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 »

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 »

Rebalancing the data asymmetry

A combination of ubiquitous data, analytics and machine learning is ushering in a transition from the information economy to a knowledge economy – where growth is driven primarily by the production of new ideas, insights, and knowledge. However, data-driven economies are reliant on a dependable supply of data to be sustainable. The current imbalance between the amount of data about individuals held by or accessible to institutions, and the inability 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 »

Strengthening our policies for investigations

We believe that Outlook and Hotmail email are and should be private. Over the past 24 hours there has been coverage about a particular case, so we want to provide additional context and describe how we are strengthening our policies.  In this case, we took extraordinary actions based on the specific circumstances. We received information that indicated an employee was providing stolen intellectual property, including code relating to our activation Read more »

New research forecasts the staggering cost of cybercrime

A new study released Tuesday reaffirms what we in Microsoft’s Digital Crimes Unit have seen for some time now – cybercrime is a booming business for organized crime groups all over the world. The study, conducted by IDC and the National University of Singapore (NUS), reveals that businesses worldwide will spend nearly $500 billion in 2014 to deal with the problems caused by malware on pirated software. Individual consumers, meanwhile, are Read more »

Microsoft applauds US NTIA’s transition of key Internet domain name functions

The U.S. Department of Commerce National Telecommunications and Information Administration’s recent announcement of its intent to transition key Internet domain name functions to the global multi-stakeholder community is a significant and welcome development.  Unlike the other major international communications networks (e.g., the telephone system and postal systems), there has been no single government-led organization that has guided the evolution and growth of the Internet. Instead, “Internet governance” has been the Read more »