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France wants to ban the use of Office and Google Workspace in schools


The government of France has proposed banning free versions of Microsoft Office 365 and Google Workspace from French schools. The reason? According to the Minister of Education they would not respect the GDPR, the European regulation on privacy.


The proposal follows a controversial letter sent to the government by MP Philippe Latombe , who accused the two American platforms of competing unfairly, penalizing European companies that cannot afford to make their software available to students completely free of charge. Not only that: Latombe also claimed that the two services communicated student data to American servers.

The French government recently recommended to schools – based on a previous decision from 2021 – to block the dissemination of Microsoft Office 365 and Google Workspace from French schools, as they are in violation of GDPR rules. In any case, the indication was largely disregarded: the schools are a responsibility of the local administrations, which should have ordered the managers not to use the services of the two American companies.

Moreover, the question also remains as to what alternatives to Office and Workspace could be for use in schools. The burden of answering this question also rests with the local administrations. We suspect that once again the Ministry’s recommendation will remain largely disregarded.



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