Because Google Chromebooks are easy to maintain and highly affordable, they've become a popular choice with schools. They're a practical solution to help schools keep up with the increasing demand for providing innovative educational experiences to students. But recently, something was discovered about these laptops that brought about concern.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has accused Google of using these laptops to collect data on the students who use them. These students primarily attend elementary, middle or high school, and the EFF believes Google has designed the laptops in manner that invades their privacy.
Are the laptops rigged? Of course, Google denies it. But in the complaint filed with the Federal Trade Commission, the EFF states that the configuration of these computers and distribution management allows Google track students' activities online. As a result, Google would gain insights into their behaviors without having prior consent from the students being monitored.
It's not the first time Google has faced allegations like these. Back in 2012, the FTC determined that Google was responsible for shadowing the browsing activities of Safari users. That resulted in Google being fined $22.5 million dollars.
Officials from Google state, "Our services enable students everywhere to learn and keep their information private and secure." And while they admire the EFF for their concern over the privacy of these students, they also believe that Google is well within its rights, and is abiding all privacy laws.