Google is not supposed to be building profiles of students for advertising purposes. It’s looking like they did.
The suit maintains that, because such non-Gmail users who send emails to Gmail users never signed on to Google’s terms of services, they can never have given, in Google’s terms, “implied consent” to scan their email.
The plaintiffs are seeking payouts for millions of Gmail users. The financial damages would amount to $100 per day of each day of violation for every individual who sent or received an email message using Google Apps for Education during a two-year period beginning in May 2011.
My guess is that it’s not nefarious. Nobody was evilly rubbing together hands over all the student data they were colleting.
It’s worse than that. Building profiles of users is so built into the DNA of how Google works that they can’t remove it. And Google itself does not see the cultural difference between building a profile to increase quality of product, and building one to shill junk.
I’m not storming out of my Google account (I actually use outlook.com more nowadays anyway). But I think it has become increasingly hard to argue that one should use Google on a large scale in education. They just aren’t built for it.