Microsoft must leave schools, confirms the Ministry of National Education

In a question addressed during the summer to the Ministry of National Education, the deputy Philippe Latombe had warned about the free Office 365 for students and teachers, noting that this practice could be akin to a form of “dumping and unfair competition” encouraging long-term use, in the absence of a call for tenders.

In its response to the MP, published this week, the Ministry of National Education indicated that it had requested the cessation of “any deployment or extension of this solution as well as that of Google, which would be contrary to the GDPR. »

Cloud at the center, SecNumCloud above all

If the free use of Microsoft Office 365 and Google Workspace services in schools is not recommended by the ministry, it is also in contradiction with the “Cloud at the center” doctrine unveiled in May 2021.

In a circular sent to the attention of the secretaries general of the ministries in September 2021, the digital department for the administrations recalled that the use of Office 365 solutions was indeed not in accordance with the “Cloud at the center” doctrine, and that administrations should rather opt for a service stamped SecNumCloud.

The Microsotf Office 365 solution offers an office suite entirely hosted on Microsoft’s cloud, Azure, and therefore potentially subject to the American Cloud Act.

Local authorities have a hand

As recalled by the Ministry of National Education, the local authorities to which schools are attached are required to ensure “the acquisition and maintenance of infrastructure and equipment, including computer hardware and software provided for their commissioning “.

As such, local authorities can “provide digital work environment (ENT) solutions to establishments that offer communication and collaboration functionalities respecting the principles of the GDPR and digital sovereignty, thus making it possible to dispense with collaborative offers. Americans not immune to extra-territorial law,” concludes the ministry.

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