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Re: chromebooks

From: lily
Subject: Re: chromebooks
Date: Sun, 08 Nov 2020 09:58:35 +0000

Hola óscar,

In my experience of working with children, I have found that Google already has 
had an incredible impact.

Before COVID-19 I was a regular volunteer with an organization that gives free 
laptops running the GNU+Linux operating system. I taught children about the 
importance of computer user freedom, that GNU means FREEDOM, and I taught 
children how to use free software like LibreOffice, GIMP, VLC, Blender, and 
others for school work. (I showed the Free Software 30 years video, and the 
video talk by Richard Stallman Free Software and Education)

Sadly, I found that children as young 5 years old knew the Google Chrome icon, 
and felt that unless they had it they could not connect to the internet. I 
showed them that the internet is accessed through a web browser, and that 
FireFox is a web browser that respects their freedoms. Most children felt 
uncomfortable using FireFox despite this.

Google is taking advantage of the pandemic to sneak their way into the 
classroom and collect academic information as well as very personal information 
about the most vulnerable population in our society, our CHILDREN. This should 
be alarming to everyone! This is not only wrong ,but in the United States I 
believe this is a violation of the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act 
(FERPA). (Legal experts should comment on this.)

I am not a parent, but if I were a parent, I would never let Google touch my 
daughter. I would equip her with the knowledge of Free Software and help her 
build her own computer that she would understand inside and out.

I know these are difficult times, but there are used laptops available for 
affordable prices, and there are resources to learn how to install GNU+Linux 
operating systems on them. Parents should take advantage of this and say NO to 
schools demanding that they use software and hardware that violates the privacy 
of their children and undermines their education by stripping them of not only 
software knowledge but hardware knowledge.

Please let me know if this was helpful. Happy to provide links to resources.

Crista Moreno

‐‐‐‐‐‐‐ Original Message ‐‐‐‐‐‐‐
On Friday, November 6, 2020 3:00 AM, 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.
> 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.
> Maybe in the future the guys at Google will "not be evil.". But what
> if they will be?
> 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?
> I appreciate any constructive comments.
> Thank you very much,
> óscar pérez
> libreplanet-discuss mailing list

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