Outlook app blocked by EU parliament over ‘serious security issues’

The Microsoft Outlook app has been banned from use in the EU Parliament, according to emails from the parliament’s own IT department, seen by PC World.

The iOS and Android app has been out for just over a week, and is a modified version of an email application made by Acompli – which Microsoft bought in December.

However, the European parliament’s IT department is concerned by the privacy credentials of the new app, warning its members to uninstall the app and change their password. “Please do not install this application, and in case you have already done so for your EP corporate mail, please uninstall it immediately and change your password,” the email is reported as saying.

Tom’s Hardware reports that the European parliament isn’t the first institution to place a ban on the new Outlook app, with two universities – The University of Wisconsin and Dutch institution Delft University – already having blocked it. The former of these even took the step of advising 170 people who had used it to change their passwords.

So why have all the institutions taken the unusual step of blocking the Outlook app? SC Magazine claims it’s down to concerns over privacy and security. As email is transferred by the app, Outlook temporarily stores information – including passwords details –  in a third party cloud service. It is entirely transparent about this, including detailed information in the app’s privacy policy.

According to PC World, a Microsoft spokesman said that “the app’s security and privacy capabilities, as well as the controls available to IT administrators, meet the company’s thresholds.” He added that customers with concerns can follow advice on Controlling Device Access on Microsoft TechNet to block the app, and continue using the Outlook Web Access for iOS and Android devices.

Author , ESET

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