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Microsoft tightens service terms, emphasises privacy

Clarifies its responsibilities
Thu Jun 12 2014, 09:42
TechEd 2014 Microsoft logo

MICROSOFT HAS UPDATED its customer service agreements to make them easier to understand and more explicit about privacy.

The firm has advised users in a blog post. The message is heavy on ease of use and transparency, but privacy is a hot topic, and it is privacy that Microsoft highlights as its first change.

"We are now explicitly stating what we've said in past, that we don't use people's documents, photos or other personal files or what they say in email, chat, video calls or voice mail to target advertising to them," said Ryan Gavin, Microsoft GM of search, cloud and content.

Gavin added that each of Microsoft's products, including mail and storage apps, now have their own tailored privacy statements.

"We tailor our privacy statements for each product and organise content for consistency, so people can easily find it," he added. "This includes a new Windows Services Privacy Statement that covers Microsoft account, Outlook.com and Onedrive."

The changes will come into effect at the end of July, said Gavin, and Microsoft will send its customers emails before then. A FAQ is also available.

The firm also highlighted transparency, improved its messaging around parental controls and made it easier for spammers to understand that what they are doing is wrong.

This has been a customer data facing week for Microsoft and earlier it challenged a judge's ruling on a warrant for cloud information hosted in Ireland.

A Microsoft spokesperson told The INQUIRER, "We're continuing to challenge this search warrant in the courts as promised on behalf of our customers who expect and deserve basic privacy rights. The US government can't execute a search warrant in other countries, and we don't believe it has the authority to ask Microsoft to do what it can't." µ

 

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