Natasha Singer wrote a piece for the NYTimes on Google in the classroom. Is it a marketing ploy? (of course it is – there is no such thing as a free lunch, etc…) Google says “of course it isn’t – we just want kids to learn! It’s about the learning!” 🤔
These two quotes, one from Bill Fitzgerald, the other from the director of Google’s education unit, Bram Bout, outline the tension nicely:
“Unless we know what is collected, why it is collected, how it is used and a review of it is possible, we can never understand with certainty how this information could be used to help or hurt a kid,” said Bill Fitzgerald of Common Sense Media, a children’s advocacy group, who vets the security and privacy of classroom apps.
Google declined to provide a breakdown of the exact details the company collects from student use of its services. Bram Bout, director of Google’s education unit, pointed to a Google privacy notice listing the categories of information that the company’s education services collect, like location data and “details of how a user used our service.”
So… we need to know exactly what is tracked, stored, retained, and used to generate profiles about our kids, which is the exact business model of Google.
Or, we don’t, because we can trust Google absolutely and without question, they aren’t applying their established multibillion-dollar-per-year business model here, and are merely grooming a generation of kids to unquestioningly and fully embrace the Google ecosystem so that they can be more effectively profiled the day after graduation.