Feeds

Aus student data stored for Google ads

EU reforms may keep students commercial free

Choosing a cloud hosting partner with confidence

Australian students may be spared potentially invasive digital data access from Google following the Privacy Commission’s decision to back the EU’s reforms regarding Google's new privacy policy.

European data protection agencies have given Google a four month deadline to fix its new privacy policy which the agencies claim do not comply with EU laws.

Last week the Australian Information Commissioner Timothy Pilgrim as part of regional data protection agency group The Asia Pacific Privacy Authorities Forum (APPA) announced its support for the recommendations made by the Commission Nationale de I’Informatique et des Libertès (CNIL) Working Party’s investigation into Google’s privacy policy issues.

One of the data protection agencies key concerns under Google’s new privacy policy is the data capturing abilities used in apps for government use.

In Australia, Google Apps for Education is widely used by the education sector with the New South Wales Government’s Department of Education and Training currently one of its biggest users across its 1.2 million student base.

Currently Google’s usage policy provides the ability to turn on and serve behavioural advertising to those 1.2 million students based upon their emails, attachments, uploaded videos and digital activity.

Digital law specialist Bradley Shear, who has been working on similar privacy protection issues in the U.S, told The Register that under the current Google Apps for education agreement, Google can store student data anywhere in the world leaving countries and students that are not protected by the CNIL’s recommendations exposed.

Shear warned that from a public policy perspective, the issue raised “is whether it is acceptable for a government to monetize a student's personal thoughts and interactions between their teachers and fellow students.”

Shear questions if it would it be acceptable if Australian teachers captured their students' preferences and then returned projects with coupons for items based on their work or if a teacher or a school was paid to provide discount offers to children based upon how they responded to classroom projects?.

“Australian education authorities must re-evaluate how they protect student privacy, and they must be more cognizant when making public policy decisions that may put personal privacy and safety at risk,” he warned.

If Australia, under APPA’s direction, implements CNIL's recommendations, Australian schools will not be able to advertise to their students based on their school work.

Google Australia has yet to respond to it stance on students' privacy or whether it will modify data domiciling arrangements under the EU’s edict. The company has, however, shown sensitivity to the issue of data domiciling in the past, with data from the New South Wales Education Department's GMail implementation hosted onshore by Telstra. ®

Beginner's guide to SSL certificates

More from The Register

next story
FYI: OS X Yosemite's Spotlight tells Apple EVERYTHING you're looking for
It's on by default – didn't you read the small print?
Russian hackers exploit 'Sandworm' bug 'to spy on NATO, EU PCs'
Fix imminent from Microsoft for Vista, Server 2008, other stuff
Edward who? GCHQ boss dodges Snowden topic during last speech
UK spies would rather 'walk' than do 'mass surveillance'
Microsoft pulls another dodgy patch
Redmond makes a hash of hashing add-on
'LulzSec leader Aush0k' found to be naughty boy not worthy of jail
15 months home detention leaves egg on feds' faces as they grab for more power
China is ALREADY spying on Apple iCloud users, claims watchdog
Attack harvests users' info at iPhone 6 launch
Carders punch holes through Staples
Investigation launched into East Coast stores
prev story

Whitepapers

Forging a new future with identity relationship management
Learn about ForgeRock's next generation IRM platform and how it is designed to empower CEOS's and enterprises to engage with consumers.
Cloud and hybrid-cloud data protection for VMware
Learn how quick and easy it is to configure backups and perform restores for VMware environments.
Three 1TB solid state scorchers up for grabs
Big SSDs can be expensive but think big and think free because you could be the lucky winner of one of three 1TB Samsung SSD 840 EVO drives that we’re giving away worth over £300 apiece.
Reg Reader Research: SaaS based Email and Office Productivity Tools
Read this Reg reader report which provides advice and guidance for SMBs towards the use of SaaS based email and Office productivity tools.
Security for virtualized datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.