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Google Chrome and ChromeOS usage restricted in School

Google Chrome and ChromeOS usage restricted in Dutch schools due to data privacy concerns.

Google products have long been the subject of privacy concerns; the business often comes under fire for its data collecting and advertising methods across a number of nations. Due to concerns about data privacy, the Dutch government has now decided to limit the use of Google Chrome and ChromeOS in schools.

Google Chrome and ChromeOS usage restricted

Chrome and ChromeOS use in schools is restricted until at least August 2023 by the Dutch Ministry of Education. This action has been taken for a number of reasons, including worries about the amount of student data that is gathered and shared with advertising partners as well as a lack of openness on the location of the data’s real storage.

The authorities have co-signed a letter to the Dutch parliament outlining their concerns and suggesting that users of the aforementioned Google products take certain privacy and data security precautions. They also mentioned that they had discussions on data privacy and the need for greater openness regarding how user data is used by different large tech firms, like Google, Microsoft, and Zoom.

By the end of the year, Google has promised to provide updated versions of Chrome and ChromeOS that would be more in line with the standards of the Dutch educational sector. When these versions are released, the Dutch watchdog will examine them before giving them the all-clear.

Schools can continue to use current versions of Chrome and ChromeOS until August 2023 if they take the security and privacy precautions advised by the Dutch Ministry of Education.

Additional cases of data privacy issues

Google’s services have sparked several worries about data privacy and the murky data collecting methods used in their development throughout Europe.

In January 2022, the Austrian data protection authorities ruled that using Google Analytics was a violation of the GDPR since the data was collected about website visitors with their express agreement and moved outside of Europe.

A similar judgement was made in February 2022 by the French data protection agency (CNIL), which later issued a warning to Google that making little modifications would not make the decision go away.

In response to criticism of the unrestricted data transfers to foreign countries, the Danish DPA banned the use of Google Workspace as well as Chromebooks in Elsinore, one of country’s municipalities, this month.

Update July 23: A person of the Google Netherlands Communications department has notified BleepingComputer that the use of Chrome and Chrome OS in the country’s educational system is not prohibited and that institutions may continue to do so as long as they take certain steps to improve data security and protect student privacy.

Until Google changes its products as promised, in 2023, all Dutch educational institutions who intend to continue using Google services are required to put these extra data protection measures into place.

Note: To make it clear that Chrome OS and the Chrome browser are still permissible for educational purposes, the article’s content and title have been modified.

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Conclusion

Google Chrome and ChromeOS use restricted in Dutch schools due to data privacy concerns. Concerns include amount of student data shared with advertising partners and lack of openness on location of data’s storage. Google has promised to release updated products that meet Dutch standards by end of the year. Schools in the Netherlands can continue to use Chrome and Chrome OS until August 2023. This is if they take certain steps to improve data security and protect student privacy.

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