Regional News: New Mexico Sues Google Over Children’s Data Privacy

State alleges tech company’s education platform improperly gathers students’ personal data, tracks their online behavior

By Yoree Koh | The Wall Street Journal

New Mexico sued Alphabet Inc.’s GOOG -3.51% Google, alleging that the internet giant knowingly spies on students and their families through its Google Education platform.

The state says Google has used the platform to circumvent privacy laws and gain access to children’s personal data and movements online, according to a complaint filed Thursday in federal court in Albuquerque.

According to the lawsuit, Google collected troves of personal information including students’ physical locations, visits to websites, internet searches, videos viewed on YouTube, contact lists, voice recordings and saved passwords, among other details.

The lawsuit is the latest challenge to Google’s data-collection practices amid broader criticism by lawmakers, regulators and others of the company’s efforts to protect user privacy, particularly regarding children. Federal law prohibits companies from collecting data on children under 13 without parental consent.

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February 2020