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Free Gifts, but Strings Attached: Google Allegedly Collects Information about Minor Users of Chromebooks Donated to School Districts

 

  • New Mexico AG Hector Balderas sued Google, LLC for allegedly collecting the personal information of minors in violation of the federal Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (“COPPA”) and New Mexico’s Unfair Practices Act.
  • According to the complaint, Google allegedly collects the personal information of minors—including geolocation, websites visited, search terms used, and contact lists—without their parents’ consent when minors use Google’s G Suite, which Google provides on the Chromebooks supplied to New Mexico school districts at no cost.
  • The complaint seeks injunctive relief, restitution, civil penalties, and attorneys’ fees and costs.
  • The New Mexico action follows a separate, $170 million COPPA settlement, which we reported on in September 2019, between Google and the New York AG and FTC over allegations that YouTube had specifically tracked and served targeted advertisements to users watching videos directed to children under the age of 13.