Google has responded to Sen. Al Franken's (D-Minn.) open letter with its own seven-page missive. Signed by Sue Molinari, Google’s Vice President for Public Policy and Government Relations, the company's letter letter declared that Google neither uses students' personal information to target them with advertisements nor sells student information to third parties. The company does, however, use the information to update and improve Google products, according to the letter. Franken said he was happy with the response and planned to work with Google in the future.
“Google’s response to my questioning was thorough, and I appreciate its engagement on this topic,” Franken said in a statement. “But I’m still concerned about what exactly Google does with the information it collects and processes from students who are browsing outside websites—like YouTube—while logged in to Google’s education services. I’m also still interested in whether or not Google can provide parents and students with stronger privacy protections—for example, by allowing students to ‘opt-in’ to data collection. I plan to continue working with Google to clarify some of its policies, because it’s important for the privacy of our students.”