The Mystery of the Unsharable Calendar

I was working with my good buddy Rotimi on a Google Calendar issue tonight. His school (like mine) uses a Google Calendar for campus events with an iframe used to display events on the school website’s calendar page.

Unfortunately, something changed so that events only showed “busy” with  no descriptions or details when viewed by anyone who wasn’t logged in to a school-managed Google account. Rotimi logged into the calendar owner’s account but he was not able to change the sharing settings to show all event details to the public as that option was greyed out and unavailable:

I thought that there may have been a change in the Google Admin Control Panel for the account’s OU, but that turned out not to be the case. Rotimi went back to the user account that owned the calendar and looked more closely at the list of people in the “Share with specific people” section. Interestingly, two of those who were able to make changes and manage sharing were domain admins. When Rotimi accessed the sharing page from his Google Administrator account (rather than the calendar owner’s account) he was able to access the “See all event details” option in the calendar sharing settings. As soon as he saved this setting, all event details were once again showing on the website even if the viewer was not logged into a school Google account.

We think that one of the domain admins may have inadvertently  changed the sharing settings for this calendar to hide event details from viewers who are not logged into a school account. Apparently, if a domain administrator changes the sharing settings of an individual user’s calendar, it overrides the sharing settings available to the calendar’s owner so that he/she can no longer share it more openly than what the admin user set. In other words, it looks as though if an admin changes a user’s calendar sharing setting, the user can make the sharing more restrictive, but not more open than the setting made by the admin.