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Report: UC Davis ending Gmail pilot program

Concerns about privacy and security--apparently fueled by the Google Buzz launch disaster--have derailed a Gmail pilot program at Calif. university.

Officials at the University of California at Davis are deleting plans to consider using Google as a hosted e-mail provider for faculty.

UC Davis egg head
Faculty members at UC Davis won't be using Gmail to e-mail friends and family pictures of Davis' famous egg-head statues. Flickr user basykes

Information Week reported Wednesday that a Gmail pilot project was shelved due to concerns about security and information privacy, based in part on the missteps surrounding the launch of Google Buzz. The school's technology leaders were also concerned that the University of California system's policy on e-mail might forbid the use of third-party e-mail providers in general.

The decision comes a few weeks after Yale University killed a project to move to Google Apps for Education over concerns about cloud computing and security. It may not be on the Business Week list of top schools, but the Daily Beast recently ranked Davis 17th on a list of the nation's top technology schools.

Educational customers can get Google's hosted applications services for free, while Google also works to court business customers who pay $50 per user per year for access to the service. It's one of Google's most strategic and potentially profitable projects as it looks for another long-term revenue stream besides search.

Cloud computing has its fair share of skeptics, however. Google told Information Week that contracts between Google and its customers guarantee user privacy.

Updated 5/6: Google clarified that Davis will still be using Gmail for student e-mail.