Google is one of the most trusted entities in the entire world — Americans even have more faith in Google than they have in actor Tom Hanks according to a fact we oddly came across recently. However, those stats may see a dip on the negative side for the digital giant if this recent data breach lawsuit they were hit with proves to be true.
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Reuters is reporting that New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas is suing Google parent company Alphabet Inc with allegations that the search engine’s educational software has been collecting personal data without consent from the likes of many young students. Kids across the nation have been relying on Google’s highly popular Chromebook laptops for years now, as seen above in the picture of two students working off Chromebooks gifted by Google to their school, Mildred Avenue K-8 School, back in 2014. Google has responded by calling the allegations “factually wrong,” although they stopped short of responding to a request to elaborate. The software in question is the free or low-cost G Suite for Education software package, which comes with email and writing tools.
Balderas’ assistant attorney general Brian McMath states that recent testing by his team showed students younger than 13 years old had their Web browsing, location, passwords and other personal information transmitted to Google those same Chromebooks provided to their schools. Their lawsuit says Google violated the “Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act” by failing to gather verifiable parental consent before collecting the data.
Although McMath admits that no evidence points to Google misusing the collected data, his firm believes the company might generate revenue from the information they have on file. As a response, Google spokesman Jose Castaneda said, “G Suite for Education allows schools to control account access and requires that schools obtain parental consent when necessary.”
Read the full report over on Reuters, and let us know if this news makes you lose a little trust in Google by sounding off down below in the comments.