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Google is being sued in New Mexico by the state's attorney general.
The suit alleges the tech giant's Chromebook laptop series collected personal information that students entered into its cloud without their parents' knowledge, Jeff Steinhauser, director of the attorney general's office, said on Tuesday. According to the suit, which was filed in federal court Monday, Google is violating the state's data privacy law by not informing users of such privacy breaches.
Steinhauser said at a press conference that this is "the first and only complaint" against Google of such breach. An investigator has requested information from Google that could help resolve the complaint, he said.
Google, which is based in Mountain View, California, didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.
The case is bringing Google into the spotlight as the tech industry continues to tussle with the US Federal Trade Commission and regulators at the state level over whether companies like Google collect user data and location data, in a practice called "geolocation tracking," without consent.
Tech companies have marketed geolocation tracking features on services like Android, the operating system used on Google's massive range of mobile devices, along with Google Maps, as a way to better serve ads to users based on where they are. However, civil liberties groups have criticized the practice, saying that it violates their right to privacy. Lawmakers in New Mexico have already voted to require companies like Google to get the permission of parents before geolocation tracking is permitted.
This isn't the first time that Google has run into issues with its Chromebook series. In 2014, the information protection office in Germany issued a warning that Google was tracking Chrome users even if they weren't actively using the search giant's Internet browser. Last year, a US federal judge gave Microsoft a preliminary injunction that bars Google from selling its Chromebox for Education and Chromebooks in the US.
This story has been updated throughout the morning.