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Cloud Services Thread, Google admits data mining student emails in its free education apps in Technical; We have used Google Apps for Education for over 7 years. We find ourselves constantly justifying the use of the ...
  1. #31

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    We have used Google Apps for Education for over 7 years. We find ourselves constantly justifying the use of the service usually to Microsoftys. I personally do not believe that Google are doing anything untoward in the Education market in fact I think the complete opposite.

    A lot of the blog posts you read are made as marketing ploys to try and belittle Google and big up the competitors!

    See the following points from Google for Education

    Gmail scans and indexes email for multiple purposes, including spell check, virus and spam protection, features like Priority Inbox and auto-detection of calendar events, relevant search results and advertising; this scanning is done on all incoming emails, is 100% automated and can’t be turned off.

    When ads in Gmail are turned off for Google Apps for Education, automated scanning that is done in Gmail is not used to target ads to Education users, whether inside Gmail or in other Google products (e.g. YouTube, Google Search, etc.).

    We do not scan information stored in Google Drive or Docs (or Sheets, Slides, Drawings, Forms) to target ads to Apps for Education customers.

  2. #32

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    We have used Google Apps for Education for over 7 years. We find ourselves constantly justifying the use of the service usually to Microsoftys. I personally do not believe that Google are doing anything untoward in the Education market in fact I think the complete opposite.

    A lot of the blog posts you read are made as marketing ploys to try and belittle Google and big up the competitors!

    See the following points from Google for Education

    Gmail scans and indexes email for multiple purposes, including spell check, virus and spam protection, features like Priority Inbox and auto-detection of calendar events, relevant search results and advertising; this scanning is done on all incoming emails, is 100% automated and canít be turned off.

    When ads in Gmail are turned off for Google Apps for Education, automated scanning that is done in Gmail is not used to target ads to Education users, whether inside Gmail or in other Google products (e.g. YouTube, Google Search, etc.).

    We do not scan information stored in Google Drive or Docs (or Sheets, Slides, Drawings, Forms) to target ads to Apps for Education customers.

  3. #33


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    Quote Originally Posted by jumpinglemon View Post
    We have used Google Apps for Education for over 7 years. We find ourselves constantly justifying the use of the service usually to Microsoftys. I personally do not believe that Google are doing anything untoward in the Education market in fact I think the complete opposite.
    So how do you deal with the Data Protection issues I have outlined :

    1. That Google in acting as a service provider for the school is processing data under YOUR registration.
    2. That in processing data for Ad's they are generating Metadata on their servers which you have no knowlegde of or access to. How can you tell people what data you are processing if you don't know?
    3. That in responding to a subject access request under the data protection act, you have no means to provide metadata held by google which was obtained by them in the course of the business services they provide to you. In effect, you are knowingly putting yourself in a position where you are unable to comply with such a request.

    I'm not a 'microsofty' (whatever that is), I can see benefits of using GA just as I can see benefits of many technologies. What I don't see is how use of Gmail is compatible with our obligations to our data subjects as defined by the law. I'm curious as to how people are actually reconciling that.

  4. #34

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    Do you not feel the Model contract clauses for Google Apps are enough? https://support.google.com/a/answer/2888485?hl=en

  5. #35

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    Put it this way - even the EU is looking into the data protection implications with US based companies, after several US companies revealed they have given data from EU housed services to US law enforcement agencies, counter to EU data principles and agreements.

    It certainly isn't helped by organisations such as Microsoft looking through the email account of a non-employee due to the actions of an employee.

    Also, something to note - posting random contracts in response doesn't actually help answer the questions. We have legal obligations regarding data protection, and as such we need to answer questions directly.

  6. #36

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    The good phrase "you don't get anything for free" Google need to make their money someway and if it's to do with advertising so be it. Surely you can't be so naive to believe they wouldn't do this sort of thing? It's a free platform to the end user but it costs Google Millions, so how are they paying for it..... advertisements and by my standards that's completely fine. Although it probably does mean you need to be more careful on what age group you enable Google Apps for. I wouldn't use it in a primary school but should be ok when the kids get older.

    Oh and to add I never trust any third party with my Data, I like to manage it all on site and with FileCloud I can, users use it just like they would Google Apps, DropBox etc... but I know it sits on our servers locally and if something goes wrong I have three separate backup devices. I also wouldn't trust them with my own personal data such as Documents, Music, Photo's I like to keep them with me and not with some third party company. Google apps is a lot more easier to use as they do everything for you but I'd rather put a bit more work in and make sure all my Schools data is secure! Just my own personal opinion there on these new cloud based services this doesn't just go for Google as I say DropBox, O365 and all the others.
    Last edited by abillybob; 21st March 2014 at 02:08 PM.

  7. #37


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    Quote Originally Posted by jumpinglemon View Post
    Do you not feel the Model contract clauses for Google Apps are enough? https://support.google.com/a/answer/2888485?hl=en
    I don't see how. Perhaps if you feel that it does, you can explain exactly which parts of it relate to the numbered points I raised.

  8. #38


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    Quote Originally Posted by abillybob View Post
    The good phrase "you don't get anything for free" Google need to make their money someway and if it's to do with advertising so be it. Surely you can't be so naive to believe they wouldn't do this sort of thing? It's a free platform to the end user but it costs Google Millions, so how are they paying for it..... advertisements and by my standards that's completely fine. Although it probably does mean you need to be more careful on what age group you enable Google Apps for. I wouldn't use it in a primary school but should be ok when the kids get older.
    So as long as you get something for free, you are happy to ignore your obligations under law?

  9. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by pcstru View Post
    So as long as you get something for free, you are happy to ignore your obligations under law?
    I didn't say that. It's fine by me on a personal level but I wouldn't implement it into a school for that reason. I knew Google would do something like this for a free platform... how else would they be making their money? This is why I don't use their services or any other cloud based platform personally or professionally.

  10. #40

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    But Google Apps is not free, doh. Companies pay for Google Apps for Business and schools get Google apps for Business for free as Google are a) being helpful to students and schools b) gets more people using Google Apps and hopefully when these students go out to work they will purchase Google Apps for Business

  11. #41

    abillybob's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by edutech4schools View Post
    But Google Apps is not free, doh. Companies pay for Google Apps for Business and schools get Google apps for Business for free as Google are a) being helpful to students and schools b) gets more people using Google Apps and hopefully when these students go out to work they will purchase Google Apps for Business
    But it is free... to education it's free. This is not Google playing Mr Nice, somehow they have to find the money to give every student in your School 30GB worth of their own storage, email address, pay engineers to make Google Docs, all this costs money and yet they are giving Google Apps to education for free, they need to make some money somewhere. Yes they charge Businesses but this is about educational settings businesses don't pay Google enough to subsidies the thousands of schools that have signed up for free Google apps, so the only way of them getting the money back to fund this is through advertising.

  12. #42

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    Quote Originally Posted by abillybob View Post
    I didn't say that. It's fine by me on a personal level but I wouldn't implement it into a school for that reason. I knew Google would do something like this for a free platform... how else would they be making their money? This is why I don't use their services or any other cloud based platform personally or professionally.
    Just to point out that this website is a free service also. At some point you have to accept the assurances given by the provider of any external service you use. Google indexes the many posts you write on this website.

    Personally I do think it's worrying when any organisations are able to store and process data without explicitly having to set out what they are doing and why. In an increasingly interconnected world the potential for misuse of this power is alarming as evidenced by recent revelations...

  13. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by spadam View Post
    Just to point out that this website is a free service also. At some point you have to accept the assurances given by the provider of any external service you use. Google indexes the many posts you write on this website.

    Personally I do think it's worrying when any organisations are able to store and process data without explicitly having to set out what they are doing and why. In an increasingly interconnected world the potential for misuse of this power is alarming as evidenced by recent revelations...
    True but again this website uses advertisements to fund it with the addition of sponsorship and some hard work from ZeroHour and Dos_Box. Google are just using advertisement techniques to fund it just like this one.

  14. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZeroHour View Post
    Hotmail/gmail etc are a seperate matter but o365 wise I believe all data is kept in the EU in either Ireland or Amsterdam.

    I wonder how many schools got the pupils to agree to be mined as per googles rules? o365 does not need this as it doesn't mine data.
    The surprising thing is originally everyone thought google ad's off = no mining/sharing but it appears that may not be the case.
    I find it slightly amusing that everyone seems to be believing that Microsoft don't do it because they say they don't. Isn't the whole point here that Google said they wouldn't do it...

    I like a saying I heard once about this sort of thing - I don't remember exactly but it was along the lines of "if you are not paying for a service, you have to consider whether you are the customer or the product"

    (Just for the record, I don't hold on to that for sites like Edugeek - it's a different thing)
    Last edited by crc-ict; 21st March 2014 at 02:48 PM.

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  16. #45

    ZeroHour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by crc-ict View Post
    I find it slightly amusing that everyone seems to be believing that Microsoft don't do it because they say they don't. Isn't the whole point here that Google said they wouldn't do it...

    I like a saying I heard once about this sort of thing - I don't remember exactly but it was along the lines of "if you are not paying for a service, you have to consider whether you are the customer or the product"

    (Just for the record, I don't hold on to that for sites like Edugeek - it's a different thing)
    o365 is a platform based on exchange + sharepoint, both have no ability to scan you email contents. Outlook.com also does not scan email contents to target ad's as they have declaired.
    Google had stated they didnt mine email but updated the terms I believe to remove that and have literally declared in California they do mine pupil email data to target ad's.
    Last edited by ZeroHour; 21st March 2014 at 03:26 PM.

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