At Microsoft, we know that customer trust is essential to our business. People will use technology only if they can trust it, and our commitment to protecting customer data is an important element in building and maintaining that trust.
The issue of who owns email is at the center of an important hearing in U.S. federal court in New York this week, at which Microsoft will argue that the U.S. government can’t force American tech companies to turn over customer emails stored exclusively in company data centers in other countries – in this case, in Dublin, Ireland. The government argues that customer emails stored in the cloud become the business records of the cloud provider, and therefore have a lower level of legal protection than an individual’s personal communications.
Microsoft believes you own your emails stored in the cloud and that they have the same privacy protection as paper letters sent by mail. You can read more on this case in an op-ed written by Brad Smith, Microsoft’s general counsel and executive vice president for legal and corporate affairs.