Google accused of spying on children’s Internet searches

FILE - This Thursday, Jan. 3, 2013, photo shows Google's headquarters in Mountain View, Calif. Google on Monday, Aug. 10, 2015 announced it is changing its operating structure and will become part of a holding company called Alphabet. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — A privacy group is accusing Google of spying on children’s Internet searches.

The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), a non-profit privacy watchdog organization, filed a complaint with the Federal Trade Commission this month accusing Google of accessing the information through the Google Chrome web browser.

The organization said a sync feature is enabled by default on the browser, allowing the search engine to track, store, and data-mine records of all the Internet sites a student visits through their Chromebook.

EFF said it discovered its findings while conducting research for its “Spying on Students” campaign.

The campaign was created to educate parents and school administrators about the privacy risks of school-supplied electronic devices and software.

The Director of Google Apps for Education, Jonathan Rochelle wrote in a blog post: “While we appreciate the EFF’s focus on student data privacy, we are confident that our tools comply with both the law and our promises.”

Google is the largest provider of laptops and tablets to schools across the U.S.

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