Google Kicked Out of School in Denmark

August 11, 2022

Like its colleagues in Netherlands and Germany, the Denmark data protection authority has taken a stand against Google’s GDPR non-compliance. European secure-email firm Tutanota reports on its blog, “Denmark Bans Gmail and Co from Schools Due to Privacy Concerns.” Schools in the Helsingør Municipality have until August 3 to shift to a different cloud solution. We learn:

“In a statement published mid July, the Danish data protection agency expresses ‘serious criticism and bans … the use of Google Workspace’. Based on a risk assessment for the Helsingør Municipality, the data protection authority concluded that the processing of personal data of pupils does not meet the requirements of the GDPR and must, therefor, stop. The ban is effective immediately. Helsingør has until August 3 to delete pupil’s data and start using an alternative cloud solution. … This decision follows similar decisions by Dutch and German authorities. The issues that governmental institutions see themselves faced with has started with the invalidation of Privacy Shield back in 2020. Privacy Shield has been a data transferring agreement between the USA and the European Union and was supposed to make data transfers between the two legally possible. However, the agreement has been declared invalid by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in 2020 due to privacy concerns. One major problem that the EU court pointed out is that data of foreigners is not protected in the USA. The protections that are there – even if limited – only apply to US citizens.”

So the NSA can gain unfettered access to the personal data of Europeans but not US citizens. We can see how authorities in the EU might have a problem with that. As the Danish agency notes, such a loophole violates rights considered fundamental in Europe. Not surprisingly, this Tutanota write-up emphasizes the advantages of a Europe-based email service like Tutanota. It is not wrong. It seems Denmark has woken up to the Google reality. Now what about Web-search tracking?

Cynthia Murrell, August 11, 2022

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