Microsoft tightens rules surrounding customer privacy and personal data collection


Microsoft, the company that has been plagued by security concerns with Internet Explorer in the past, has announced that it would change its new disclosure policy to inform customers explicitly that it will not use personal information obtained from product and service usage. This will protect customers from data being passed onto third-party companies for marketing and advertising.

This action follows a letter sent from Edward Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat and co-chairman of the Congressional Bipartisan Privacy Caucus, to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer expressing concern about the policy, which went into effect last Friday. Markey pointed out that Microsoft's new services agreement gave the company leeway to collect and use personal information obtained from consumers of both Hotmail and its recently launched Outlook.com email services.

Microsoft has issued a statement on the matter:

"One thing we don’t do is use the content of our customers’ private communications and documents to target advertising. We could have been clearer about this when we rolled out our updated Services Agreement. We appreciate the feedback we’ve received, and as a result, we will update the agreement as soon as possible to make that point absolutely clear."

According to the New York Times report, the policy provided Microsoft identical rights as Google, which actively scans contents of emails sent through Gmail. We've previously covered Microsoft's humorous Gmail Man campaign, which pokes fun at the search giant's desire to creep through messages sent and received by users. As well as this, Verizon was in the spotlight last week by selling accumulated customer data to third-parties for marketing purposes.

Gmail Man

The Gmail Man

Speaking of Internet Explorer, Microsoft has stated that a "do not track" option will be set as default to true, which will protect users from having web browsing information collected by Microsoft. It's good to see the company react to such concerns, as privacy is particularly important to users, especially with consumers being ever more connected to the Internet.

Source: NY Times; Microsoft



There are 19 comments. Sign in to comment

zacman says:

Ehm, MS will still scan private emails, they will just not use the result for advertisements.

"For example, we may occasionally use automated means to isolate information from email, chats, or photos in order to help detect and protect against spam and malware, or to improve the services with new features that makes them easier to use. When processing your content, Microsoft takes steps to help preserve your privacy."

That's not a bad thing.

Tomasz S. says:

Well that basicly is just what is commonly referred to as an anti-spam filter and telemetry.

zacman says:

The bad thing is that their new TOS says that they can use the data they gather from email over all MS services, so the data they get out of your emails doesn't just belong to handling the mails but has influence on all the other services (even if you don't use them).
And that is a violation against the EU Data Protection Direction.

mdscj4 says:

In terms of security, Daniel, you are correct. But we are talking about privacy.

Xaphoon148 says:

NSA are reading all your e-mail already... ;-)

chazt3n says:

Thank you Microsoft, as a developer privacy is everything to me, I am so relieved to see such a large corporation show such respect. Oh, and Fuck you apache for having a problem with it. Open source as google (not in the slightest anymore)

WinFan1 says:

I'm not a dev but I +1

hvakrg says:

Yeah, I guess it's time that people leard that even though companies supports open source and pretends to be a good guy that doesn't make it so. I really hope that the politician sent the same letter to Google, but I doubt it.

hvakrg says:

If I'm not mistaken Microsoft already proved their good intentions when they released Outlook.com That service does not deliver targeted emails for your personal emails. If I'm not mistaken it can do it for things it know is say a newsletter from Newegg though.

shadoweye14 says:

Ermm this should have been done way back why is MS bieng all "we listen to customer reviews" for?

Sound interesting.
Now, no articles on the new crapware announced? IPad vs surface, etc.

snakechia says:

It is much better than the so call big-G

sanien says:

Thanks MS! Fuck you Google for selling my info to the adcompanies! I get shit loads of ads... luckily I have ad blocker and spam filters... just don't like the idea.

Xamira says:

 I wanted to take a minute to thank wiseindividualspell@gmail.com for bring back my lost lover. I requested a 2nd Degree binding love spell and received the strengthen our relationship love spell as my free spell and within 2days Sanuel was back home with me and we are finally talking about marriage and kids! I cannot thank you enough for your spell casting services! I have already recommended you to two friends of my to you for help with their love lives!!!

stacey Bruno says:

 I never believed in love spells or magic until I met this spell caster once when i went to see my friend in Indian this year on a business summit. I meant a man who's name is Dr ATILA he is really powerful and could help cast spells to bring back one's gone, lost, misbehaving lover and magic money spell or spell for a good job or luck spell .I'm now happy & a living testimony cos the man i had wanted to marry left me 5 weeks before our wedding and my life was upside down cos our relationship has been on for 3years. I really loved him, but his mother was against us and he had no good paying job. So when i met this spell caster, i told him what happened and explained the situation of things to him. At first i was undecided,skeptical and doubtful, but i just gave it a try. And in 7 days when i returned to Canada, my boyfriend (now husband) called me by himself and came to me apologizing that everything had been settled with his mom and family and he got a new job interview so we should get married. I didn't believe it cos the spell caster only asked for my name and my boyfriends name and all i wanted him to do. Well we are happily married now and we are expecting our little kid, and my husband also got the new job and our lives became much better. His email is atilahealinghome@yahoo.com

David Nancy says:

Hello,everyone i am from USA i never ever believed in spell until i meet a man called Dr laco, who help me cast a spell that bring back my ex-lover who left me for two years before our marriage,His spells works beyond my imaginations and today i am happily married with two kids and me and my [ex-lover] now husband are very happy more than ever before,what more can i say rather than to say thank you Dr laco for been there for me,contact him today and your life will never ever remain the same his email is lacopowerfulspellcaster@yahoo.com