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Sweden bans Google Apps for government employees over privacy concerns

Sweden cautious on Google after PRISM affair.

NSA PRISM data mining googleEnlarge
A Google user online in a cybercafe in Brasilia on April 09, 2008. Leaked documents have revealed that the US National Security Agency has been tapping directly into the servers of nine US Internet companies, including Google, through a top-secret government program called PRISM. (EVARISTO SA/AFP/Getty Images)

Sweden's data privacy watchdog has banned the use of Google applications, including Gmail, for government workers in the city of Salem due to "inadequacies" in the company's privacy standards, according to Computer World.

The statement from Sweden's Datainspektionen is available (in Swedish) here. According to the Silicon Angle, the Swedish objections are as follows: 

"Firstly, the Datainspektionen notes that Google is particularly vague over how the data might be mined and processed, and it also cites a lack of uncertainty over which subcontractors might be involved in this process. It also said that Google was vague as to whether or not any data collected would be deleted at the end of the contract."

Simon Davies of the Privacy Surgeon blog called it a " landmark ruling," but Computer World said this was the second time the Swedish Data Inspection Board has limited Google use for government employees. 

In an email to ComputerWorld, Google responded: "We believe that Google Apps complies with Swedish law and we'll continue to work with all involved parties."

It was recently revealedthat Google cooperated with a secret US requests for user data as part of a government program code-named PRISM, but the extent which the company shared information is not yet clear. 

It did not appear that the Swedish ruling was directly related to the PRISM controversy, but it could be the start of backlash among Google users in Europe, according to Silicon Angle, noting that European data regulators are already investigating the company. 

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/news/regions/europe/130617/prism-fallout-sweden-bans-google-apps-over-privacy-concerns