Microsoft makes the right moves to tighten privacy policy

Microsoft makes the right moves to tighten privacy policy
With so many concerns about the use of customer data, be it through what is collected by a carrier and sold, or aggregated through use of services the way Google does across its uniform policy, it is quite refreshing to see Microsoft respond to these concerns with some fairly notable action.

Congressman Edward Markey (D-Mass), co-chair of the Congressional Bipartisan Privacy Caucus sent a letter to Microsoft CEO Steven Ballmer expressing concerns about Microsoft’s recently implemented privacy policy. By recent, we mean going into effect this past Friday. Rep. Markey cited concerns in the Microsoft Services Agreement verbiage that gave the appearance that Microsoft would leverage user data gathered within services such as email, instant messaging and search to deliver targeted advertising despite previous statements by Microsoft that the company would not adopt such a practice.

These concerns were raised by the Congressman after an article was published in the New York Times on October 19th which cited the new policy going into effect with Microsoft, and contrasted the harsh reaction many had to Google’s similar privacy policy.

Obviously looking to avoid any backlash with two major media events planned in the coming days, Microsoft released a statement to ensure that its intentions were clear. It also responded to Rep. Markey’s admonition to consider an opt-in standard regarding the collection of data.



To that end, Microsoft also took the step to make the “do not track” option in Internet Explorer the default setting in the browser, even though it was not part of the Services Agreement. Score one for Microsoft.

sources: New York Times, Microsoft Services Agreement via wpcentral

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