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Re: chromebooks

From: Pedro Lucas Porcellis
Subject: Re: chromebooks
Date: Fri, 6 Nov 2020 15:15:26 -0300

On Fri, Nov 06, 2020 at 12:00:28PM +0100, Óscar wrote:
> Hi. Here a newbie!
> This is a inquiry about Chromebooks to the community.
> Recently, the public school that my 9-year-old daughter attends has
> imposed on us the acquisition of a certain Chromebook.
> I have not found any articles or conversations about it, but I am
> first concerned about the landing of the Google empire in public
> schools with the support of public institutions. In this case, it is
> an uncritical acceptance of the entire Google system, including the
> teachers. They celebrate all the comforts the integrated package
> offers. The use of free software does not even cross their minds.

That's something pretty normal, actually. Here at South America, is kind
of *default*, the convenience that Google offers have the weight of them
using that data to whatever they want it to.

There was going a survey here on this list, about what sort of
priorities the FSF should point towards to, in terms of software If I'm
not mistaken. You can see if there was something being discuss on that
matter there.

> Second, I am concerned about the tracking and acquisition of data and
> metadata about the content that my daughter accesses throughout her
> educational stage. Information that, I suppose, will be recorded on
> some distant server and from which their knowledge, character,
> mistakes, tastes and preferences, etc. can be inferred, thus creating
> a very personal, precise and intimate profile from such an early age.

That being said, you can organize and discuss that with other parents,
and if you want you can search more about the term *surveillance
capitalism*, which is something you can use to get some theory and
evidence about that.

It's always good to remember though, that in order to understand why
surveillance capitalism is bad you need to understand what capitalism is
about and how it operates. If you do, you'll not be so much surprised
about the way things are, but it will help you to get the full picture.
You'll also be more prepared to discuss that than the people behind that
Netflix doc.

> Maybe in the future the guys at Google will "not be evil.". But what
> if they will be?

They do evil already.

> My questions to the community are: what do you think about it? Do you
> think there is a compromised exposure of minors in their educational
> stage? What sinister scenarios can you think of based on this data
> collection? Do you know any specific case of abuse of privacy in
> similar contexts?

Again, you can start by looking up for surveillance capitalism. There
are a LOT of research being done on this subject, at least here on my
country. I don't know much more about how other "central" countries are
dealing with it. Two names who comes up, is Laura Kalbag/Aral Balkan and
Shoshana Zuboff, although I have some issues with the latter.

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