Google Apps for Education (GAFE) and InBloom have recently come under fire for what parents and administrators say is a failure to protect personal student information. Let’s examine the myths and facts.
Myth 1: InBloom and Google Apps for Education spy on students.
Fact: While no specific cases have been raised against InBloom for misusing personal data, there were complaints that information could be compromised by hackers or sold to advertisers.
Google, on the other hand, was reported in Jan. 2014 to admitting that it mines for student eMails for ad-targeting purposes, even if the ad function is turned off. Previously, Google said that GAFE did not mine students using the app.
On April 30, Google told the Wall Street Journal that it will no longer read the eMails of children using its services, and would completely disable advertisements in GAFE.
Myth 2: InBloom and GAFE are abusing student privacy and will not be be punished.
Fact: Google has faced many complaints and has been sued, prompting a change in its terms and services in favor of greater student privacy. While much of Google’s operations remain undisclosed to the public, the more transparent InBloom has ceased operations altogether.
In a letter published on its website, CEO Iwan Streichenberger explains why the firm is closing.