Google has been criticized, yet again, for its data gathering process. In the contest “Doodle-4-Google,” children were asked to redesign the home page logo, and for their social security numbers. The International Business Times reports:
Google’s data gathering has come under fire again, this time because of an art contest for children.
The “Doodle-4-Google” contest invites children to redesign the home page logo. The contest has been in place for four years, and this year the theme is “What I’d like to do someday…”
The problem was in the registration form, which asked for the last four digits of the child’s social security number and the city of their birth, as well as the name and address of the parent or legal guardian.
Stories appeared in New York Magazine and The Huffington Post, but Google changed the registration form to omit the question about the last four digits of the social security number on Feb. 18, before the stories appeared. The Huffington post piece, authored by Bob Bowdon, noted that the last four digits of a social security number coupled with a birth city can make it easy to derive the rest of the Social Security number from there. Bowdon said that while he didn’t have any evidence that Google was storing the data, such data would be valuable to advertisers.
[Continues at International Business Times]