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back to article Microsoft backs law banning Google Apps from schools

Microsoft is backing a bill in Massachusetts that would effectively force schools to stop using Google Apps, or any other service that uses students' data. "Any person who provides a cloud computing service to an educational institution operating within the State shall process data of a student enrolled in kindergarten through …

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The bill sounds good

I'll leave Eadon to comment on Microsoft's motives.

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Anonymous Coward

It could be even better

Extend it to bar teaching of any products that are sold into the business world.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: It could be even better

Because that would make sense, leaving students unprepared for the workforce.

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Re: The bill sounds good

And who said Microsoft retired their munchkin brigade...

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Devil

Re: The bill sounds good

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/03/03/student-database-gates-foundation_n_2800684.html

Microsoft (via Bill G) wants to corner the market themselves.

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Facepalm

Re: The bill sounds good

... and Eadon would be right. It is obvious, even for the article's author, that bill is obviously aimed to whack out MS competition.

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"And who said Microsoft retired their munchkin brigade..."

But the munckin's faith that in ten's years time the workforce will still be using Microsoft products is kind of touching.

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Childcatcher

Re: The bill sounds good

@daniel b ( and others) the bill says nothing about Google or MSoft. It simply and reasonably says ' don't use our kids data for commercial gain'. What's wrong with that ? Google or anyone else is free to play in is space as long as they abide by that rule. Gets my vote.

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Re: The bill sounds good

The use of a such a service (a cloud computing service that used the students data for commercial purposes) in the UK would already be a breach of the data protection act.

If by "MS competition" you mean "companies who can't be trusted to provide basic protection for students details" then yes, this is obviously amed to whack out "MS competition".

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Re: The bill sounds good

and Eadon would be right. It is obvious, even for the article's author, that bill is obviously aimed to whack out MS competition

The bill affects anyone (including Microsoft) that would collect data on school children in the course of their education. The author of this article should be ashamed of themselves for their poor journalism. All Google have to do to comply with this law is to not collect data on the school children. It's not a law to ban Google from classrooms. But it is aimed at Google. There's no contradiction between the two. Google are attempting to exchange schoolchildren's data for free tools. I agree that this is wrong. All that would happen is Google would have to either start charging for their services to education like other companies, or else grant it truly free.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: The bill sounds good

@H4rm0ny:

Damn right - Any company who wants to profit from personal and behavioral data of schoolchildren, while they are at school, in order to advertise at them, should really think about ethics.

School of all places should be free from constant bombardment from advertising, particularly considering the people who are being advertised at are minors.

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Anonymous Coward

So MS lobbying to protect their cash cow and keep Google out

In other news Pope shits in the wood, Bear is a Catholic etc...

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Devil

Pope shits in the wood?

Which Pope?

The one who ducked out before the major shit hits the fan, or one of his illustrious predecessors who at least had the decency to die?

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Devil

Re: So MS lobbying to protect their cash cow and keep Google out

You are correct on the motives.

However, IMHO the bill is good and it does not ban google apps per se. All it means that Google will have to sell them at their real price (not at the advert subsidized one).

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Re: So MS lobbying to protect their cash cow and keep Google out

And what is that "real price"? Google are free to set the price of their services at whatever level they think the market can bear, just like any other provider of goods and services.

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Re: So MS lobbying to protect their cash cow and keep Google out

All it means that Google will have to sell them at their real price (not at the advert subsidized one).

No they won't. All they'll have to do is make a sandboxed version that doesn't get snooped on (licensed for educational use only). They can give that away, and subsidize it with the money they make from the non-students.

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Re: So MS lobbying to protect their cash cow and keep Google out

At the moment, the Pope isn't a Catholic.

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Re: So MS lobbying to protect their cash cow and keep Google out

That explains the Bear- he's Temporary Pope.

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Re: So MS lobbying to protect their cash cow and keep Google out

As Steve Knox says, all Google will do is make a version of their apps that comply with the law, and then give them away anyway. Merely using the apps will be enough to keep children wanting to use them because that is what they are used to - and it is exactly what Microsoft have been doing for years. That is why Microsoft are upset - there really is competition to their de facto monopoly of educational software at last.

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Anonymous Coward

There are many reasons....

There are many reasons some call it "Mass-of-stupids".

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I rarely criticize microsoft. I do it for the first time.

I rarely criticize microsoft.

I do it for the first time.

The big white man the brother - Bill Gates!

The red-skinned Sharp-sighted Falcon the Web designer welcomes you!

Windows 8 did not sustain the test for reliability. It is known to you.

But, it is possible that you do not know that the new operating system is absolutely not suitable for use in modern Russia.

You created a good classical product. The best programmers worked wonderfully well.

However the new generation of vandals does not read classics. Them does not interest romanticism of programming.

Nevertheless, they use modern electronics.

Therefore, quickly and successfully, they crack computers of users.

Antiviruses are powerless.

Firewalls do not protect.

System administrators are helpless.

Instead of trampling down another's mobile phones, you should think of clients.

I congratulate employees women of your empire on March 8.

If you do not read my congratulation on March 7, on March 8 I will publish this text and I will congratulate.

One does not sharpen the axes after the time they are needed. Russian proverb.

However to me it is unclear, how I learn that you will read.

Translated by Google.

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WTF?

Re: I rarely criticize microsoft. I do it for the first time.

WTF??? That read like some kind of pidgen English (obviously due to Google translate) Anonymous 'broadcast'.

Did it have a point, at all?

Just curious.

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Terminator

Re: I rarely criticize microsoft. I do it for the first time.

Well two other AI's upvoted it and downvoted you, I suggest that just because your meat logic is incapable of rendering meaning does not indicate the absence of meaning.

Perhaps I'm being too harsh, Google translate does miss the nuences of the original binary.

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Trollface

Only half the story.

Microsoft's official announcement supporting this law is available on Azure.

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Gutless, cowardly and low

Typical for Microsoft.

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Re: Gutless, cowardly and low

I think Mr Ballmer has just shown that his business ethics/operations have all the subtlety of an elephant with dysentery.

As have his furniture re-arrangement techniques

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Coffee/keyboard

Re: Gutless, cowardly and low

Probably true - but I quit using Google some time ago because their EULA obviously meant to rifle my privacy to the "n"th degree! I think MS has something to crow about after all - even if it is for selfish interest.

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Meh

These days, I think the only thing Microsfot {it was a typo - but I like it} achieves by such actions is to reduce its own credibility even further (if that's possible). Talk about boy crying "Wolf" - sheesh!

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Unhappy

Not on 28kbs

So the plan is " to shift the bulk of its IT spending from boxed code to cloud applications" ...

Don't you think that it would make more sense to make sure everyone in the US had a high-speed internet connection first?

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Coat

Re: Not on 28kbs

Nerr, leave it to the free market.

Mine's the jacket in commie red with the name tag "sarcasm". Thanks.

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WTF?

Microsoft Education ©

"Should the School District Be Allowed to Give Our Kids’ Phone numbers, Addresses and Photos to Every Tom, Dick and Pollster?" link

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Ironic

http://www.reuters.com/article/2013/03/03/us-education-database-idUSBRE92204W20130303

"The database is a joint project of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, which provided most of the funding, the Carnegie Corporation of New York and school officials from several states. Amplify Education, a division of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp, built the infrastructure over the past 18 months. When it was ready, the Gates Foundation turned the database over to a newly created nonprofit, inBloom Inc, which will run it."

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"including but not limited to advertising purposes that benefit the cloud computing service provider,"

And THAT boys and girls, is the real reason.

The advertsing space within schools are the propery of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and no-one else is going to play there except us. So there.

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Sloppy drafting. Microsoft's lobbyists should have done much better.

"Section 1. Notwithstanding any general or special law to the contrary any person who provides a cloud computing service to an educational institution operating within the State shall process data of a student enrolled in kindergarten through twelfth grade for the sole purpose of providing the cloud computing service to the educational institution and shall not process such data for any commercial purpose, including but not limited to advertising purposes that benefit the cloud computing service provider."

No mention of personally identifiable data so it has to mean all data. Every mouse click and every site visit generates data of some sort.

A cloud service is any service not on your own network

What about all those cloud services that may unwittingly take students' data for commercial purposes. Presumably Massachusetts school authorities will either have to ask them all to blacklist their IP blocks or firewall half the internet. Hit counts are used to justify advertising revenue so if a student registers a hit their data is used for commercial purposes.

Facebook

Any page with a Facebook 'Like' button

Amazon ('People who bought that book also bought these books')

Most search engines

Any map application

Any news site

Yellow pages / directory sites

They'll need to remove all those toolbars, especially the Bing Bar from everyone's computers. And ban Internet Explorer 10 as its 'Do Not Track' preference will be ignored by most of the internet.

Massachusetts students will leave school thinking DuckDuckGo and Wikipedia are THE places to do their research.

Of course if the wording is changed to include the word 'Personal' it might give Google too much wiggle room to use anonymized data...

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Joke

April 1st gets earlier every year...

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Pint

I agree with MS on this..

...even though their protests are probably made with a huge shit eating grin.

<beer for the weekend>

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It should be mandatory that schools learn a variety of computing platforms and software not just the Microsoft one that way we won't be bringing up a bunch of kits who only know how to use one set of software and don't have the skills to pick up using new software when they enter the work place.

When i was at school we had both Acorn RISC OS machines and Windows PCs and we were expected to be able to use them both, and on top of that i had a Amiga as a home machine, And i think its because of the use of multiple platforms and software i find it easy to pickup new software quickly today

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Anonymous Coward

Nah, you'll now get some sandal wearing bearded hippie complain about your carbon footprint in energy..

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kindergartens have to learn Windows8 so that when they leave college in 16 years time they will have the skills for the workplace.

Of course if we taught them MVS, CICS and OS360 that would actually be true

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Anonymous Coward

Totally agree, my kids use a variety of systems, my 5 year old can already operate iOS, Android, Linux & Mac easily, and I am pretty sure he uses windows at school...

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Boffin

ALU IXDANB RESUME

I would probably swap OS360 for OS390 a.k.a. z/OS as most financial institutions using mainframes are running that these days. But yeah, I remember graduating as someone who knew more than average because I actually dabbled around with Linux, AIX and HP/UX.... only to find myself confronted by a 3270 terminal 10 months after graduating.

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Linux

Good Old MS

You always know you are dealing with a shitty underhanded corporation that will use just about every dirty trick in the book.

This does have echoes of the famous Scopes Monkey Trial ( made in to play/movie called inherit the wind) where backward bible bashers tried to make it a criminal offence to teach evolution in schools and prosecuted a teacher for doing so.

"He that troubleth his own house shall inherit the wind"

Careful Microsoft this could backfire and be known as The Microsoft Monkey Boy Trial

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JDX
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Re: Good Old MS

Don't forget good old Google and Apple who use exactly the same tricks and worse when they can get away with it.

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Headmaster

Just skimmed the article

but Google Apps for education does not data mine or show adverts?

http://www.google.co.uk/apps/intl/en/edu/privacy.html

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Re: Just skimmed the article

Indeed, it looks as though Google are compliant.

Headline is clickbait made up by someone who didn't do their research.

I guess el reg would be banned then...

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Re: Just skimmed the article

Headline is click-bait, but Google are unlikely to be compliant. If you read that link more carefully, they state that they do not serve adverts in Google Apps for Education, but they don't say anything about not collecting data nor about not merging that data with other services outside of Google Apps for Education. You can always monetize the data later. Having children's data from their earliest days onwards - that's commercially valuable and in Google's best financial interests.

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Don't expect any opposition to this bill.

https://www.computerworld.com/s/article/107365/CIO_who_backed_Open_Document_in_Mass._resigns?taxonomyId=070

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Re: Don't expect any opposition to this bill.

https://www.computerworld.com/s/article/107365/CIO_who_backed_Open_Document_in_Mass._resigns?taxonomyId=070

Ah, I stand corrected, it isn't the Commonwealth of Massachusetts who's running the show, it's Microsoft, and they have Massachusetts in their back pocket.

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Anonymous Coward

Re: Don't expect any opposition to this bill.

Have you checked the date on that computerworld posting ?

December 27, 2005 12:00 PM ET

It's ancient history and not current affairs, however it does show that MS was probably sending the dirty tricks department after Peter Quinn to discredit him.

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