NOYB files two GDPR complaints against Microsoft 365 Education

04/06/2024 | NOYB

Privacy campaign group NOYB has filed two complaints with the Austrian data protection authority (DPA) against Microsoft and its 365 Education cloud service. The first complaint alleges that Microsoft has breached the information obligation and is shifting responsibility for EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) compliance onto schools despite them having no control over the way the software processes information. NOYB claims Microsoft violated GDPR Articles 5(1)(a) and 12 to 15. 

The situation places decision-making power and profits squarely in Microsoft's hands, leaving schools in a difficult position. Microsoft is accused of offloading legal responsibilities under the GDPR onto the schools that use its services, leading to unanswered access requests and a complex web of privacy policies, documents, terms, and contracts for the schools to navigate.

In a statement, Maartje de Graaf, a data protection lawyer at noyb said, "Under the current system that Microsoft is imposing on schools, your school would have to audit Microsoft or give them instructions on how to process pupils' data. Everyone knows that such contractual arrangements are out of touch with reality. This is nothing more but an attempt to shift the responsibility for children's' data as far away from Microsoft as possible."

The second complaint addresses Microsoft's unlawful processing of personal data by cookies, an infringement of Articles 6(1) and 5(1)(a) of the GDPR.  

Additional reporting in TechCrunch.

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