GDPR’s first anniversary: A year of progress in privacy protection | Microsoft on the Issues

GDPR’s first anniversary: A year of progress in privacy protection | Microsoft on the Issues

May 25 marks one year since the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation officially went into effect. GDPR is a groundbreaking privacy framework that empowers residents of the EU to control their personal information so they can use digital technologies to engage freely and safely with each other and with the world.

 

A lot has happened on the global privacy front since GDPR went into force. Overall, companies that collect and process personal information for people living in the EU have adapted, putting new systems and processes in place to ensure that individuals understand what data is collected about them and can correct it if it is inaccurate and delete it or move it somewhere else if they choose…

 

Empowering people to manage their information through our privacy dashboard

 

The driving force behind the global movement to modernize privacy laws is the new understanding people have of their right to privacy as technology changes how people create and share information. Around the world, there is a growing expectation that everyone should benefit from digital technology without losing control of their personal information. This is why Microsoft was the first company to provide the data control rights at the heart of GDPR to our customers around the globe, not just in Europe…

 

Map and table showing use of Microsoft Privacy Dashboard by country

 

But the demand is truly global. Japan ranks No. 2 in using the privacy dashboard and Canada is fifth. Other countries in the top 10 included Brazil, China, Mexico and Australia.

 

Transforming culture and advancing privacy throughout the digital economy

 

To elevate the importance of privacy and embed it in their operational systems, companies like Microsoft that have fully embraced GDPR have undergone a profound cultural shift that begins at the executive level and reaches across the entire organization. Today, at Microsoft our responsibility to protect our customers’ privacy is the starting point for everything we do. Our commitment to greater user control and empowerment is stronger than ever…

 

Toward a framework for new privacy laws in the U.S. and interoperability around the globe

 

No matter how much work companies like Microsoft do to help organizations secure sensitive data and empower individuals to manage their own data, preserving a strong right to privacy will always fundamentally be a matter of law that falls to governments. Despite the high level of interest in exercising control over personal data from U.S. consumers, the United States has yet to join the EU and other nations around the world in passing national legislation that accounts for how people use technology in their lives today…

 

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Increasing transparency and customer control over data | Microsoft on the Issues

Increasing transparency and customer control over data | Microsoft on the Issues
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Microsoft on the Issues

Microsoft can afford to do this as a large tech company because their business model is not mostly dependent on the collection of data, unlike some other firms that happen to be based in Silicon Valley. I applaud them for this initiative.

 

Today we are announcing new steps to give customers increased transparency and control over their data that is used by Microsoft’s major products.

 

Privacy is one of the defining issues of our time. As technology becomes more engrained in our lives and our work, people want to understand how and why their data is collected and used, and they want to be able to make appropriate choices. We have longstanding commitments to privacy and have regularly taken steps to give customers more information and more choice, including, for example, being the first large company to voluntarily extend strong privacy protections to customers around the world. Our Trusted Cloud is built on our commitments to privacy, security, transparency and compliance, and our Trust Center provides access to validated audit reports, data management capabilities and information about the number of legal demands we received for customer data from law enforcement.

 

Categorizing the data we collect as ‘required’ or ‘optional’

 

First, for all our major products, we’ll categorize the data we collect from devices as either required or optional.

 

Data in the required category will consist of data that is necessary to making our products and services work as expected by the customer, or to help ensure their security. Required data includes things like the terms of a search query so we can return relevant search results, the IP address, type and version of your device so that we can provide connectivity to our cloud services and security patches that keep your experience safe and secure, and diagnostic data so that we can detect significant feature failures.

 

Increasing transparency about the data we collect from devices

 

Second, we will increase transparency about the data we collect by improving product documentation.  Specifically, we’ll ensure that documentation for our major products and services describes the data we collect in each of these categories.

 

New biannual report describing changes to our data collection

 

Third, we’re introducing a new report that will be published twice a year at privacy.microsoft.com. This report will highlight any new required data collection we believe is fundamental to provide, secure, update or maintain the performance of our products. We will also note instances when we stop collecting certain types of data from devices (because product or service changes mean the data is no longer required). Last, we will explain when we make changes to our data collection in response to new privacy laws, industry standards and regulations.

 

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