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Schools' use of cloud services puts student privacy at risk

Loek Essers | Sept. 24, 2013
Vendors should promise not to use targeted advertising and behavioral profiling, SafeGov (Washington) said.

This issue was flagged by the French and Swedish DPAs, the spokeswoman said.

In September, the Swedish DPA ordered a school to stop using Google Apps or sign a reworked agreement with Google because the current terms of use lacked specifics on how personal data is being handled and didn't comply with local data laws.

However, there are some initiatives that are encouraging, the spokeswoman said.

Microsoft's Bing for Schools initiative, an ad-free, no cost version of its Bing search engine that can be used in public and private schools across the U.S., is one of them, she said. "This is one of the things SafeGov is trying to accomplish with the Codes of Conduct -- taking out ad-serving features completely when providing cloud services in schools. This would remove the ad-profiling risk for students," she said.

Microsoft and Google did not respond to a request for comment.

 

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