Protecting confidentiality of electronic communication and collaboration services

On the 10th January 2017, the European Commission proposed the ePrivacy Regulation (EPR), a law on privacy and electronic communication that aims at increasing protection of EU citizen’s private life and ‘reinforcing trust and security in the Digital Single Market by updating the legal framework on the ePrivacy’.

One year on from the European Commission’s EPR proposal, a lively discussion is continuing and Microsoft would like to add to the debate with technical detail and explanations on how innovative technologies can be applied, while data security and confidentiality is ensured and personal data is protected.

Electronic communication and collaboration services such as, Skype, Gmail, Slack and OneDrive carry valuable private and confidential communications that need protection. But these same services also provide a means for attackers to steal information or seize control of users’ computers for nefarious purposes, via viruses, worms, spam, phishing attacks, and other forms of malware.

Preventing the theft of user information and the dissemination of malware is a core feature of electronic communication and collaboration services. This requires significant processing of users’ communications and data both in-transit and after delivery. This processing can and should be done without compromising the user’s privacy or the confidentiality of their communications.

In a first of a series of posts on the technical and organizational measures required to ensure confidentiality of data, Jim Kleewein, Technical Fellow at Microsoft, explains the approach to protecting email data and services.

Read the post here.

Cornelia Kutterer
Senior Director, Rule of Law and Responsible Tech, European Government Affairs, Microsoft

Cornelia is responsible for AI, privacy and regulatory policies in the EU with a focus on digital transformation and ethical implications. She leads a team working on corporate and regulatory affairs, including competition, telecom and content policies. She has long standing experience in Information Society & Internet policies at European level and speaks regularly at regional and international conferences. Previously, Cornelia was Senior Legal Advisor at BEUC, the European Consumer Organisation, heading up the legal department and driving the policy agenda for consumers’ digital life with a focus on intellectual property, data protection and e-commerce. She has also gained experience in a top 10 law firm in the fields of competition law and regulatory affairs and in a German organisation focusing on the freedom of services and labour law. She started her professional career in the European Parliament as a political advisor to an MEP in 1997. Cornelia is a qualified German lawyer, and holds a master’s degree in information technology and telecommunication laws. She studied law at the Universities of Passau, Porto (Portugal), Hamburg and Strathclyde (UK).