Norwegian public sector organisations will be banned from using Google Apps after the Norwegian data protection authorities ruled that the service could put citizens’ personal data at risk.
The data protection authority said Google Apps did not comply with Norwegian privacy laws because there was insufficient information about where data was being kept. The decision came from a test case in Narvik, where the local council had chosen to use Google Apps for their email.
Google’s enterprise unit is jubilant after snaring its biggest customer win to date, as BBVA, the Spanish bank, said it was going to migrate all its 110,000 employees onto Google Apps.
It’s about twice the size of Google’s next biggest customer wins with Rentokil and Ahold, and there is kudos in having a security-conscious bank place its trust the company’s cloud offering.
Google has fewer than 1m paying users for its Google Apps service, and it has clearly decided that the time has come to get more serious about turning this into a mainstream business tool.
That is the conclusion to be drawn from today’s move to bring Gmail and three other apps out of their official test phase (finally). The beta designation has been a running joke for much of the five-plus years of Gmail’s life: after all, the company claims tens of millions of consumer users for individual applications like Gmail and Google Docs, along with another 15m or so students and workers who use a free version of the full suite of Apps, so the test period is clearly long over.
Yet the number of paying subscribers still only numbers in the “hundreds of thousands”, according to a spokesperson.