Microsoft on the Issues http://blogs.microsoft.com/on-the-issues News and perspectives on legal, public policy and citizenship topics Fri, 26 Aug 2016 17:00:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=4.6 New resources to report hate speech, request content reinstatement http://blogs.microsoft.com/on-the-issues/2016/08/26/new-resources-report-hate-speech-request-content-reinstatement/ Fri, 26 Aug 2016 17:00:10 +0000 http://blogs.microsoft.com/on-the-issues/?p=39558 Microsoft is committed to creating safe online communities where our customers can learn, play, grow and interact without the threat of violence or hatred. That’s why for many years we’ve sought to protect our customers by prohibiting hate speech and removing such content from our hosted consumer services. While neither our principles nor our policies are changing, we are refining some of our processes to make it easier for customers Read more »

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Microsoft is committed to creating safe online communities where our customers can learn, play, grow and interact without the threat of violence or hatred. That’s why for many years we’ve sought to protect our customers by prohibiting hate speech and removing such content from our hosted consumer services. While neither our principles nor our policies are changing, we are refining some of our processes to make it easier for customers to report hate speech. We’re also simplifying requests to reinstate content that customers feel was removed in error.

Today we’re announcing a new dedicated web form for reporting hate speech on our hosted consumer services, and a separate web form for requests to reconsider and reinstate content.

Without question, the internet is overwhelmingly a force for good. We strive to provide services that are trustworthy, inclusive and used responsibly. Unfortunately, we know these services can also be used to advocate and perpetuate hate, prejudice and abuse. As part of our commitment to human rights, we seek to respect the broad range of users’ fundamental rights, including the rights to free expression and access to information, without fear of encountering hate speech or abuse. We also aim to foster safety and civility on our services; therefore, we’ve never — nor will we ever — permit content that promotes hatred based on:

  • Age
  • Disability
  • Gender
  • National or ethnic origin
  • Race
  • Religion
  • Sexual orientation/gender identity

We will continue our “notice-and-takedown” approach for removing prohibited content on hosted consumer services, and the new form aims to improve the quality and speed of our reviews. When hate speech is reported to us, we will evaluate each complaint, consider context and other factors, and determine appropriate action with respect to the content and the user’s account.

We take seriously our responsibilities in removing hate speech and addressing other violations of our terms of use, but we’re not perfect. We already provide customers, within various consumer products and services, the means to ask us to review a content removal decision they feel was made in error. And, just as we’re making it simpler for users to report hate speech, we’re also adding a new multi-service reconsideration form to request reinstatement of content that customers feel was disabled in error. We will review submissions via this new form, and if appropriate, reinstate the content.

Beyond streamlining the means for reporting, we’re working with the broader internet community to combat offensive content online. We work with governments, online safety advocates and other technology companies to ensure there is no place on our hosted consumer services for conduct that incites violence and hate. As one example, Microsoft recently joined major social media and video-sharing firms in support of the European Commission Code of Conduct countering illegal hate speech online – a joint effort to stop unlawful public incitement to violence and hatred across Europe.

Reports received from governments will be included as government requests in our semi-annual Content Removal Requests Report, published at the Microsoft Transparency Hub.

We understand and appreciate the nuance and complexity of these issues. Our hope is that with these steps, we more directly address hate speech on our hosted services; improve transparency in how we are tackling this offensive content online, and help to foster Microsoft communities where acceptance, inclusion and civility are the norm.

To help young people recognize misinformation and hate speech online, download this resource. To learn more about online safety generally, visit our website: www.microsoft.com/saferonline, view our other resources, “like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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Microsoft study: Four in 10 US teens encounter cruel treatment online http://blogs.microsoft.com/on-the-issues/2016/08/24/microsoft-study-four-in-10-us-teens-encounter-cruel-treatment-online/ Wed, 24 Aug 2016 13:30:02 +0000 http://blogs.microsoft.com/on-the-issues/?p=39525 Nearly four in 10 American teens report that someone was mean or cruel to them in the digital world in the last year, and those negative comments most often stemmed from something the teens said or did, or were about their appearance, results of a new Microsoft study show. Thirty-nine percent of teens surveyed said someone had been mean or cruel to them when they were online or using their Read more »

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Nearly four in 10 American teens report that someone was mean or cruel to them in the digital world in the last year, and those negative comments most often stemmed from something the teens said or did, or were about their appearance, results of a new Microsoft study show.

Thirty-nine percent of teens surveyed said someone had been mean or cruel to them when they were online or using their cellphones in the 12 months ending June 2016, and more than half (52 percent) said the content of those hurtful messages was about something the teen said or did. Meanwhile, 45 percent said their appearance was the focus of the rude remarks, and 27 percent said they received mean messages about their sexual orientation, their gender (25 percent), or their race or ethnicity (24 percent).

The study, “Keeping Up with Generation App,” is the first in a series sponsored by Microsoft and focused on raising awareness about the need for “digital civility” across the globe. It was conducted by the Washington, D.C.-based National Cyber Security Alliance (NCSA), and polled 804 teens, ages 13 to 17 in the U.S., as well as 810 American parents of teens in the same age group.

“Parents, teachers and other adults who spend time with teens should be aware of the kinds of experiences teens are having online and should help them strategize responses to negative behaviors,” said Michael Kaiser, NCSA’s executive director. “Additionally, we should help teens understand the importance of treating their peers and others with respect online and work to reduce the incidents of cruel behavior.”

Indeed, teens indicated they are “not very likely” to turn to their parents for help with various online problems. Only one in five said they are “very likely” to share problems with parents or would do so “all the time;” 28 percent reported “never” consulting their parents. Conversely, 65 percent of parents said their kids are “very likely” to share concerns encountered online with them or would do so “all the time,” indicating a significant digital disconnect.

Many of the teens’ top online safety worries related to the privacy and security of personal information that could ultimately affect their online (and offline) reputations. For instance, teens reported they are “very concerned” that someone will access their accounts without their permission (47 percent); that someone will share personal information about them online that they would prefer to keep private (43 percent), or that someone will post a private photo or video of them online (38 percent).

These concerns still haven’t driven teens to be totally truthful with their parents about their online activities, however – another digital division among parents and teens. Sixty percent of teens said they’ve created an account that their parents are unaware of, such as on a social media site or for an app they want to use, and only 13 percent said their parents are “completely aware” of everything they do online. Meanwhile, 43 percent of parents are at least neutral when it comes to awareness of their children’s online activities, with only 3 percent claiming to be “completely aware.”

The results are the first in a short series of research studies, both in the U.S. and internationally, that we’re releasing in the lead-up to, and on, Safer Internet Day 2017, Feb. 7. Preliminary results of follow-on surveys will be made public in the weeks and months ahead. Looking across the range of results, age demographics and geographies, data show a broad need for a focus on “digital civility,” and we’ll have more to share on that in the coming months, as well.

In the meantime, to learn more about online safety generally, visit our website and check out our resources; “like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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Fair Wi-Fi and cellular wireless coexistence benefits everyone http://blogs.microsoft.com/on-the-issues/2016/08/19/fair-wifi-and-cellular-wireless-coexistence-benefits-everyone/ Fri, 19 Aug 2016 13:00:16 +0000 http://blogs.microsoft.com/on-the-issues/?p=39483 How much do you rely on Wi-Fi?  What if the Wi-Fi in your home or at your neighborhood Starbucks stopped working? Who would you call? What would you do? We all rely on Wi-Fi, as well as cellular wireless technologies, for much of our daily communication, news and information, and entertainment. Cellular and Wi-Fi both use wireless spectrum and, as we are increasingly reliant on both, it’s important that they Read more »

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How much do you rely on Wi-Fi?  What if the Wi-Fi in your home or at your neighborhood Starbucks stopped working? Who would you call? What would you do?

We all rely on Wi-Fi, as well as cellular wireless technologies, for much of our daily communication, news and information, and entertainment. Cellular and Wi-Fi both use wireless spectrum and, as we are increasingly reliant on both, it’s important that they can work together fairly and responsibly. That’s why Wi-Fi Alliance (WFA) has been developing a Coexistence Test Plan for new, non-standards-based LTE technologies that wish to fairly share unlicensed spectrum with Wi-Fi.

This week, we joined with Hewlett Packard Enterprise and Broadcom in a letter to WFA expressing our support for this work, and appreciation of the progress to date.

While the pace of progress is of concern to some WFA member companies that are developing LTE-based products, as one of WFA’s founding members, Microsoft observes that this program will be rolled out almost twice as fast as any other program in the history of WFA.

While we support the plan, we do have concerns that we shared in our joint letter to WFA.

First, LTE-U Forum members continue to oppose the inclusion of Wi-Fi links that operate at low-signal levels into the testing scenarios.

Wi-Fi’s ability to operate at low-signal levels is one of the key reasons why an incredible number of simultaneous users can take advantage of the technology. We believe it is both fair and reasonable to insist on testing real-world scenarios that make use of this core aspect of Wi-Fi, and are concerned that continued pressure to exclude low-signal level testing is an indication that LTE-U Forum members are having difficulty fulfilling their promise of fairness in a number of real-world scenarios using the methods they have chosen.

However, the currently proposed compromise threshold is significantly higher than that received by Wi-Fi access points from many battery-powered Wi-Fi clients. Under the current test plan, millions of Wi-Fi devices operating today will be ignored by LTE-U equipment while it is calculating how to share fairly, with the result that some of these devices will be interfered with, and, in the worst-case scenario, will be denied access to the channel completely when some LTE-U devices transmit a signal that will cause Wi-Fi devices to turn off when they assert that it is their turn to transmit.

In addition, we continue to be concerned that there is still no clear understanding about how various unlicensed LTE devices will determine their duty cycle. Microsoft has been involved in cognitive radio research for over a decade, and we are skeptical of the notion that unlicensed LTE equipment can garner enough information to operate fairly based on the amount of energy it receives. To the best of our knowledge, the use of received energy to decide the impact of a radio’s transmissions on an unknown number of neighbors is still an open question in research.

Even with these concerns, however, Microsoft recognizes that the nearly completed test plan represents a pragmatic and significant compromise between competing viewpoints, and we endorse it. WFA has a 17-year history of delivering effective certification programs for continuously evolving wireless technologies and, as we noted in our joint letter, we believe that the WFA Coexistence Test Plan process has been fact-based, conducted professionally, and that WFA is the right organization to do this work.

We are hopeful that a successful conclusion to this process will result in fair and responsible coexistence that improves the wireless experience for all.

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Microsoft signs up for Privacy Shield http://blogs.microsoft.com/on-the-issues/2016/08/01/microsoft-signs-privacy-shield/ Mon, 01 Aug 2016 20:12:30 +0000 http://blogs.microsoft.com/on-the-issues/?p=39462 Today (1 August 2016), Microsoft signed up for the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield. As one of the first companies, we have submitted our Privacy Shield certification to the U.S. Department of Commerce and we expect it to be approved in the coming days. Going forward, any data which we will transfer from Europe to the United States will be protected by the Privacy Shield’s safeguards. The Privacy Shield is an important Read more »

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Today (1 August 2016), Microsoft signed up for the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield. As one of the first companies, we have submitted our Privacy Shield certification to the U.S. Department of Commerce and we expect it to be approved in the coming days. Going forward, any data which we will transfer from Europe to the United States will be protected by the Privacy Shield’s safeguards.

The Privacy Shield is an important achievement for the privacy rights of citizens across Europe, and for companies across all industries that rely on international data flows to run their businesses and serve their customers. It sets a new high standard for the protection of Europeans’ personal data.

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Microsoft continues to meet its commitments to GNI Principles on internet freedom of expression and privacy http://blogs.microsoft.com/on-the-issues/2016/07/29/microsoft-continues-meet-commitments-gni-principles-internet-freedom-expression-privacy/ Fri, 29 Jul 2016 16:00:23 +0000 http://blogs.microsoft.com/on-the-issues/?p=39432 Microsoft is a founding member of the Global Network Initiative (GNI), a multi-stakeholder initiative that is dedicated to advancing freedom of expression and privacy on the global internet. Two factors that uniquely define GNI are the GNI Principles and the GNI independent assessment process.  GNI recently published the results of its second independent assessment of GNI member companies, and again determined that Microsoft complies with the GNI Principles. We at Read more »

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Microsoft is a founding member of the Global Network Initiative (GNI), a multi-stakeholder initiative that is dedicated to advancing freedom of expression and privacy on the global internet. Two factors that uniquely define GNI are the GNI Principles and the GNI independent assessment process.  GNI recently published the results of its second independent assessment of GNI member companies, and again determined that Microsoft complies with the GNI Principles.

We at Microsoft have a long-standing and deep commitment to protection of the rights of our customers, as reflected in the Microsoft Global Human Rights Statement, our early support for the U.N. Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (UNGP) and the creation of our Technology and Human Rights Center (THRC). As we stated when we founded the THRC, we are committed to embedding the UNGP “respect” concept into consideration of the relationship between human rights and key business topics, such as specific products, services and technologies; market entry, exit and engagement; and business strategy, models and operations. So we were particularly pleased to see that the 2015/2016 independent assessment noted that our “commitment to protecting freedom of expression and privacy genuinely seems to have become a ‘lens’ through which business decisions are evaluated at various levels of the company.”

We are glad to share this view of the progress we have made, but, of course, there is always more work to be done.  We remain committed to earning and building your trust in all that we do, including our work to advance respect across the globe for freedom of expression and privacy in the ITC sector.

For more on the Global Network Initiative, visit this website.

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Microsoft’s ‘revenge porn’ approach one year later http://blogs.microsoft.com/on-the-issues/2016/07/22/microsofts-revenge-porn-approach-one-year-later/ Fri, 22 Jul 2016 13:00:06 +0000 http://blogs.microsoft.com/on-the-issues/?p=39388 To help put victims back in control of their online imagery and their privacy, one year ago today Microsoft announced its approach to non-consensual pornography on our consumer services. We see this milestone as an appropriate time to take stock of our efforts to-date and to review how our dedicated reporting method was received and is being used.   Sharing sexually intimate images of another person online without that person’s consent Read more »

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To help put victims back in control of their online imagery and their privacy, one year ago today Microsoft announced its approach to non-consensual pornography on our consumer services. We see this milestone as an appropriate time to take stock of our efforts to-date and to review how our dedicated reporting method was received and is being used.  

Sharing sexually intimate images of another person online without that person’s consent is a gross violation of personal privacy and dignity, not to mention a crime in several places. Such conduct, commonly referred to as “revenge porn,” and other forms of digital incivility, are on the rise globally, plaguing online environments and damaging nearly every aspect of a victim’s life.

In the first six months that Microsoft began removing links to photos and videos from search results in Bing, and blocking access to the actual content when shared on OneDrive or Xbox Live, we received a total of 537 requests for content takedowns via our dedicated web reporting page. Of those requests, 63 percent (338) were accepted and the remainder have been denied, largely because they were not, in fact, requests to remove non-consensual pornography.

When we remove links or content, we do so globally and, as promised last July, we started reporting these data in March. Removal requests for the six months ending June 2016 will be reported in September as part of our twice-annual Content Removal Requests Report, one of three such documents available at our Transparency Hub.

Since September, our web-reporting form has been available in 38 languages and 86 locales in which Microsoft does business. In April, we started receiving non-English-language takedown requests from victims in Germany and the Netherlands, and have since also received reports from victims in Brazil, Denmark, India and the U.K.       

Taking the past year’s learnings into account, we want to make it easier for victims to understand what we need from them so that we’re able to respond to their requests quickly and completely. To help with this, we’ve created a new video to explain how to locate “source” URLs to non-consensual pornography. Obtaining these source URLs allows us to more swiftly remove such links from Bing search. We encourage victims, advocates and concerned friends to watch the video so that requests for content removal, when submitted, can be as detailed and complete as possible.

As this offensive conduct has increased, momentum is growing to fight back. Most recently, Rep. Jackie Speier (D-California) introduced a bipartisan bill criminalizing distribution of non-consensual pornography. Microsoft participated in California Attorney General Kamala Harris’ initiative, and we shared our approach to addressing non-consensual pornography in public forums, including The Family Online Safety Institute’s annual conference last November.         

We’ll continue to iterate on our reporting mechanisms, improve their discoverability and our processes, and grow our collaborative efforts because we remain committed to combatting non-consensual pornography on our services. We want to encourage a culture of digital civility across our online properties and the internet at large, and we’ll soon be releasing new research in this area. In the meantime, for more information about revenge porn, visit the Cyber Civil Rights Initiative or Without My Consent. To learn more about online safety generally, see our website and resources; “like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.  

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Our search warrant case: An important decision for people everywhere http://blogs.microsoft.com/on-the-issues/2016/07/14/search-warrant-case-important-decision-people-everywhere/ Thu, 14 Jul 2016 17:53:10 +0000 http://blogs.microsoft.com/on-the-issues/?p=39325 Today the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled in a case brought by Microsoft addressing the global application of U.S. search warrants for people’s email. The court ruled in favor of Microsoft overturning an earlier ruling from a lower court. We obviously welcome today’s decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. The decision is important for three reasons: it ensures that Read more »

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Today the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit ruled in a case brought by Microsoft addressing the global application of U.S. search warrants for people’s email. The court ruled in favor of Microsoft overturning an earlier ruling from a lower court.

We obviously welcome today’s decision by the United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit. The decision is important for three reasons: it ensures that people’s privacy rights are protected by the laws of their own countries; it helps ensure that the legal protections of the physical world apply in the digital domain; and it paves the way for better solutions to address both privacy and law enforcement needs.

First, this decision provides a major victory for the protection of people’s privacy rights under their own laws rather than the reach of foreign governments. It makes clear that the U.S. Congress did not give the U.S. government the authority to use search warrants unilaterally to reach beyond U.S. borders. As a global company we’ve long recognized that if people around the world are to trust the technology they use, they need to have confidence that their personal information will be protected by the laws of their own country.

While Microsoft filed and persisted with this case, we benefited every step of the way from the broad support of many others. We are grateful for this support, including the filing of amicus briefs in the case by 28 technology and media companies, 23 trade associations and advocacy groups, 35 of the nation’s leading computer scientists and the government of Ireland itself. The enormous breadth of this support has been vital to the issue, and it remains so as we look to the future.

Second, since the day we filed this case, we’ve underscored our belief that technology needs to advance, but timeless values need to endure. Privacy and the proper rule of law stand among these timeless values. We hear from customers around the world that they want the traditional privacy protections they’ve enjoyed for information stored on paper to remain in place as data moves to the cloud. Today’s decision helps ensure this result.

Finally, as we’ve recognized since we filed this case, the protection of privacy and the needs of law enforcement require new legal solutions that reflect the world that exists today – rather than technologies that existed three decades ago when current law was enacted. We’re encouraged by the recent bipartisan support that has emerged in Congress to consider a new International Communications Privacy Act. We’re also encouraged by the work of the U.S. Justice Department in pursuing a new bilateral treaty approach with the government of the United Kingdom.

Today’s decision means it is even more important for Congress and the executive branch to come together to modernize the law. This requires both new domestic legislation and new international treaties. We should not continue to wait. We’re confident that the technology sector will continue to roll up its sleeves to work with people in government in a constructive way. We hope that today’s decision will bring an impetus for faster government action so that both privacy and law enforcement needs can advance in a manner that respects people’s rights and laws around the world.

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WePROTECT Global Alliance releases strategy to end child sexual abuse online http://blogs.microsoft.com/on-the-issues/2016/07/13/weprotect-global-alliance-releases-strategy-to-end-child-sexual-abuse-online/ Wed, 13 Jul 2016 13:00:26 +0000 http://blogs.microsoft.com/on-the-issues/?p=39292 More child victims identified and safeguarded; more perpetrators apprehended, and an internet free of material depicting child sexual exploitation and abuse. This is the vision of the new WePROTECT Global Alliance to End Child Sexual Exploitation Online, an organization that brings together the U.K.’s WePROTECT Children Online initiative and the Global Alliance Against Child Sexual Abuse Online, launched in 2012 and co-chaired by the U.S. Department of Justice and the Read more »

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child online safety

Photo: UNICEF

More child victims identified and safeguarded; more perpetrators apprehended, and an internet free of material depicting child sexual exploitation and abuse. This is the vision of the new WePROTECT Global Alliance to End Child Sexual Exploitation Online, an organization that brings together the U.K.’s WePROTECT Children Online initiative and the Global Alliance Against Child Sexual Abuse Online, launched in 2012 and co-chaired by the U.S. Department of Justice and the European Commission.

Microsoft is privileged to be a part of and to support the new WePROTECT Global Alliance through our participation on the WePROTECT Global Alliance Board; the commitments we made in signing the industry Statement of Action to end child sexual exploitation and abuse online, and our own contributions and innovations to the broad, global effort to best protect children in the digital age.

The WePROTECT Global Alliance announced its vision and strategy at an international launch event at the United Nations in New York on Monday. On Tuesday, a new partnership and global fund to End Violence Against Children, administered by UNICEF and sponsored in part by the U.K. government, was also launched. The fund seeks to prevent violence against children, including online sexual exploitation and abuse; “accelerate real action for children in their homes, schools, and communities … and strengthen collaboration between and among organizations, and across borders.” The fund is seeking additional donors, as the U.K. government alone is contributing a total of 50 million pounds over the next four years, earmarked for programs to combat online sexual abuse.

“The horrific global crime of online child sexual exploitation is one that challenges our very humanity and must be eradicated,” said Joanna Shields, the U.K. Minister for Internet Safety and Security. With the WePROTECT Global Alliance, “(w)e are building a global initiative to tackle this crime beyond any initiative that has existed before, with 70 countries signed up to join the WePROTECT initiative and the existing Global Alliance Against Child Abuse Online, and the support of technology leaders including Facebook, Google, Microsoft and TENCENT.”

In a strategy document outlining its commitment to eradicate the online distribution of child sexual abuse images, the alliance articulated the massive global nature of the problem; vowed to secure high-level commitments from all parts of the international system, and championed a tool to help countries independently self-assess their progress in combatting these vile crimes. Indeed, in 2014, INHOPE, the association of internet hotlines and helplines, assessed 83,644 URLs as containing child sexual abuse imagery worldwide, a 71 percent increase from the prior year. The grave nature of the problem is echoed in data compiled by the U.S. National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). In 2015 alone, NCMEC received a record 4.4 million reports of child sexual abuse imagery on online services from more than 1,100 companies actively reporting to its CyberTipline. In the prior 17 years combined, NCMEC received a total of 3.1 million CyberTips.

Given the scope and reach of the problem, it will take years, mostly likely decades, to even noticeably limit the online availability of child sexual abuse imagery, and realize the vision of the WePROTECT Global Alliance. A primary milestone in that journey will be the first WePROTECT Global Alliance Summit in 2017, where the group will build on the momentum created by the first two WePROTECT Summits in London and Abu Dhabi, as well as the long-standing work of the Global Alliance.

For our part, Microsoft has been working to protect children online for two decades, and has been combatting the spread of child sexual abuse material for more than a dozen years. We stand ready to continue to play a significant role, and to work closely with others in industry, government and civil society to bring an end to these horrific crimes.

To learn more about Microsoft’s work combatting the spread of child sexual abuse material online, download our policy fact sheets available here. To learn more about online safety and child online protection generally, visit our website; view our resources; “like” us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter.

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EU-US Privacy Shield: Progress for privacy rights http://blogs.microsoft.com/on-the-issues/2016/07/11/eu-us-privacy-shield-progress-privacy-rights/ Mon, 11 Jul 2016 14:00:05 +0000 http://blogs.microsoft.com/on-the-issues/?p=39268 Today in a post on the Microsoft EU Policy Blog, Microsoft Vice President for EU Government Affairs John Frank welcomed the new E.U.-U.S. Privacy Shield decision, which the European Commission is expected to announce on July 12. Microsoft regards privacy as a fundamental right, and the new Privacy Shield advances this right by setting a new high standard for the protection of Europeans’ personal data. “This is an important achievement Read more »

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Today in a post on the Microsoft EU Policy Blog, Microsoft Vice President for EU Government Affairs John Frank welcomed the new E.U.-U.S. Privacy Shield decision, which the European Commission is expected to announce on July 12. Microsoft regards privacy as a fundamental right, and the new Privacy Shield advances this right by setting a new high standard for the protection of Europeans’ personal data.

“This is an important achievement for the privacy rights of citizens across Europe, and for companies across all industries that rely on international data flows to run their businesses and serve their customers. The successful and rigorous negotiations also demonstrate progress between Europe and the United States on a vital issue for transatlantic coordination. While we rely on different legal frameworks, we share the same privacy values on both sides of the Atlantic,” Frank writes.

Microsoft will now start the process of implementing the Privacy Shield requirements, which it previously announced that it would sign up for in April 2016.

To learn more, read Frank’s post on the Microsoft EU Policy Blog.

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Experts call for increased efforts to help prevent online child sexual abuse http://blogs.microsoft.com/on-the-issues/2016/07/05/experts-call-increased-efforts-help-prevent-online-child-sexual-abuse/ Tue, 05 Jul 2016 16:07:06 +0000 http://blogs.microsoft.com/on-the-issues/?p=39229 Vile images are being taken out of online circulation; child victims are being identified and rescued; and perpetrators are being apprehended, but awareness-raising and educational efforts need to increase to help prevent child sexual exploitation and abuse, according to experts attending an international conference in London last week. “We need to do more work ‘upstream,’” Simon Bailey, Chief Constable of the Norfolk U.K. Police told the Marie Collins Foundation conference, Read more »

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Vile images are being taken out of online circulation; child victims are being identified and rescued; and perpetrators are being apprehended, but awareness-raising and educational efforts need to increase to help prevent child sexual exploitation and abuse, according to experts attending an international conference in London last week.

“We need to do more work ‘upstream,’” Simon Bailey, Chief Constable of the Norfolk U.K. Police told the Marie Collins Foundation conference, “From Discovery to Recovery – Online Sexual Abuse of Children.” “We need to prevent the abuse from ever taking place in the first place.”

I had the pleasure of speaking at the conference and sharing evidence of Microsoft’s long-standing commitment to child online protection, which includes ridding our internet services of illegal child sexual abuse imagery. I also witnessed the foundation’s effort to recruit members to its new Global Protection Online Network, designed to enable professionals helping child victims recover from online abuse and meet the needs of those children and their families.

Microsoft provided seed funding to establish the network so members could share case studies and best practices; create evidence-based approaches to determine children’s recovery needs, as well as assess the training needs of similarly placed professionals. While it may not be industry’s role to identify and safeguard victims – that is the domain of law enforcement – we can support non-governmental organizations dedicated to these critical pursuits. At Microsoft, we see victims’ services as an area that can benefit from industry support.

To put the problem in perspective, Chief Constable Bailey estimated that more than 100 million indecent images of children are in circulation online today, adding that internet companies made 4.4 million CyberTip reports to the U.S. National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC) in 2015 alone. NCMEC then analyzed 139 million images and videos last year – further evidence these crimes against children are on the rise. In the previous 17 years, from 1998 to 2014, NCMEC reported a total of 3.1 million CyberTip reports by online companies. As for the Norfolk police, the constable said every warrant to search an alleged online child sexual abuse offender’s home that is executed results in the seizure, on average, of 11 devices and 160,000 images.

Global efforts to eradicate child sexual abuse online continue among a range of stakeholders – governments, companies, law enforcement agencies and civil society organizations – and, as several of the conference speakers noted, those collective efforts are taking place under the banner of the WePROTECT Global Alliance to End Child Sexual Exploitation Online, the new organization that joins the U.K.’s WePROTECT Children Online initiative with the Global Alliance against Child Sexual Abuse Online, started by the U.S. Department of Justice and the European Union.

Microsoft is honored to be part of the new WePROTECT Global Alliance through our participation on the WePROTECT Global Alliance Advisory Board, the commitments we made in signing the group’s Statement of Action for industry and our own contributions to help protect children in the digital age. To learn more about Microsoft work in combatting the spread of child sexual abuse material online, download our policy fact sheets available here. To learn more about online safety and child online protection generally, visit our website; view our resources; “like” us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

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