Sep 262018
 
 September 26, 2018  Posted by  Business, Youth & Schools

Commentary by Michelle Malkin:

No consent. No disclosure. No escape.

For legions of unwitting students and teachers across the country, this is the dangerous, de facto data policy Google has imposed over their school districts. An estimated 80 million students and teachers are now signed up for free “G Suite for Education” accounts (formerly known as Google Apps for Education); more than 25 million students and teachers now use Google Chromebooks. A Google logon is the key to accessing homework, quizzes, tests, group discussions, presentations, spreadsheets and other “seamless communication.” Without it, students and teachers are locked out of their own virtual classrooms.

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Parents, did you get notice before your child signed on to a Google account? In many districts, school information officers usurp your family authority and are logging on your sons and daughters en masse without your consent or knowledge. You don’t get to see the terms of service, the privacy policy or the G Suite agreement between Google and your school. Even if parents do receive notice before their kids are dragooned into G World, opt-out mechanisms are nonexistent or nearly impossible to navigate.

Springfield, Missouri, public schools employee and parent Brooke Henderson, along with her sister, Brette Hay (who is also a mom and educator), were horrified to discover that even if they logged out of their G Suite accounts, their personal passwords, bank account information, parents’ personal data, spouses’ sensitive data and children’s browsing habits were being stored on district-issued Google Drive accounts. Unbeknownst to the sisters, Google’s auto login and auto-sync functions allow the collection and archiving of non-education-related information across the extended family’s devices.

Henderson showed me screenshots and videos of these breaches, including storage of her young niece’s personal voice-to-text searches and memos and her nephew’s YouTube viewing records. Even worse, such information is accessible to unknown numbers of district employees. The security concerns are multiplied and exacerbated by other third-party data management systems used by Henderson’s district that “play well” with Google, such as Instructure’s program Canvas and single sign-on program Clever.

Read more on Rasmussen Reports.

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