Yale postpones move to Google Apps over cloud fears

Prestigious US university Yale has postponed a plan to adopt web giant Google’s online email service after faculty and students expressed technology and legal concerns, according to the university’s daily news site.

Quoting the university’s computer science professor Michael Fischer, the Yale Daily News claims that some parties were concerned that Google’s policy of replicating data across its global data centre operations could cause legal difficulties for the university.

Fischer also reportedly believes that Google’s high profile makes it a more appealing target for hackers. Other concerns include Google’s carbon footprint and the risk of over reliance on a single supplier.

The university’s deputy provost Charles Long confirmed that legal concerns had been expressed concern Google Apps. “There was some concern about [Google’s] capacity to maintain confidentiality with respect to regulations,” he said.

The move to Google Apps, which was originally destined to begin this year, has been postponed pending a formal review.

Security has consistently been found to be the principal barrier to adoption of cloud computing. However, the complexity and confusion surrounding the issue was illustrated by a 2009 study by standards body the Open Group, which found that security was seen by some organisations as a reason to adopt cloud computing, as they did not trust in the security of their in-house systems.

Pete Swabey

Pete Swabey

Pete was Editor of Information Age and head of technology research for Vitesse Media plc from 2005 to 2013, before moving on to be Senior Editor and then Editorial Director at The Economist Intelligence...

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