Germany has banned iWork, Office 365 and Google Docs in education

Killian Bell for Cult of Mac:

Apple’s iWork platform has been banned from German schools alongside Microsoft Office 365 and Google Docs.

Privacy regulators say that using the cloud-based services “exposes personal information about students and teachers.” They also suggest that the data might be accessed by U.S. authorities.

German schools weren’t actually using iWork apps — but they did rely on Office 365. It is now illegal to use Word, Excel, PowerPoint, and other Office apps in the classroom.

MacDailyNews Take: The problem seems to be how information – such as content and headlines, for example, is sent to U.S. servers. While adults can consent to this, children cannot, so Germany regulators have banned the software.

15 Comments

    1. Pages, Keynote, and Numbers are very good programs but that iCloud crap built in, isn’t helping I hate internet tie-ins in programs that don’t need it, sending (your files) in a separate program is best.

  1. Good, forward thinking interpretation of what is going on. My local school district (Massachusetts US) requires students to use Google Docs. We were never asked if we agree to the inherent privacy requirements that come with that use. Google Docs is free for a reason: they are mining all data and building profiles of everyone they can including children. There is a reason it is free.

    1. You were not foreceful enough in your concluding sentence. You wimped out. “There is a disgustingly bad reason that MS & Google products are free.”

  2. “US authorities” means the US Spy State which is a spearhead toward reversing the Enlightenment so, yeah, Germany is correct to begin instituting protections against it.

  3. Germany is so non-digital in many ways. Many paper forms, they still uses fax machines, no public hotspots and very poor mobile internet coverage to mention a few examples.

  4. Once again you don’t need every program (devices) with/on a computer with direct internet/cloud hooks (a hackers dreamland). The same applies to your camera, speakers, lights, or doorbell.

  5. Isn’t the focus fouled up? Doctors, Professionals, services of all types are using the cloud. Shouldn’t the hammer be brought down on the misuse of the information rather than stopping the legitimate use of the information. Schools keep much more sensitive data about children in their systems than what can be gathered from Office products. Are they going to be banned from using children data of all kinds to keep up with them, their needs, etc. As usual, the people causing the problem are not being controlled, and the legitimate use of information is being stifled with not enough emphasis on stopping the criminal, unethical use of the data. The teaching institution should be able to have every expectation that the systems they are using are being properly and carefully protected.

    Strong laws with severe punishments should be implemented to stop the illegitimate use of private data. Private data should be defined better, and the “theft” of it for any use should be severely prohibited and punished. Not just the people who misuse the data, but also the people entrusted with the safekeeping of the data.

    Banning individual products is half assed and doesn’t address the core problem. I think  understands this, and is at least trying to solve the core problem.

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