New resources from Microsoft to support customer privacy and cloud compliance

In his keynote this week at the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP) Global Privacy Summit, Brad Smith, Microsoft’s president and chief legal officer, called privacy one of the defining issues of our time and a cause worth embracing. Microsoft sees privacy as a fundamental human right and, when it comes to our products, we are committed to providing our customers with the information and controls they need to make the choices that are right for them about how data is collected and used. With this in mind, Microsoft has introduced a few new resources this week to help further support our customers and the privacy, legal and compliance communities more broadly when it comes to privacy and data protection.

People today keep more information on their phones than they previously kept in their entire house. And most of this, often sensitive information, is connected to the cloud. In an era of rapidly evolving and increasingly personal technology, we know that people won’t use technology they don’t trust. Technology advances, but timeless values, like privacy, must also endure.

Being a global technology provider, Microsoft has a responsibility to ensure privacy is protected. Our approach is founded on six key principles:

  • Control: We will put you in control of your privacy with easy-to-use tools and clear choices.
  • Transparency: We will be transparent about data collection and use so you can make informed decisions.
  • Security: We will protect the data you entrust to us through strong security and encryption.
  • Benefits to you: When we do collect data, we will use it to benefit you and to make your experiences better.
  • No content-based targeting: We will not use your email, chat, files or other personal content to target ads to you.
  • Strong legal protections: We will respect your local privacy laws and fight for legal protection of your privacy as a fundamental human right.

To help in our effort and as part of our ongoing commitment to transparency and privacy, we have delivered new informational resources for our customers at Here, you can find more information about Microsoft’s approach to privacy in our products and practices.

Microsoft’s mission is to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. In part, we seek to accomplish this by supporting organizations of all sizes with our products and services, including helping them to leverage the cloud. As organizations move to the cloud for all the benefits that it brings, they also need to ensure they are protecting their – and their customers’ – data, and that continuing compliance obligations are being met.

Microsoft works every day to earn our customers’ trust by building cloud services that meet the highest standards for security, privacy and compliance. And we are redoubling our efforts to support the privacy, legal and compliance communities with more tools to help further their vital contributions. In the months ahead, we will roll out four new initiatives:

  • A comprehensive repository of information and training resources designed to help privacy, legal and compliance professionals understand, achieve and verify the compliance requirements of their organization’s cloud deployments. This is available today here.
  • Roundtable events around the world to discuss the urgent compliance issues, including data security; personal information privacy for consumers, employees and students; compliance with the EU-U.S. Privacy Shield and the EU General Data Protection Regulation; compliance with regulations governing the financial services, health care, government and education sectors; and critical issues of government access and encryption.
  • New investments in training programs that focus on the skills and knowledge compliance professionals need to oversee safe, secure and compliant cloud deployments.
  • Regular updates to the community on our efforts to strengthen the privacy, security and compliance protections of the Microsoft cloud, including information about progress and problems, and concrete proposals for improvement so that their organization can move forward with confidence.

Privacy and trust in the cloud are challenging issues and there was great dialogue this week at the Global Privacy Summit among the committed and talented people of the IAPP. I’m deeply excited for all the incredible momentum underway as we move forward.

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