Franken has sent a letter to Google in January requesting the details about Google’s data collection policies. He wanted to know what the company does with the collected data from students who are using chromebooks, (GAFE) Google apps for education and other internet services.
Google collect a major part of their revenue from targeted online ads so the concern is if the services such as GAFE and other similar provided in the classroom make use of the collected information without the consent of parents and administrators. Electronic Frontier Foundation also accused this tech giant company for getting involved in such unsavory activities in the last year.
Susan Molinari the VP of public policy and Government relations in Google responded to this where she has addressed Franken’s question by providing a clear detail of the GAFE ‘s core service. According to her, Google collects the student generated users information but never made use of the GAFE information so as to display targeted online ads. She also added, personal information being collected from GAFE core services is used for those services only and all the schools are bound to oblige the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act of 1998 along with having the parental consent for collecting data from the GAFE service of the students.
Apart from GAFE, there are many other services that school can choose to let the students to access. For example, Search, Maps, YouTubes are the non-GAFE services relevant to be used by school. Franken also asked that if it is possible for Google to start the GAFE data collection as a strict opt in feature. To answer that Molinari has said, administrators and single users can restrict access to some specific services while the school too should obtain parental permission for Google’s data collection practices.