Your email belongs to you, not us

Microsoft is committed to delivering meaningful privacy protections that build trust with our customers, and we know how much you value the contents of your email.  We believe your email belongs to you, not us, and that it should receive the same privacy protection as paper letters sent by mail–no matter where it is stored.

This is the crux of our legal challenge to a U.S. government criminal search warrant for a customer’s email stored in our datacenter in Dublin, Ireland.

While we appreciate the vital importance of public safety, we believe it’s also important to strike the right balance with the privacy concerns of people who use technology. A recent poll shows most Americans agree.

So far the courts have sided with the U.S. government, but we are appealing the latest decision. This case could have important implications outside the U.S.  Other governments could demand emails held in datacenters outside their jurisdiction. In fact, earlier this month the British government passed a law asserting its right to require tech companies to produce emails stored anywhere in the world. This would include emails stored in the U.S. by Americans who have never been to the UK.

You can read more about this case at our Digital Constitution website and in a recent op-ed from Brad Smith, Microsoft General Counsel and Executive Vice President for Legal and Corporate Affairs.

About the Author
Brendon Lynch

Chief Privacy Officer, Microsoft

Brendon Lynch is the Chief Privacy Officer of Microsoft Corp., where he is responsible for creating and implementing privacy policy across the company, and influencing the creation of privacy and data protection technologies for customers. Brendon also serves on the Read more »