Microsoft under GDPR microscope for Office 365 and OneDrive | Alphr

No big surprises here to anyone that has ever so much as glanced at Microsoft’s business model and historical abuse of its customers, but definitely a matter of concern for organizations (like Athabasca University) that rent their services from Microsoft, especially given the fact that hosting for O365 is in Trumpland. In brief, Microsoft has been secretly collecting user data from many apps (including the Office suite) without telling its users, thus failing Privacy 101.

We should not be using this service, and nor should anyone outside the US who cares about confidentiality or privacy. Those in the US who deal with sensitive data should also avoid it, but they’ve got bigger privacy problems to worry about than this.

Originally posted at:

I am a professional learner, employed as a Full Professor and Associate Dean, Learning & Assessment, at Athabasca University, where I research lots of things broadly in the area of learning and technology, and I teach mainly in the School of Computing & Information Systems. I am a proud Canadian, though I was born in the UK. I am married, with two grown-up children, and three growing-up grandchildren. We all live in beautiful Vancouver.

2 Comments on Microsoft under GDPR microscope for Office 365 and OneDrive | Alphr

  1. Louise Nicoll says:

    Hi Jon

    Why is hosting for Athabasca University’s Office 365 in Trumpland?. Office 365 has Canadian servers.

    1. Jon Dron says:

      Your guess is as good as mine, Louise. It was presented to us as a fait accomplis (mainly on grounds of cost which, at the time, was cheaper than Canadian hosting) and, though I and a few others protested vehemently, nothing was ever done to fix it. The then-CIO took the view that no data were safe so there was no point in bothering to try, as long as we complied with Albertan law (which then, as now, allowed US hosting, albeit with some fairly useless safeguards).

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