So why did @Parents4Privacy’s child see this screen when their child was logged into Google Apps for Education (GAFE)?
The Student Privacy Pledge pledges, in part, that school service providers will:
- Not sell student information
- Not behaviorally target advertising
- Use data for authorized education purposes only
Why is Google using the student’s non-educationally related interests and browsing history to offer up ads while they’re logged into their GAFE account? Shouldn’t there be no ads if Google signed the pledge and the parent hasn’t opted in to ads for their minor child’s account while they are logged in to GAFE?
As Bill Fitzgerald noted on Twitter:
The way Google structures the additional services that can be enabled in GAFE is very problematic. Really opaque/unclear @Parents4Privacy
— Bill Fitzgerald (@funnymonkey) August 27, 2015
Google ignored two requests for a statement as to how this their behavior, as evidenced in the screen shot, is consistent with their signing the student privacy pledge.
So the take-home message to parents seems to be:
DON’T TRUST GOOGLE – because their understanding of the Student Privacy Pledge may be quite different than what you might rationally expect. Watch and explore what really happens while your child is logged in to GAFE.