Who Owns Your Data?

I have been reviewing many questions recently about storing data in the Cloud. With so many districts moving to Google Apps I decided to put together some resources on data ownership and privacy. I hope you find this helpful:

Who owns the data that organizations put into Google Apps?

Resource: http://www.google.com/support/a/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=106876

  1. Google won’t share your data with others except as noted in their Privacy Policy.
  2. They keep your data as long as you require them to keep it.
  3. You should be able to take your data with you if you choose to use external services in conjunction with Google Apps or stop using our services altogether.

The best tool for taking your data with you is Google’s Data Liberation Front at http://www.dataliberation.org/. You can even use this tool to export all of your Google Docs out of your personal Google Account and import them into your school Apps account.

Security and Privacy – FAQ’s

Resource: http://www.google.com/support/a/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=60762

In Google’s Security Whitepaper, they cover, in detail, some of the issues we find ourselves talking about with Administrators and even Board of Education members before we can utilize Google Apps. Some of these issues include:

  • Google corporate security policies
  • Systems development and maintenance
  • Regulatory compliance

Google Apps is a technology platform schools can trust

Resource: http://www.google.com/a/help/intl/en/edu/privacy.html

Here you will find the following:

  • Google complies with applicable US privacy law, and the Google Apps Terms of Service can specifically detail their obligations and compliance with FERPA (Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) regulations.
  • They offer Google Apps Education Edition to schools for free. It’s also completely ad-free — which means your school’s content is not processed by Google’s advertising systems.
  • To reduce exploit risks, each Google server is custom-built with only the necessary software components, and the homogeneous server architecture enables rapid updates and configuration changes across the entire network when necessary.

I’m hoping folks will find this information useful as they field questions from their colleagues and possibly even parents of the students they work with.


13 thoughts on “Who Owns Your Data?

  1. This is a much needed discussion. Concerns over data privacy and security are becoming increasingly common among end users.

    While Google provides excellent documentation on their policies, are there any third parties that have verified their integrity? I don’t ask this because I have concerns over their use of my data, but it does seem a little illogical to use Google’s documentation to demonstrate that they use data appropriately.

    I would be curious to read/see well respected third party reviews of Google’s policies and (more importantly) their actions. If I can find some, I’ll pass them along!

  2. Jim says:

    It’s your data until the Chinese hack google again. Since it is on their platform, sure they are responsible, but ultimately they are in possession of your. Judging by their practices with google mapping, security breaches and other internal policies, I am not sure it is the best bet. There’s no such thing a free lunch and unfortunately, schools are often a dollar chasing a dime.

  3. Hi Mrs. Thumann, it’s me again from EDM 310! I found this post to be very helpful. There are so many concerns with privacy on the internet now, it really is important to know that the information you want to share is, in fact, being shared with the people you WANT to share it with. I also had never previously used Google Apps, but I looked into it after reading this post and it is an awesome tool! I think that it is remarkable there are all these technologies that have come about to enhance the educational setting and make the classroom a more interactive experience! I have enjoyed reading your posts, and will continue to do so from here on out!

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