Privacy and Security

Confidential information and how Google handles it

Google operates one of the most robust networks of distributed datacenters in the world. The protection of the intellectual property on these servers is critically important to us -- in fact, employees at Google, Inc. rely upon the same Apps production environment used by our education customers. 

Google Apps brings you the lates technologies and some of the best practices in the industry for network application security and user privacy, as summarized below:

Administrative Access to Google Apps Accounts

    • It's your content, not ours. Your Apps content belongs to your school, or individual users at your school. Not Google.
    • We don't look at your content. Google employees will only access content that you store on Apps when an administrator from your domain grants Google employees explicit permission to do so for troubleshooting.
    • We don't share your content. Google does not share personal information with advertisers or other 3rd parties without your consent.
    • We sometimes scan content. And for very good reasons, like spam filtering, anti-virus protection, or malware detection. Our systems scan content to make Apps work better for users, enabling unique functionality like powerful search in Gmail and Google Docs. This is completely automated and involves no humans.
    • Note that there are a few common-sense exceptions to the points above, like valid legal processes and maintaining the safety and security of our systems. For more information, see our detailed Privacy PolicyPrivacy Principles, and Terms of Service.
    The section below is from section 6 of the Google Apps for Education Agreement
    • 6.1 Obligations. Each party (Google and the school district) will: (a) protect the other party’s Confidential Information with the same standard of care it uses to protect its own Confidential Information; and (b) not disclose the Confidential Information, except to affiliates, employees and agents who need to know it and who have agreed in writing to keep it confidential. Each party (and any affiliates, employees and agents to whom it has disclosed Confidential Information) may use Confidential Information only to exercise rights and fulfill obligations under this Agreement, while using reasonable care to protect it. Each party is responsible for any actions of its affiliates, employees and agents in violation of this Section.
    • 6.2 Exceptions. Confidential Information does not include information that: (a) the recipient of the Confidential Information already knew; (b) becomes public through no fault of the recipient; (c) was independently developed by the recipient; or (d) was rightfully given to the recipient by another party.
    • 6.3 Required Disclosure. Each party may disclose the other party’s Confidential Information when required by law but only after it, if legally permissible: (a) uses commercially reasonable efforts to notify the other party; and (b) gives the other party the chance to challenge the disclosure.

    Protecting your Network Login ID and password

    Data Center Security

    It is important for all users to protect their passwords.  Some tips for protecting your password include:

    • Do not give your password to anyone else, except in the case of students sharing their password with their parents or legal guardians (your teachers have access to this information already).
    • Do not write your password down.  Memorize it.
    • If you change your password make it into something that is easy for you to remember, but not easy for others to guess.
    • Do not use your login name as your password
    • A good idea is to use a jumble of letters and numbers that mean something to you.  For example, if your grandparents love going to Phoenix every winter, how about gmagpaluvsun or something like that (you get the idea).
    • If you feel like your password has been compromised, let your teacher (or for staff, contact ITS) know as soon as possible and then change your password.

    • Awareness of terms of use and privacy information for users accessing Share (Google) Apps through student and staff portals

    The school district will make all reasonable efforts to ensure that all Google Apps users (staff and students) are made aware of the district's acceptable use guidelines.  Students who will have Google Apps accounts created must not only agree to the "Google Apps terms of service" (presented to them the first time they log in, see below), but they, along with their parent or legal guardian, should also initial and sign the District's Acceptable Use Policy.


    Staff and students should also be aware of who has access to their accounts and information stored on Google. This includes notification of what the domain administrators can do with their account:

    Google's privacy policy
     is quite clear about who owns the data, and who has access to the data. These are outlined in the FAQ section below, but basically, Google only accesses aggregate information to improve service.  In addition, Google follows the Safe Harbour principles and they are registered with the U.S. Department of Commerce's Safe Harbour Program