Google’s Student Data Practices May Lead to Chromebook Exclusion in Denmark Schools

Google's Student Data Practices

BleepingComputer reports that the Danish privacy regulator Datatilsysnet has ruled that cities in Denmark require significantly more privacy assurances in order to use a Google service that may expose children’s data. European privacy law prohibits Google from using pupil data from Chromebooks and Google Workplace for Education “for its own purposes,” as determined by the agency.

Municipalities will be required to provide a comprehensive explanation by March 1st regarding their strategies for complying with the directive to cease data transfers to Google. Beginning August 1st, they will be completely unable to do so, potentially leading to the complete discontinuation of Chromebooks.
Municipalities are not permitted to transmit Google data, per the regulator’s ruling, until such time that legislation is amended or Google offers a mechanism to exclude students’ information. According to them, Google’s use of it for feature development or performance analytics, even if it does not involve targeted advertising, is problematic. It is not difficult to imagine how regulators could object, for instance, to the use of student data to develop and enhance AI features, which are becoming an increasing part of Google Workspace and Chromebooks.

According to Datatilsysnet, municipalities failed to adequately assess the risks associated with implementing Google Workplace for Education prior to authorising its use by local schools. A condition of the rescinding of a prior data-sharing prohibition for the city of Helsingør was that 53 municipalities re-conduct their assessments in 2022. They were required to obtain information regarding Google’s usage and destination of the student information it gathered as part of the procedure that resulted in the new order.

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