A report supported by the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security warned government agencies not to use Microsoft Office Online or mobile applications because of potential security and privacy risks.
A Privacy Company report commissioned by the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security found that Office Online and Office mobile applications should be banned from government work. The report found that these applications did not comply with a series of privacy measures Microsoft had previously agreed with the Dutch government.
In particular, the report of 2018 (also written by Privacy Company) found that Office 365 ProPlus collected personal information of about 300,000 employees through its telemetry function and then stored it in the United States. In May this year, Microsoft and the Dutch government agreed to sign a new privacy clause. This information includes e-mail addresses and translation requests.
Although other Windows and Office applications already comply with those rules and no longer collect user information, Privacy Company says that mobile applications and Office Online are still collecting information about user activities, as are some of the features in Windows 10 Enterprise Edition.
Privacy Company said:
The report notes in particular that the Dutch government is still working with Microsoft to remove those features and recommends that government agencies avoid using Office Online and Office mobile applications. In addition, it is recommended that the Government Office
Microsoft did not respond to the report and its recommendations.
The report is part of a bigger dispute launched by Microsoft in the European Union after the General regulations on data Protection (GDPR) was introduced. The EU's head of data protection has previously investigated the Redmond giant in the United States, investigating how its telemetry tools, which help track errors and performance, collect user data in Europe and then store it on American servers.
Microsoft insists it will work with the EU's customers and governments to ensure that all products are in compliance with the regulations.