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Minneapolis Is Spying On Queer Students & Outing Them To Teachers And Parents

Since spring 2020, Minneapolis schools have been using an online surveillance application called Gaggle to spy on students’ online activity. The software flags LGBTQ-related terms and has already reportedly outed at least one LGBTQ student to their parents. Gaggle monitors students’ online behavior 24 hours a day and seven days a week, by tracking their school-issued Google and Microsoft accounts. Such accounts are likely to be used more often by poor students who lack personal home computers. Gaggle scans students’ emails, chat messages and other documents, including class assignments and personal files, in search of keywords, images or videos that could indicate self-harm, violence or sexual behavior. Gaggle’s moderators then evaluate the flagged content and report any troubling finds to school officials. Officials can then contact a student’s parents or the police.