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The EFF calls out Google for privacy issues in the EDU sector but the school districts need educated, too

Author: Jerry Hildenbrand / Source: Android Central

Just chillin

Chromebooks for education is an excellent program, but it looks like the educators need a little more teaching when it comes to getting started.

The EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) has renewed their charge against Google, Microsoft, and Apple for the way student privacy is handled in their respective educational markets. They say “Students and their families are backed into a corner.”

As students across the United States are handed school-issued laptops and signed up for educational cloud services, the way the educational system treats the privacy of students is undergoing profound changes—often without their parents’ notice or consent, and usually without a real choice to opt out of privacy-invading technology.

We should want the EFF to act as a watchdog when it comes to our privacy. Or our kids’ privacy.

This is a serious problem, and we should want the EFF to keep pushing and pushing until they can’t find anything to push. With about three-quarters of the education market, Google will certainly be looking out for its own bests interests as will Apple and Microsoft who still find the education sector a pretty lucrative peach. Online privacy for children — especially young children under the age of 13 — is a thing we should all care about and everyone needs to advocate.

The bigger problem is that the teachers and administrators running these programs on the local level aren’t informing students or their parents or even other teachers about the things they should know. And that something Google (and their industry rivals) needs to fix, too.

Teachers love Chromebooks. Students love Chromebooks. The people in the school districts who pay the bills love Chromebooks. But it takes more than love to manage a school system where students are working through the cloud. There needs to be better support and training because sometimes the people running the program and who have control aren’t sure…

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