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German state ban iWork, Office 365, and Google Docs school suites

Productivity sets like the Office 365, O Google Docs or the iWork, only constant presence in educational institutions (the first two, mostly). What to do, then, when the entire educational network of a locality ban these products? That is the question that the state of Hesse, at Germany, have to answer.

As reported by TNW, the Hesse Commission for Data Protection and Freedom of Information (HBDI) has determined that the world's top three productivity trials do not comply with the rules of the GDPR, the European Union General Data Protection Regulation. As a result, state schools will no longer be able to use the applications and services of these three platforms at least until they make a major change.

Basically, the problem is information sent by applications to servers in the United States, which can range from software diagnostic reports to personal user information, such as phrases typed in a word processor and the subject of an email (which can be processed by US companies for translation or spelling correction tools).

GDPR does not ban this type of behavior itself, but requires users of productivity platforms to expressly agree to sending their data to foreign servers. As underage students have not yet reached the age of consent to authorize such submission, processing of their data is illegal by the European Union.

Microsoft had a strategy to circumvent the imbroglio: until last year, all information processed by Office 365 in Germany was sent to a data center located in the country itself, which made the stand operations regularized there. The facility, however, was decommissioned in August 2018 and the company re-transmitted data to its US servers, which was the trigger for this new Hesse state determination.

It is good to note that in practice Google and Apple will not be affected This is because Hesse's schools use only Office 365 for academic purposes. The event, however, may be of concern to businesses because it can be used as a mirror for other locations in Europe to apply the same logic to their educational policies, which would be a bucket of cold water, for example in the educational expansion of Ma.

It is unclear which direction Hesse schools will take now, but the state has suggested that institutions swap their Office 365 subscriptions for standalone licenses from Microsoft's productivity suite, which run only on the school's own computers and require no connection to foreign servers. . The question remains of the cost of this transition.