Republican members of Congress wrote separate letters to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and Google CEO Sundar Pichai expressing concerns about corporate data collection on students, among others.
GOP members from the House Oversight and Reform Committee have written letters to Microsoft and Google requesting information on the security and data collection practices of the tech giants.
“Children continue to spend more time online as schools remain closed across the country,” lawmakers wrote in letters to Google and Microsoft. “Parents should be able to protect their children online and monitor their activities to make sure they aren’t accessing inappropriate content or being targeted in any way. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. “
Lawmakers said they were “particularly concerned” about the “lack of clarity regarding parental consent for the collection of personally identifiable information such as geolocation” based on Google and Microsoft’s terms of service indicating that Children can access communication services – such as Outlook and Skype – and can freely communicate and share data with other users of all ages.
“This raises serious concerns about who children communicate with during the school day, especially when many working parents have other obligations,” lawmakers wrote.
GOP lawmakers want to know more about how data collected from universities, students, and educators is used by Google and Microsoft, and whether companies are protecting student data from inappropriate use. They requested various documents and information from companies before July 20.