Microsoft pledges to protect student data from improper uses like advertising
Microsoft has sworn to protect student data from advertising. As bids for school technology becomes more competitive, companies may consider serving ads to students to make more money. It becomes immediately obvious that students shouldn’t be subjected to ads while trying to complete school work. The idea of no ads at school is a popular notion, held by many involved in education.
Microsoft has a good reputation for selling products and not ads. Most of the success of Microsoft comes from selling Office, Windows, and Enterprise solutions. None of these products have ever been ad-supported. Windows 8 had a slight hint of ads when Smart Search returned web search results with Bing. Users were not happy about this, but it was possible to prevent the search from returning web results thus kept the ads out.
It is unthinkable that a company would pay for Microsoft technology such as Office 365 and still see ads. Sending and receiving work email, using enterprise social features, and using OneDrive for business are all ad-free experiences. This is because they are not free. Using Outlook.com serves ads to its users because it is a free service, but the ads are generated from information provided when setting up an account, not from email content.
Microsoft is applying their business approach when it comes to education. Schools pay for an email, document, and cloud storage solution and should expect professional standards. This means no ads. In addition to no ads, it means that Microsoft will respect the data being processed and stored on their servers. Data from students will be used by authorized personnel to assess a student’s progress and areas of focus. No data will be used to generate ads targeted at students.Further reading: Education, Microsoft, Students