Italian universities started to sell students' privacy to big corps through email accounts

xdrudis at xdrudis at
Sat Aug 22 14:04:55 UTC 2015

On Sat, Aug 22, 2015 at 03:20:58PM +0200, Andrea Di Dato wrote:
> Those two factors, in the short period, bring an IT manager to realize that he cannot anymore supervise to time consuming tasks like administration of servers needed to operate common site services (web, e-mail, shared archives, etc.) because anyone can anymore nowadays assure to him the needed financial resources to maintain such services year by year and moreover very probably he/she is alone to administer those services because all his/her colleagues retired, haven't been replaced (due to the stop of the turnover).
> The solution: externalisation!
> The life motif of the PA in Italy today :-(

So, since they don't have money to pay for the service 
they pay with meat (the students).  

The solution is not offering those services. University worked a
long time without email.  If they don't have the resources to offer it
nowadays, they could go back to offer learning resources, not
networking resources.

If they can't keep an email server any more they can send email to
whatever address the student provides, allowing the option of not
having an email address, and concentrate in off-line teaching.

If they want to offer an email account and can keep their email server
fine. But if they pretend to offer an email account and end up forcing
users to subscribe external services, they are imposing an
obligation to users in exchange for a service that the users could get
for free if they wanted, so they're doing a net disservice. How
negative must be the cost of offering gmail to compensate ?

Politicians will never stop to cut funding while people keep
pretending they're doing the same with less funding while in fact
simply lying with straight faces. If one cuts funds one can expect
fewer/worse services offered. As long as the decision comes from a
democratically elected government one can only do politics about it.
Society can choose to have more services for more taxes or less for
less (but should choose the ensure basic rights).  But pretending to
offer the same at half the cost is most often dishonest. Once in a
blue moon you find a clever administrator who achieves cost reductions
offering the same as before, but most often they simply overstate the
services and understate the costs.

The background problem is most people think having a google, MS,
twitter or facebook account is "normal" so one can impose it on anyone
because most people already have it anyway, and too few people care.
Nobody cares what is moral or legal, just what looks like "common
sense". Part of the problem is people don't realise the costs of 
the service they use and how they pay with their rights. Some may be
aware and choose to give something (rights/privacy/etc.) away for the service.
Most don't understand what they're using is costly, because computers
are black magic, and magic is gratis, right ? 


I hope this does not sound against Andrea.  Thanks for explaining,
Andrea. It's obvious that explaining how something works does not mean
you like how it works.

Xavier Drudis Ferran
xdrudis at

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