The privacy week that was

SCOTUS

Over time, privacy protection has advanced in key moments. These have involved judges and advocates who appreciated new technologies and found ways to ensure privacy prevailed in a changing world. This week’s unanimous decision by the Supreme Court in the case of Riley v. California ranks with other key historical moments. More than in any other recent decision, the Supreme Court this week advanced privacy in a digital era characterized Read more »

Singapore leads the way on TV white spaces regulation

On Monday, Singapore’s Infocomm Development Authority (IDA) announced a regulatory framework for unlicensed access to unused radio spectrum in the broadcast TV frequency bands, known as TV white spaces (TVWS). Radio spectrum is, more than ever, being identified by policy makers as a key asset in developing the digital economy and, more broadly, the overall economy. The remarkable growth in the use of smartphones and other wireless devices in recent Read more »

Enhancing learning while protecting safety and privacy

CloudLock

Over the past year, revelations of government surveillance, highly publicized data breaches and other stories of private information being leaked have dominated the media. More revealing than the stories themselves is the public’s impassioned response to them, demonstrating that there is still a basic expectation among Americans of personal privacy. As public discourse continues, some states, districts, schools and parents have begun to consider the safety of student data. In Read more »

Why the CLS Bank case matters

PatentDefinition

Posted byHoracio GutierrezDeputy General Counsel & Corporate Vice President, Legal & Corporate Affairs, Microsoft On Thursday, the Supreme Court issued a unanimous ruling in theAlicev.CLS Bank,reaffirming that abstract ideas are not eligible for patent protection. The Court correctly distinguished Alice’s invalid business method patents from valid patents that advance technology. We applaud the Court for its ruling, and in particular their recognition that the patents in question are not software Read more »

Microsoft panel explores the policy implications of intelligent systems

On May 16, Microsoft convened a panel of academic researchers working at the confluence of the technology, humanity and policy aspects of intelligent systems at the Microsoft Innovation & Policy Center in Washington, D.C. The intergenerational conversation brought together professors and their students to explore the implications of the deployment of new intelligent systems in businesses and society and the legal and policy challenges that they present. From autonomous vehicles Read more »

New success in protecting customer rights unsealed today

On Thursday, a federal court in Seattle unsealed documents related to an FBI National Security Letter that Microsoft successfully challenged in court late last year. This marks an important and successful step to protect Microsoft’s enterprise customers regarding government surveillance. Because information about the case wasn’t public until today, this is our first opportunity to discuss it in detail. Given the strong ongoing worldwide interest in these issues, we wanted Read more »

‘Who Has Your Back?’ – Electronic Frontier Foundation gives Microsoft 6/6 Stars on privacy approach to government data access

On Thursday, the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) released its fourth annual report rating technology companies on their efforts to protect customer data from the government. “Who Has Your Back?” reflects the EFF’s thorough review of the practices and policies of each company against specific criteria. This year, Microsoft met every one of six factors that companies were rated against, including the stringency of the legal demands companies require before providing data, Read more »

Microsoft partners with USAID to help end extreme poverty by 2030

On Thursday, the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) will announce that Microsoft is one of 30 inaugural Cornerstone Partners chosen to advance a science and technology-based approach to economic development. The Global Development Lab’s mission is to help end the extreme poverty that affects 1.2 billion people on the planet living on just $1.25 a day by 2030. The lab will support breakthrough solutions in water, health, food security, nutrition, Read more »

A cross-industry Partnership for American Innovation

Lightbulb Evolution

On Thursday, Microsoft announced it has joined the newly formed Partnership for American Innovation. The partnership includes Apple, DuPont, Ford, GE, IBM and Pfizer — a diverse group of industry-leading companies committed to strengthening a patent system that promotes a positive climate for technology innovation. David Kappos, former director of the United States Patent and Trademark Office, is senior adviser to the group. In the current public discussion about patents, Read more »

We’re listening: Additional steps to protect your privacy

Last Thursday, news coverage focused on a case in 2012 in which our investigators accessed the Hotmail content of a user who was trafficking in stolen Microsoft source code. Over the past week, we’ve had the opportunity to reflect further on this issue, and as a result of conversations we’ve had internally and with advocacy groups and other experts, we’ve decided to take an additional step and make an important Read more »