A New Mexico attorney general has sued Google for allegedly collecting student data through Chromebooks.
N.M. Attorney General Hector Balderas filed the lawsuit Tuesday, alleging Google Inc. violated state's unfair competition law. Balderas also claims that Google did not properly inform parents and teachers about the installation, use and retention of the Chromebook in the classroom, according to his complaint.
Balderas is calling on Google to take steps to "correct its customer marketing to ensure they are fully aware of the privacy and security implications to using its products."
Google has been under fire in recent months after it came to light the company saves massive amounts of personal information from Gmail accounts, including e-mail messages, passwords and even searches. On the educational front, the company has come under fire from educators, parents and others for using some of its devices and operating systems like Chromebooks to collect student data. One academic study claims Google's data collection could harm students if government adopted more stringent regulations on what technology can be used by students.
"Sadly, Google's name could become synonymous with 'scandal,'" Balderas said in the statement. "We need to give schools the peace of mind they deserve when using mobile technology in the classroom."
The case against Google involves two separate but related allegations. Balderas claims Google let people install Chromebox devices -- paired with Google-branded computers and handheld tablets -- throughout his state's schools without notifying them that they were doing so. The other relates to privacy policies and data collection the company uses as a means to ad targeted ads, a potential violation of a state's unfair competition law.
Google last month disclosed that the FBI had approached the company about a "potential security incident" after a breach that exposed user records for more than 60 million customers from 2013 to 2015. Shortly afterward, Balderas announced the state was investigating Google to see if the company had violated state law regarding online privacy policies.
Google last month said it was cooperating with the New Mexico Attorney General's office.
"We're committed to keeping student data secure and we're working with the New Mexico Attorney General to address his questions and concerns," a spokesperson for Google told CNET in a statement.
Update, 6:51 p.m. PT: Adds statement from Google.
Cambridge Analytica: Everything you need to know about Facebook's data mining scandal.
The Smartest Stuff: Innovators are thinking up new ways to make you, and the things around you, smarter.