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Cloud Services Thread, Google admits data mining student emails in its free education apps in Technical; SafeGov.org - Google admits data mining student emails in its free education apps Google now admits that it does data ...
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    the_dude's Avatar
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    Google admits data mining student emails in its free education apps

    SafeGov.org - Google admits data mining student emails in its free education apps

    Google now admits that it does data mine student emails for ad-targeting purposes outside of school, even when ad serving in school is turned off, and its controversial consumer privacy policy does apply to Google Apps for Education.


    don't be evil?
    Last edited by the_dude; 14th February 2014 at 11:31 PM.

  2. 4 Thanks to the_dude:

    CAM (15th February 2014), john (18th February 2014), speckytecky (15th February 2014), ZeroHour (14th February 2014)

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    ZeroHour's Avatar
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    I am sure people will be along to defend google but this has been a fear of mine for years, they promised not to do it and they did anyway.

  4. 2 Thanks to ZeroHour:

    john (18th February 2014), speckytecky (15th February 2014)

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    CAM
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    What is Microsoft's stance on this and their O365 platform?

    As for Google, to be expected and I'd be surprised if they didn't mine something. More damaging is their promise they don't do it when ad serving is turned off but continue to mine potentially sensitive information and later serve it up to the kids.

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    ZeroHour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CAM View Post
    What is Microsoft's stance on this and their O365 platform?
    o365 has no scanning ability, its not designed for ad's in any way or form according to that article.
    Although for US: https://office.microsoft.com/en-us/b...103046091.aspx
    We do not mine your data for advertising purposes. It is our policy to not use your data for purposes other than providing you productivity services.

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    So many people happily use google, microsoft, hotmail, social networking etc in schools for school purposes, having made little or no check about where pupil and staff data will be held e.g. where the servers are. The Data Protection Act has rules about data going outside of Europe as I understand it, and most of these big corps could move data around the world. How do we know where our data goes and sits? If they do not have adequate provisions (e.g. in the US it's sometimes known as 'Safe Harbour' I think, the school could be breaking the law. The European Commission and Parliament are looking at all this as part of the NSA surveillance and there are calls for safe harbour to be withdrawn until it's all checked out. The new proposed EU Data Protection rules may put all sorts of new rues in about contracts with companies not based in Europe. I'm not quite sure how small schools are supposed to have any of the expertise needed to get through this legal and technical minefield tbh.

    As for Google ads. Are any of us remotely surprised at all? Probably not. Do any of us feel we have any power to stop it? Probably not.

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    speckytecky (15th February 2014)

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    ZeroHour's Avatar
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    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.

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    So is the answer here to stop using Google mail?

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    localzuk's Avatar
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    Seems that way. There have been a few revelations lately, with 'free' cloud solutions that has altered my perception. I certainly won't be rolling them out here now.

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    ZeroHour's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Edu-IT View Post
    So is the answer here to stop using Google mail?
    Well not necessarily to stop using Google Apps for Edu but I would certainly inform your users that this is going on, not sure if its mandatory for the UK like google claims it is in the the US though but it does seem that data is being mined regardless.

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    We use google apps and just assumed they scanned everything from day one along with every other company out there. Its free..... what did you think happened?

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    Quote Originally Posted by robjduk View Post
    We use google apps and just assumed they scanned everything from day one along with every other company out there. Its free..... what did you think happened?
    Well according to that article originally they had:
    If you are using Google Apps (free edition), email is scanned so we can display contextually relevant advertising in some circumstances. Note that there is no ad-related scanning or processing in Google Apps for Education or Business with ads disabled.
    Which has now been removed, that was pretty clear wording that they wouldnt do that.

    Did you get permission from parents/pupils and make them aware out of interest?
    Google implies you have to but that may be usa only probably due to the fact they will use tracking while the pupil is logged in browsing youtube etc from home and target based on their inbox email.
    Last edited by ZeroHour; 15th February 2014 at 08:49 PM.

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    Even more glad I chose Exchange now!

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    rdk
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    This is what Google says:

    Our systems scan and index emails and some other user data for multiple purposes; this scanning is 100% automated and cannot be turned off. Scanning enables us to, for example, perform spam and malware detection, sort email for features like Priority Inbox, and return fast and powerful search results when users search for information in their accounts. The scanning and indexing that our systems run also enable us to display contextually relevant advertising, including in Gmail. If your domain disables ads, we will not use your data to display such advertising to your users. Domains using the free edition of Google Apps cannot disable ads.
    While using youtube while logged in into my account it's certainly clear that video suggestions are based on what I've watched previously, and adds served based on ebay searches and other product searches, but I've never noticed anything based on what's in my email. I might try emailing 20 times about some obscure product I'm not interested in and see what happens.

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    Not to defend Google, because I am certainly not a fan of them mining our studentsí data.
    However here is an article saying that safegov is nothing more than a smear campaign by Microsoft targeting Google.
    Google's FTC Settlement Is An Epic Fail For Microsoft – ReadWrite

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    Just to confirm. MS store their O365 data for education in the EU. I had it confirmed straight from the horses mouth so to speak.

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