[LINK] Education ICT Clouds
brd at iimetro.com.au
Tue Mar 22 16:49:45 EST 2011
On 22/03/2011 3:59 PM, Roger Clarke wrote:
> At 4:37 +0000 22/3/11, stephen at melbpc.org.au wrote:
> Unis prepare for next Cloud wave
>> Following a wave of migration to Cloud-based email systems for students
>> and staff, Australian universities are preparing for the next migration
>> trend, outsourcing instances of the popular Blackboard student resources
>> portal to the vendorís own servers.
> Do the providers of cloud services to universities gain access to the
> data in the documents, and to the messages that flow to and from
> staff-members and students?
> e.g. does the student who discusses health or emotional or family
> problems with a staff-member provide their data to Google or MS?
> Do the social networking arms of the conglomerate service-providers
> get to add the data arising from these documents and communications
> into the pool of data from which 'friends' are inferred?
> The following study showed that many outsourced service providers
> grant themselves very substantial, and in some cases essentially
> unfettered, access to the personal data that they carry and store:
> So ed institutions may be responsible for a massive gift of personal
> data to international corporations.
> If so, they are in breach of at least the reasonable expectations of
> staff, students, and everyone that wants to communicate with them,
> but quite probably also in breach of the law.
> The APF raised this with Universities Australia:
> UA did everything they possibly could to avoid consultation:
> I'd be delighted if someone can point me to the Terms under which any
> of these outsourcing deals work.
> Google has about 100 documents that constitute Terms for various
> services and categories of customer, and there's a good chance that
> each individual University uses a customised set in any case. (At
> least, that's how people used to do business in olden times).
> If the situation is as dire as I fear it is, I'll be pleased to enter
> the witness box and provide evidence in support of the culpability of
> the institutions, and of the named individuals who derogated their
Cloud computing is a solution. Cloud may or may not be a solution to
Australian Unis' problems - it's up to them to work it out (and I wonder
what sort of job they have done in investigating their real problems)
Every solution creates new problems.
Stephen and Roger have identified a number of such consequential
problems - I bet the Unis haven't done a very good job identifying
analyzing these consequential problems.
The cloud vendors won't have helped very much in this space - most cloud
vendors do not understand the problem space - and it's not in their
interest to highlight the downside of their solution.
email: brd at iimetro.com.au
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