Citing concerns, Yale delays switch to Gmail

The changeover to Google as Yale’s eMail provider has been put on hold as campus officials examine the implications of such a move, reports the Yale Daily News. The school’s Information Technology Services department has decided to postpone its move from the Horde Webmail service to Google Apps for Education, a suite of communication and collaboration tools for universities, pending a campus-wide review process to seek input from faculty and students. “There were enough concerns expressed by faculty that we felt more consultation and input from the community was necessary,” Deputy Provost for Science and Technology Steven Girvin said. Google stores every piece of data in three centers randomly chosen from the many it operates worldwide in order to guard the company’s ability to recover lost information—but that also makes the data subject to the vagaries of foreign laws and governments, Fischer said. And even if all data were kept on American soil, Google’s size and visibility as a company makes it more susceptible to attack, Fischer said. Under the proposed switch, Yale might lose control over its data or could seem to endorse Google corporate policy and the large carbon footprint left by the company’s massive data centers. In addition, Fischer said, Google has a “one size fits all” customer service policy for its Google Apps clients, and the creation of a Google “monoculture” among eMail users could cause severe problems when the company’s servers experience downtime or crashes…

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