In public classrooms across the country, the corporate name that is fast becoming as common as pencils and erasers is Google.
More than half of K-12 laptops or tablets purchased by U.S. schools in the third quarter were Chromebooks, cheap laptops that run Google software. Beyond its famed Web search, the company freely offers word processing and other software to schools. In total, Google programs are used by more than 50 million students and teachers around the world, the company says.
But Google is also tracking what those students are doing on its services and using some of that information to sell targeted ads, according to a complaint filed with federal officials by a leading privacy advocacy group.