Google and Kids: The School Push Squeezes Some New Concessions… Allegedly

August 1, 2022

I read “Chrome Use Subject to Restrictions in Dutch Schools over Data Security Concerns.” The write up reports:

Several schools and other educational organizations are having to restrict usage of Google’s software, including its Chrome browser and Chrome OS offerings over security and privacy fears. The Dutch Ministry of Education has ordered the country’s education industry to implement the changes following over fears that Google’s software is in conflict with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and other privacy-related regulations in the country.

I am not surprised. I noted that the article presents some familiar wordage; for example:

… The ministers discussed these issues with the representatives of Google, Microsoft, and Zoom, and that these companies assured the ministers that their future versions will be more transparent, and more compatible, with the country’s (and the EU bloc’s) privacy and data protection laws.

I like the “assured the ministers” phrase. It reminds me of “Senator, thank you for the question. I will forward the information to your office. And I am sorry, really, really sorry. We are constantly trying to improve.”

Improve what?

Well, in my opinion it is the collection of fine grained data, actionable intelligence, and insight into what those kiddies are doing. But that’s just my point of view. The giant technology firms just want to do good. No, really.

Do good.

Those assurances sparked an update to the original article and guess what?

… Chrome and Chrome OS are not banned in the education sector of the country, and that schools may continue using them provided that they perform certain actions themselves to strengthen data security and ensure student privacy.


Stephen E Arnold, August 1, 2022


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