Privacy concerns when it comes to Google products isn't really a new thing, the company regularly faces scrutiny in multiple countries over data collection and advertising practices. Now, the Dutch government has decided to restrict the usage of Google Chrome and ChromeOS in schools due to data privacy issues.
Bleeping Computer reports that the Dutch Ministry of Education has placed restrictions on the use of Chrome and ChromeOS in schools until at least August 2023. This move has been initiated due to multiple reasons including concerns over how much student data is collected and shared with advertising partners, as well as lack of transparency over where the data is actually stored.
The officials have co-signed a letter to the Dutch parliament explaining their concerns and recommended privacy and data security measures to be adopted while using the aforementioned Google products. They have also noted that they conducted meetings with various big tech companies including Google, Microsoft, and Zoom about data protection and the need to increase transparency about how user data is utilized by their respective products.
Google has agreed to roll out new versions for both Chrome and ChromeOS by next year, promising that they will be more compliant with the Dutch educational sector requirements. The Dutch watchdog will review these versions upon release before giving them the green light.
Until August 2023, schools can still use existing versions of Chrome and ChromeOS, provided that they implement the security and privacy measures recommended by the Dutch Ministry of Education.