Google’s free education apps: turning big data into big brother?


    Free software widely used by schools, including many in the Philadelphia region, is raising concerns about the information it collects about students.

    When high school students in Lower Merion learned, a few years back, that district authorities surreptitiously and remotely activated webcams embedded in school-issued laptops, many merely covered the camera lens to maintain their privacy.

    Today, that low-tech tactic would do little to protect the anonymity of students who use Google Apps for Education Tool Suite for Students. The free software is widely used by schools, including many in the Philadelphia region.

    Now, a lawsuit has been filed against Google by users who are concerned about the information the company is collecting about students and how they might use it.  Ben Herold, reporter with Education Week, looked at the implications for students and teachers, with WHYY’s Dave Heller.

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