Sep 28, 2020 - Technology

Judge dismisses New Mexico's privacy suit against Google

The Google logo appears on both a phone screen and a computer monitor.
Photo illustration: Soumyabrata Roy/NurPhoto via Getty Images

A U.S. district judge has dismissed New Mexico's privacy lawsuit against Google, saying the tech giant adequately meets federal guidance on complying with the Children's Online Privacy Act.

Why it matters: As a federal antitrust case looms, Google has also been fighting off legal challenges in various U.S. states as well as across the Atlantic. This victory means there's one less investigation to deal with for now.

Context: In February, New Mexico attorney general Hector Balderas accused Google in a lawsuit of illegally amassing schoolchildren's personal data through G Suite Education products that the tech giant lets kids use for free.

  • Eighty million teachers and students around the globe use G Suite education products.
  • Balderas alleged that Google collected kids' geolocation information, contact lists, browsing history and voice recordings on Google and YouTube without parental consent.

What they're saying: Judge Nancy Freudenthal wrote that Google appears to be meeting the Federal Trade Commission's standards under COPPA, including by letting schools stand in for parents to authorize the collection of kids' data.

  • “We are pleased with the ruling. We are committed to partnering with schools to protect students' privacy," said Jose Castaneda, a Google spokesperson.
  • "The law is clear that Google must protect our children’s privacy, and we strongly disagree with the Court’s ruling and will continue to litigate to protect child privacy rights," Balderas said in a statement.

Read the full order:

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