Data Collection: Forced Consent

by Justin N.

Interview from 2019 with Grand Rapids Tech President Justin Ayers about data collecting.

Every day an estimated 2.5 quintillion bytes of data is created.

In September 2019 Google was fined a record $170 million by the US Federal Trade Commission for violating the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA). This amount was record breaking and would have decimated many companies, but not Google. FTC commissioners pointed out that the fine was equivalent to about 2 days worth of profit.

Two months later in November, Grand Rapids Tech President Justin Ayers sat down with 13 On Your Side to provide some insight on how you could protect your own data.

Suggestions included…

  • Checking out what data Google has already collected
  • Adjusting your privacy settings
  • Using alternate browsers and search engines

Google Gives Chromebooks to Children

Since the global pandemic hit technology reliance and use has increased exponentially. Many adults were able to work remotely, and children began learning virtually. Google provided many school districts with free Chromebooks and G Suite accounts to help with the virtual learning transition.

In February 2020, Google was hit with another lawsuit, this time by the New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas. The suit claimed Google was collecting the data of all the children using the Chromebooks and G Suite accounts. The suit was thrown out in Federal court, but not because Google wasn’t collecting data.

Two other students from Illinois filed a class action lawsuit against Google with a similar accusation as the New Mexico suit. This suit is targeting a more specific Illinois State law regarding biometric data.

Protect Your Data: 2021 Edition

Make sure to check out the article or video above as Justin Ayers tips from 2019 still apply. At the very least switch to a better browser on your devices.

Mozilla Firefox has even more advanced privacy features turned on by default and we highly recommend you switch to it regardless of your privacy concerns.

We’re hard at work compiling a detailed list, check back soon for more tips. If you’d like to be notified when this post is updated, send us an email at and we’ll make sure you to let you know.

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