Breaking News Bar
updated: 12/18/2012 6:30 AM

Microsoft scrutinized by EU privacy watchdogs for policy changes

hello
Success - Article sent! close
  • Microsoft Corp.'s policy changes for its Internet products including Hotmail and Bing are being formally examined by European data protection regulators for potential privacy issues.

      Microsoft Corp.'s policy changes for its Internet products including Hotmail and Bing are being formally examined by European data protection regulators for potential privacy issues.
    Bloomberg News

 
Bloomberg News

Microsoft Corp.'s policy changes for its Internet products including Hotmail and Bing are being formally examined by European data protection regulators for potential privacy issues.

Updates to Microsoft's services agreement, which took effect Oct. 19, are being formally reviewed, EU privacy regulators wrote to Microsoft Chief Executive Officer Steve Ballmer and the head of Microsoft Luxembourg. Luxembourg's and France's data protection commissions are leading the examination, according to the Dec. 17 letter, obtained by Bloomberg News.

"Given the wide range of services you offer, and popularity of these services, changes in your Services Agreement and the linked Privacy Policy may affect many individuals in most or all of the EU member states," wrote Jacob Kohnstamm, who leads the association of EU data protection commissioners. They "decided to check the possible consequences for the protection of the personal data of these individuals in a coordinated procedure."

The review will verify whether the changes could entail new risks for users' privacy. The examination is also checking whether Redmond, Washington-based Microsoft's privacy policy meets European standards on notifying users and allowing them a choice of services, Gerard Lommel, head of the Luxembourg privacy regulator, said in an interview in October.

"In updating the Microsoft Services Agreement we did not change our privacy policy," said Robin Koch, a spokesman for Microsoft in Brussels. "We are confident they will find Microsoft's long-standing commitment to privacy has not changed."

The 27 EU data protection regulators, who work together in the so-called Article 29 Data Protection Working Party, urged Google Inc. to address concerns about its privacy policy in October following a review of changes implemented this year.

Data protection is currently policed by separate regulators across the EU. As part of an overhaul of the union's 17-year-old rules on the issue, its executive body wants to simplify the system so companies deal with only one regulator in the region.

Share

Interested in reusing this article?

Custom reprints are a powerful and strategic way to share your article with customers, employees and prospects.

The YGS Group provides digital and printed reprint services for Daily Herald. Complete the form to the right and a reprint consultant will contact you to discuss how you can reuse this article.

Need more information about reprints? Visit our Reprints Section for more details.

Contact information ( * required )

Name * Company Telephone * E-mail *

Message (optional)

Success - Reprint request sent Click to close
Comments ()
Guidelines: Keep it civil and on topic; no profanity, vulgarity, slurs or personal attacks. People who harass others or joke about tragedies will be blocked. If a comment violates these standards or our terms of service, click the X in the upper right corner of the comment box. To find our more, read our FAQ.
    help here