Denmark is effectively banning Chromebooks and Google Workspace in schools because of data transfer risks after the Helsingør municipality officials were ordered to execute a risk assessment concerning Google’s processing of personal data.
The action comes after heavy criticism from Denmark’s Helsingør municipality against Google’s use of Workspace and Chromebooks for school aims.
Datatilsynet Denmark’s data protection department disclosed that data processing involving students with Google’s cloud Workspace software suite doesn’t meet the needs of the EU’s GDPR data privacy regulations. The Workspace software suite includes Google Docs, Gmail, Google Drive, and Calendar.
The Helsingør Municipality research suggests that users’ personal data has been allegedly transferred to 3rd countries without the needed level of protection.
The officials also discovered that Google’s terms and conditions or data processor agreement seemingly permit data to be sent to other countries to provide support, even when the data is stored in one of its EU data centers of Google.
Google Workspace and Chromebook laptops are used in schools in Denmark, but Datatilsynet concentrated specifically on Helsing after the municipality disclosed a “breach of personal data security” back in 2020.
This ban starts immediately; however, Helsingør has until 3rd August 2022 to remove user data.
The ruling applies only to schools in Helsing
This recent ruling only applies to schools in Helsing for now. Meanwhile, the data protection agency has advised other Denmark cities to follow suit.
In reaction, Google Spokesperson told TechCrunch, “We know that students and schools expect the technology they use to be legally compliant, responsible, and safe. That’s why for years, Google has invested in privacy best practices and diligent risk assessments and made our documentation widely available so anyone can see how we help organizations comply with the GDPR.”
The spokesperson added, “Schools own their data. We only process their data by our contracts with them. In Workspace for Education, students’ data is never used for advertising or other commercial purposes. Independent organizations have audited our services, and we keep our practices under constant review to maintain the highest possible safety and compliance standards.”
Google is rolling out a huge update to the Chrome OS
In the meantime, Google has introduced a huge update to its Chrome OS that comes with several new features for Chromebooks.
Some features were launched at the 2022 Consumer Electronics Show (CES). Others were launched recently at Google’s developers’ conference, termed Google I/O 2022.
Now, the search engine company has finally begun to roll out some features it launched at the event to the qualified or eligible devices.