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While I think it's great (but insufficient) that students and kids have greater privacy protection than adults, it begs the question why all of us shouldn't enjoy the same level of protection.

Just because one becomes an adult does not mean that an adult is less deserving of the same level of protection.




One difference is that an adult can choose not to use Google. They can also (usually) choose to install ad-block or ghostery or a similar plugin and thwart the tracking.

If using Google is mandatory for a class, then the students don't have any choice in the matter. And I think school computers are locked down to prevent installing browser extensions, so that option isn't available either.

Also, because it's a pet peeve of mine, it raises the question.


Google can also be mandatory for a company your work for, or a client you provide services to. Yeah, you could opt out to work for that company/client, but that's no different than attending another school.

There's really no difference. It's all about network effects. We're seeing Google docs, Dropbox folders replacing what Microsoft Office was in the past. Vendor lock-in by network effects.

You may like it or not yourself, but let's not pretend it isn't something that it is.


Upvote for the correction. I know it drives me nuts when others misuse words. =)


I think it's assumed that because an adult is more autonomous they are also more sapient, and typically not needing the same protection.

It's why some countries have banned certain advertisement mediums targeting children, and why you won't see many tobacco billboards by schools.


Adults can decide for themselves whether they want to use Google. Schoolchildren can't.


Can they? I am not convinced that most (any?) adults can give informed consent for any of these datamining services.


Plus there are scenarios where choice is not available, for example, Comcast as the only ISP in town etc.

I suppose one could choose not to use the Internet in that case but that's not really a viable solution.

It's an asymmetric fight which individuals are on the losing end and given what we now know post-Snowden, I'd argue that greater privacy protection is absolutely necessary and available to all those who desire it.


this argument is irrelevant; as whether adults can give informed consent or not is not important (at least) here. e.g. adults have voting right, at least in some countries,including USA (whether they give informed vote or not is not even checked just assumed) but the children don't have this right. It is outright wrong and unethical on google's part to steal a kid's information especially after declaring they are not doing it.




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