(This post is more of an FYI to an issue I've had to deal with.)

Some schools have been unable to access Google Apps for Education due to misinterpretations of CIPA and/or the Legal Terms of Use on the Google Pages.

In regards to CIPA and filtering, when using Google Apps there is an addition to the URL that is specific to your account/school. Lengthening the filter site to contain your URL effectively opens up your APPs and closes all others. Although I disagree with the interpretation that the Apps need to be blocked, this at least gives an effective response for filtering issues.

The other and more major sticking point is the Legal Terms of Use you see at the bottom of the pages. I will post the responses I've received directly from Google in relation to this matter. In effect it's called Google Apps for Education and K-12 because it is their purpose for K-12 to be able to access the tools.

:-)
Sean Martinson
sean@seanmartinson.org




(Original question, does user agreement limit usage for students under the legal age of consent?) – make sure to read the next email though…..

Hello Sean,

Thanks for writing in. As long as you obtain documented parental consent your students will be able to use the service. We do not have a formal process with regards to how this consent should be obtained but I recommend searching the Help Forums for how other institutions have proceeded.

Help forum: http://www.google.com/support/forum/p/Google+Apps?hl=en

Sincerely,
Rhea




(My follow-up clarifying question: Thank you for the response. Is there a written clarification anywhere from Google that I can refer to and/or print for my administration?)

Hello Sean,



Absolutely. From a Google lawyer's response, here is the portion of the TOS that mentions this:

2.1: Customer will comply with the Acceptable Use Policy and the Agreement, and will use best efforts to ensure its End Users do the same.

2.4: Customer agrees to protect the privacy rights of its End Users under all applicable laws and regulations. Customer's Administrators may have the ability to access, monitor, use, or disclose data available to End Users within the End User Accounts. Customer will obtain and maintain consent from all End Users to Customer's access, monitoring, use or disclosure of this data, and to Google providing Customer with the ability to do so.Customer is responsible for obtaining any necessary authorizations from End Users to enable Google to provide the Services.

You can access the education Terms Of Service here: http://www.google.com/apps/intl/en/terms/education_terms.html

Sincerely,
Rhea

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