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Dear Colleagues,

At Nazareth College, our students have successfully used the Google Apps Edu platform since 2010.  We are currently preparing to migrate faculty and staff to GAE in the fall.  This week a faculty member forwarded me the link to a January 31, 2014 article  ( ) and expressed renewed privacy concerns about student use of the platform, as well as forward-looking privacy concerns about the proposed migration of faculty and staff.

For those of you who use GAE on your campuses, I am curious to know whether you have seen or responded to concerns about this article and the information it contains.  From your perspective, is there any "new news" here?  We have forwarded the article to our Google rep for his response, and I have my own opinions, but I am very interested to hear from others.

Thank you in advance for any perspectives you might care to share. 

Karen Kuppinger
Director, Information Technology Services
Nazareth College

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At this point, this is not "new news" on our campus.  We understand the privacy concerns, but at this point there's been no reason to actively seek a change.  We have faculty and staff, as well as students, on our Google Apps platform.  When we migrated, we had lengthy conversations about scanning and mining, versus "Reading my email".  We still promote that we do not think email is an appropriate method to use to communicate confidential information.  If we got rid of Google on campus, it would not yield a result of people using some other solution we provide.  We note that it seems there is a significant campus population that has a personal Gmail account.  So if we eliminated campus email, they would likely continue to use Gmail, but use their personal account.


I agree with Theresa, this is not news. However, it is important to note that if your University chooses to use any cloud provider and only relies on the administrative click through for accepting terms and conditions, you will be subject to any modifications they make on the web terms. I would recommend that your university general counsel negotiate terms that your institution can live with and get those in writing. Since our initial posting, we have completed negotiations with Google. We have a fully executed contract with additional data privacy protections negotiated. Specifically:

5.2 Scope of Processing. Customer instructs Google to process Customer Data for the following
purposes: (a) to comply with Instructions, (b) to provide the Services (as selected by the Customer via
the Admin Console); (c) to provide product features to facilitate Customer’s use of Services and tools
for the Customer to create content; (d) to operate, maintain and support the infrastructure used to
provide the Services; and (e) to respond to customer support requests. Google will only process
Customer Data in accordance with this Agreement and will not process Customer Data for any other

These terms are part of Google's Data Processing Amendment which can be invoked at any time through one's administrative interface. (This is not advertised.) We included these as part of our negotiations and included them, in writing, with our executed contract.

We have students, staff and faculty and well as our system offices fully integrated into GoogleApps. I also agree with Theresa that if we were to remove it, our customers would revert to public gmail. Whether one chooses Google or Office356, it is incumbent upon one's institution to ensure that terms and conditions are to your benefit and in writing.