Schools Ban Microsoft Office 365 Over Privacy Concerns
Mike Sanders / 9 months ago
The launch of Office 365 has proven to be very popular with both individuals and organisations. Largely because it offers a means of having access to Office software while having all of your documents and data stored via a cloud server. You could, in theory, start writing a letter from your home and finish it at work, on two different computers, without having to carry around the files on a memory stick. It seems, however, that Microsoft is raising some concerns over where exactly that data is being stored.
Following an official security report, schools in the Hesse region in Germany have issued a blanket ban on the software. Specifically, due to concerns over data privacy. Why are they so concerned though?…
German Schools Ban Office 365
When saving a document to the cloud, while the servers are located within Europe they are available to access via non-European countries. America being one of them. As such, the report finds that the use of the cloud storage violates data protection laws and, by proxy, is illegal. At least as determined by the Hesse region in Germany. As such, a ban is currently being implemented throughout all schools in the area.
It should be noted that this ruling has not affected all schools in Germany. That is, however, a distinct possibility in the future.
What Can Microsoft Do?
Well, Microsoft could very easily solve this problem by just making the servers limited to European access. Admittedly, a solution that in practical terms is probably far trickier than it sounds. If other regions follow, however, this could easily (and quickly) turn into a national ban. One that other countries within the EU may soon decide to follow.
It’s not impossible for Microsoft to fix this. But if they do plan to, they might need to act quickly before this snowballs!
What do you think? Do you think these are legitimate privacy concerns? What office software do you use? – Let us know in the comments!