The Dutch Data Protection Authority has advised the educational umbrella organizations SURF and Sivon to stop using Google in education as of 1 August, unless Google changes its software. The education ministers expect this to happen on time.
According to Sivon, the AP advice specifically means that Google products may no longer be used “starting next school year”. The advice of the Dutch Data Protection Authority is based on a dpia or Data Protection Impact Assessment that was carried out last year into the use of Google services in government, and therefore also in education.
Ministers Van Engelshoven and Slob of Education also endorse the conclusions of the AP. In a letter to the House of Representatives, the ministers write that Google does not currently meet the requirements. “Due to the lack of clarity about the processing of personal data by Google, this processing cannot now take place lawfully,” they write.
Google has now informed the ministry and educational umbrella organizations that it plans to fix the software deficiencies before the start of the new school year. The ministers say ‘assuming’ that Google has completed this on time. In the meantime, SURF and Sivon, together with the Strategic Supplier Management Central Government, will continue to talk to the tech company. “They are also exploring the consequences if Google has not resolved the shortcomings in a timely manner,” the ministers write.
SURF and Sivon also seem to count on this, but also write: “Until then, we advise schools that are considering starting with Google Workspace to discontinue those plans until further notice, and to use schools that have a good alternative available. “