MICROSOFT IS ON A MISSION to simplify its licence agreements. The newly open and groovy company has committed to updating the Microsoft Services Agreement and Microsoft Privacy Agreement from the beginning of August to make them easier to understand.
It's not a moment too soon, as the company increases its footprint in even more aspects of our personal data.
Cortana is learning about your every whim, Skype and Outlook store your data in the cloud along with OneDrive documents, and it's going to be better all round if customers know what they're getting themselves into without having to pass a bar exam.
Which is all rather familiar as Microsoft did exactly the same this time last year.
The idea is to be seen as more transparent and trustworthy, as Microsoft's Horacio Gutierrez, deputy general counsel and corporate vice president for legal and corporate affairs at Microsoft, explained. (In the simplified terminology, this title will probably change to 'law talkin' guy'.)
"The Microsoft Services Agreement will now expand to cover most of Microsoft’s consumer services, including Bing, Cortana, Microsoft account, OneDrive, Outlook.com, Skype and Xbox Live," he said.
"The Privacy Statement is also being refreshed and restructured, reducing redundancies and providing a single, straightforward resource for understanding Microsoft’s commitments for protecting individual privacy with these services, and will also cover new technologies like the forthcoming Windows 10."
Law talkin' guy is keen to point out that this isn't a new policy but rather a clearer version of the existing one.
Privacy is emphasised as paramount. "We don’t use customer communications to serve targeted ads to customers and we are committed to putting customers in control of their information," he said.
The news comes a year after The INQUIRER exposed a clause in Microsoft's Windows Insider programme stating: "If you open a file, we may collect information about the file, the application used to open the file, and how long it takes any use [of] it for purposes such as improving performance, or [if you] enter text, we may collect typed characters and use them for purposes such as improving autocomplete and spellcheck features."
Which basically means: 'If we wanted to, we could install a keylogger,' although the company was quick to deny that it had or would. µ
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