Global conversations about principles and privacy

Last week, Microsoft General Counsel and Executive Vice President Brad Smith participated in two public events in Europe that focused on how best to strike the right balance between personal privacy and public safety, issues that were front and center given the recent tragic events in Paris. Brad emphasized that 2015 needs to be the year of solutions. He outlined a set of principles on which we can build and Read more »

Safety, privacy and the Internet paradox: solutions at hand and the need for new trans-Atlantic rules

Today at the Center for European Policy Studies, Brad Smith, general counsel and executive vice president, legal and corporate affairs, Microsoft, delivered remarks and participated in a panel discussion on the subject of Trust, data and national sovereignty: solutions for a connected world. Other panelists included: Jan Albrecht, Member of the European Parliament Renate Nikolay, Head of Cabinet, Vĕra Jourová’s Cabinet, DG Justice, European Commission Michał Boni, Member of the Read more »

Is life online stifling young people’s self-expression?

Young people have been cautioned: For years, they’ve been told by parents and teachers that whatever they post online will follow them forever, potentially impacting their educational and career prospects. And, youth have taken heed. More and more we hear of social media profiles being “cleaned up” before university applications are submitted, or a young person thinking twice about posting a less-than-flattering photo. But, could all of this digital self-editing Read more »

White House endorses student privacy pledge in call for comprehensive privacy reform

Today, I had the privilege of listening to the president’s speech at the Federal Trade Commission on privacy protections for consumers. While the president touched on many important issues during this speech, he specifically discussed how these protections extend to K-12 students, including the expanded role and benefits of technology in the classroom and the accompanying need for greater privacy protections for student data. Currently, federal law provides inadequate protection Read more »

#MSFTCOSO POV: Online safety reflections from 2014

At both Microsoft and across the online safety landscape, 2014 marked a year of transition and evolution. The “darker side of the Web” came more fully into view and new voices joined the dialogue, leading several to predict that even more progress may be in store in the year ahead. “For me, 2014 was about moving away from a fear-based, risk-centric approach to online safety to acknowledging that ‘building digital Read more »

Government of Ireland, European MEP file amicus briefs in New York privacy case

This year one of our priorities has been to advocate for policies that ensure people around the world can trust technology. Keeping this trust is not only important for global technology companies, but vital for ensuring people everywhere can use technology with confidence. One important aspect of ensuring this trust is for likeminded governments to agree on basic principles for sharing data across borders while respecting local privacy laws. The Read more »

Educational leaders discuss student privacy in higher education at D.C. symposium

education, privacy, Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center

In early December, higher-education policy professionals and academics gathered at the Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center in Washington, D.C. for a half-day symposium on challenges raised by new approaches and emerging data-driven platforms in higher education. The discussion, “Building Privacy into Data-Driven Education,” was part of the @Microsoft series and was held in partnership with the Information Law Institute at NYU. Microsoft’s Senior Policy Counsel Greg McCurdy and NYU Information Law Read more »

Microsoft takes action against tech support scammers


Imagine your mother receives a call from a fast-talking “computer technician” and before she knows it, the technician has convinced her that her computer is infected with a virus and for $600, they will “fix” it. This scam happens more often than you might think! Tech support scams are not a new phenomenon. Scammers have been peddling useless security software for years, tricking people into spending millions of dollars on Read more »

#MSFTCOSO POV: UK leads world in fight against online child sexual abuse material

U.K. Prime Minister David Cameron is leading a global charge to stamp out child sexual abuse material (CSAM) online, dedicating funding, resources and a personal passion to the effort. Last week in London, the prime minister held the first-ever global summit entitled “#WePROTECT Children Online,” designed to seek coordinated global action, explore technological solutions and create an international network to protect children from online sexual exploitation. The Summit brought together Read more »

Business, Media and Civil Society Speak Up in Key Privacy Case


Leading technology companies including Verizon, Apple, Amazon, Cisco, Salesforce, HP, eBay and AT&T have filed “friend of the court” briefs in Microsoft’s ongoing legal challenge of a U.S. government search warrant for customer data stored in Ireland. “Seldom has a case below the Supreme Court attracted the breadth and depth of legal involvement we’re seeing today,” writes Brad Smith, Microsoft’s general counsel and executive vice president of legal and corporate Read more »

Commemorating International Human Rights Day

On this day – Dec. 10 – 66 years ago, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) was approved by the UN General Assembly. To commemorate the day, they proclaimed the first Human Rights Day in 1950 to bring to the attention ‘of the peoples of the world’ the UDHR as the common standard of achievement for all peoples and all nations. This need to protect and indeed promote human Read more »