Google Facing Lawsuit for Data Mining Student
Gmail Messages
Top online service provider Google has been in news recently ...
Google’s Data Mining Scam in Court
The U.S District Court for the Northern District of California is currently hearing the...
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Google Facing Lawsuit for Data Mining Student Gmail Messages

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Top online service provider Google has been in news recently for invading student privacy by scanning and indexing their e-mail messages. Millions of email messages sent and received by the student users of Gmail have been used by the company to extract information which could be used for targeted advertising in its Apps for Education tool suite.

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Google Facing Lawsuit for Data Mining Student Gmail Messages

  1. 1. Google Facing Lawsuit for Data Mining Student Gmail Messages Top online service provider Google has been in news recently for invading student privacy by scanning and indexing their e-mail messages. Millions of email messages sent and received by the student users of Gmail have been used by the company to extract information which could be used for targeted advertising in its Apps for Education tool suite. Nine plaintiffs, including two students who used the suite, have accused Google of violating security laws and have filed a lawsuit against the company. Though Google has defeated a bid to unify lawsuits in a single group case on behalf of hundreds of millions of Internet users, individuals can pursue their claims using their own financial resources. Google’s Explanation Google Apps for Education is a free suite of hosted email, calendar, group chat and other collaborative document sharing exclusively meant for schools and universities. Though Google does not display ads on this web portal, the company admitted that it scans and indexes the emails of Apps for Education users. According to a company spokeswoman Google does this to provide users with features such as virus protection, spelling checks, and Gmail's "priority inbox". She also stated that Google does not use information stored in Google Drive, Docs, or other applications in Apps for Education. www.managedoutsource.com  1­800­670­2809
  2. 2. Google’s Data Mining Scam in Court The U.S District Court for the Northern District of California is currently hearing the complaint on Google’s data mining scam. From a judicial perspective, interception of wire, oral, or electronic communication is actually a violation of federal and state wiretap and privacy laws. When people sign up for the free Gmail service, they are actually paying the price with their personal information which becomes freely accessible to Google, according to a recent CNN report. In this recent case, the plaintiffs allege that Google treats Google Apps for Education email users in exactly the same way as it treats Gmail users. They allege that Google has used ‘secret user profiling’ since around 2010 to get information for targeted ads in Google Search, Google+, and YouTube. This is done using Content Onebox, a technology that allows Google to intercept and scan emails even before they reach the recipient. The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) is a federal law that protects the privacy of student education records. Student data protected by FERPA is permitted in Google Apps. To the extent that Google has access to student educational records as a contractor for the university, it is deemed a “school official,” as defined by FERPA, and has to comply with its obligations under FERPA and safeguard students’ personal information. However, it has been argued that Google's practices violated FERPA and that the Education Department should investigate the company. The search engine giant, it is alleged, has also gone against the Education Departments ‘best practices’ for online educational service providers. www.managedoutsource.com  1­800­670­2809

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