Yale Reconsiders Using Google Apps & Mail

Yale University was set to switch over its campus from using Horde Webmail to Gmail and its complement of services included in the Google Apps for Education package, but officials in the Information Technology Services division have announced they’re putting that move on hold. The gradual transition to Gmail would have been ongoing through the year and completed by next spring.

According to the Yale Daily News, the original decision to switch over to Gmail was met with concerns and reservations from the faculty and administration. Several felt the decision had been made too hastily and without proper University approval.

Deputy Provost for Science and Technology Steven Girvin said.“There were enough concerns expressed by faculty that we felt more consultation and input from the community was necessary,”

Computer science professor Michael Fischer said the concerns included ideological issues, technological risks and downsides, security issues, and issues surrounding the way Google handles the data in its cloud. Each piece of information gets stored in three randomly chosen data centers around the world, and Google was unwilling to provide a list of the countries Yale’s data might go to — only a list of 15 countries where the data was guaranteed not to be sent. Said Fischer of the data issue: “Yale is an international, multicultural community of scholars. Students deserve to have rights to their information while on campus.”

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