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Report From the Student Privacy Frontlines: 2015 in Review

EFF: “This year the fight to protect student privacy hit a boiling point with our Spying on Students campaign, an effort to help students, parents, teachers, and school administrators learn more about the privacy issues surrounding school-issued devices and cloud services. We’re also working to push vendors like Google to put students and their parents back in control of students’ private information. We launched a nationwide survey of schools’ practices and disclosure policies; provided answers to questions about the legal and technological landscape related to student privacy; and created a wealth of resources, including guides for adjusting privacy settings on mobile devices. We also filed an FTC complaint against Google, hoping to rein in the company’s overbroad data mining of student personal information and its violation of the Student Privacy Pledge. Our investigation found that school-issued Google Chromebooks upload private student data to the cloud by default, including web history. Chromebooks also track students on school-assigned accounts when they navigate to Google-owned services that aren’t segregated as “educational” (non-“educational” products include Google Maps, Google Books, and YouTube). We’re asking the FTC to stop Google from spying on students, and to order the deletion of student data that has been gathered and stored for no legitimate educational purpose…”

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