Microsoft Office 365, along with Google Docs and iWork, have been banned in some German schools over some privacy concerns…
Some schools in German have banned Microsoft Office 365 over privacy concerns about the way its cloud service operates. Additionally, state regulators have banned Google Docs and Apple iWork for the same reasons.
Microsoft Office 365 Banned in German Schools, along with Google Docs and iWork
The Hesse Commissioner for Data Protection and Freedom of Information or HBDI is apparently mostly concerned with potential access by US authorities:
“The use of cloud applications by schools is generally not a data protection problem. Many schools in Hesse are already using cloud solutions. Whether, for example, the learning platform or the electronic class book: Schools can use digital applications in compliance with data protection, as far as the security of the data processing and the participation of the pupils is guaranteed.”
Making the situation worse is the fact the German HBDI won’t allow the same schools to switch over to alternatives by Google or Apple:
“What is true for Microsoft is also true for the Google and Apple cloud solutions. The cloud solutions of these providers have so far not been transparent and comprehensibly described. Therefore, it is also true that for schools the privacy-compliant use [of these alternatives] is currently not possible.”
Because of this, the schools in question must now rely on local versions, rather than the cloud-based platforms.