[K12OSN] Google Apps free for Schools

Rich McCue rmccue at uvic.ca
Thu Apr 5 21:17:17 UTC 2007

We had a great discussion here at the University of Victoria about Privacy
issues, and outsourcing of e-mail about a month ago.  Our discussion focused
mainly on Google.  What was great about the group participating, is that we
not only had IT managers and staff in attendance, but also a Senior
University Auditor who has a particular interest in privacy issues.  Here
are my notes from the meeting:

Outsourcing Email Discussion Points

*Presentation notes at:*


*Privacy Concerns*


   How would this relate to recent privacy concerns regarding the BC
   Government contracting out to US-hosted servers? Very similar.

   Can US vendors enter computers hosted in Canada, if the parent company
   is based in the US? Canadian subsidiaries may be OK in this regard. However,
   even if the parent company is not from the US, the US Government can request
   data held by Canadian companies.

   Trust is the underlying issue, to meet conditions of contract. Doesn't
   matter who the host is, the question is whether they can be trusted not to
   abuse their position of privilege.

   Privacy is only a "useful illusion".

   Cookies can be considered a form of privacy policy statements. Nothing
   that is *not* collected. Privacy concerns are not relevant. Privacy issues
   could be problematic with any hosting arrangement, externally contracted or

 *Ownership of Data*


   Google contract ensures users retain ownership of the data, however,
   Google has control over the data.

   Advertising is directly relevant to content of messages, indicating
   that Google scans the content of messages to generate context sensitive
   advertising. This advertising can be turned off for currently enrolled



   Can users delete account? Yes.

   Advantages: Logging, spam filter, phone integration, Word->HTML
   conversion, 2 GB storage. Added functionality: collaborative services.
   Contrast Sharepoint: no checkout/check-in with Google, but in Google can do
   co-editing (i.e. two peopled edit the same document at the same time,
   w/ versioning).

 *Integration with existing infrastructure and organizational policy*


   Does it integrate with LDAP? Yes.  Can use @uvic.ca for google and non
   google accounts.

   If an institution were to look at introducing it, what would be the

   Can an organization legitimately require students to have GMail
   accounts? Some schools require students to check accounts.

   Attractive to management as money-saving measure. Will there be union
   concerns about contracting out?

Rich McCue
Systems Administrator
University of Victoria Faculty of Law
+1 250 472 4716
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