A group of students in California who use Apps for Education are suing Google claiming their federal and state privacy laws are being violated. The claim is in relation to Google monitoring its users Gmail accounts.
Nine students had their emails subjected to surveillance from Google, due to Gmail being a component of Apps for Education. The Apps for Education suit contains web-based education tools that are used by over 30 Million users Worldwide in many educational institutions.
Education Week reported that a Google Representative explained that they (Google) scans and indexes emails from all Apps for Education users. The data is then used for potential advertising and other purposes. Education Week speculated that the case could have a legitimate link to the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) which was issued in 1974.
The nine plaintiff students suing Google are seeking a class-action certification for the case and if successful, it could result in a pay-out to millions of Gmail users. The plaintiffs allege that Google has employed targeting advertising practices to Apps for Education users since 2010 when it began using ‘Content Onebox.’ Content Onebox allows Google to scan emails before the recipients had even received them.