New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas has filed a lawsuit against Google. Balderas alleges that the tech giant invades the privacy of schoolchildren by mining information through its G Suite for Education program, which involves providing free Chromebooks to schools. According to the lawsuit, Google gathers data on students through the program, violating federal and state privacy laws in addition to laws against deceptive business practices.
More specifically, the lawsuit alleges that Google collects passwords, search histories, internet browsing histories, physical locations, and personal information pertaining to these students. It asserts that Google puts this data in a profile for each student involved in the G Suite for Education program. According to the lawsuit, Google should have disclosed its data collection practices to parents and allowed them to restrict access to the personal information of their children. Balderas declared that covert data collection and monitoring put the safety of children at risk.
The New Mexico Attorney General has a history of battling Google in the area of child privacy. He previously sued the tech company in 2018 for alleged violations of the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act. This case remains unresolved. Meanwhile, Balderas has joined the other state attorneys general in investigating Google for potential antitrust violations.
Google has rebutted the allegations in the lawsuit. It claims that schools control access to the accounts of students. Google also noted that schools must get parental consent in certain situations when using the G Suite for Education program. It firmly denied the allegation that it uses the personal information of students in targeting ads.
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