Hesse, a state in Germany, recently placed a ban on Office 365. This ban on Office 365 means that it will no longer allow its schools to use the Microsoft product. This follows a Microsoft German data centre closure in 2018. It also created a risk for the United States government to access users’ data.
The European Union GDPR created rules that made it possible for the data protection commissioner in the state to make this law. Apparently, depending on a user’s Windows 10 privacy setting, the telemetry system collects information about its products and services used.
This data could be any phrase translated by Microsoft’s software or words used in an email subject. This occurs when a user has the telemetry data set as Enhanced on a Windows 10 computer. It allows the system to collect contents of the system memory that could include sensitive information.
A Microsoft spokesperson commenting on the news said, “We’re thankful the Commissioner raised these concerns, and we look forward to engaging further with the Commissioner on its questions and concerns related to Microsoft’s offerings.”
Microsoft says it has introduced new features that will offer more control over data. It also says that they had sued the US government at some point over access to consumer’s data in Europe.
The school apparently deals with sensitive children data so they would need more security measures from Microsoft to ensure safety. The Hesse commissioner also says the schools are unable to use Apple and Google cloud solutions because of similar security problems.
At the moment, the schools use non-cloud office software pending when Microsoft solves these issues.