with ads and create student profiles while parents are left in the dark, reports The Washington Post. MCPS has been using Google's Chromebooks and Google Apps for Education (GAFE) since 2014 and MCPS Chief Technology Officer declared that "MCPS parents have no need to worry about class room Chromebook privacy". Yet many popular Google services used daily across MCPS such as YouTube, Search, Maps and Google News, according to the Washington Post provide easy unrestricted access to student data because they are not considered part of Google's education suite: "if students are logged into their educational account and use Google News to find stories for a report or watches a history video on Youtube, Google can use that activity to build a profile about them and serve them advertisements outside its educational products" EFF alleges." Most parents are unaware that the Chromebook feature Chrome Sync is turned on by default and automatically exports their child's "browsing history, passwords and other personalized features between any Chromebook or Chrome browser that they log into". This enables Google to track students activities for commercial purposes without parental consent. According to Google,  "the decision to allow students to use Chrome Sync or use apps beyond its core education suite is up to school districts".  The Post also cites Khaliah Barnes, an associate director at the Electronic Privacy Information Center, who warns that "There are so many different apps and providers -- and overwhelmingly students are not getting the kind of security and privacy protection they deserve”.  


  1. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Robbins_v._Lower_Merion_School_District

  2. No worries. In some MCPS schools the PTA is purchasing the chrome books, so they will be legally liable should something happen to your child.

    1. Or it will evolve into a lengthy soap opera in order to find the proverbial "Who shot John."


If your comment does not appear in 24 hours, please send your comment directly to our e-mail address:
parentscoalitionmc AT outlook.com