Europe & UK

October 24, 2019

Microsoft Likely To Come Under Increasing Pressure To Comply With European Data Protection Regulations

[ By Bobby Anthony ]


Microsoft is likely to come under pressure to consider complying with European data protection rules, after the European Data Protection Supervisor recently raised serious concerns about whether the company is compliant with these regulations.

Europe takes a much more stringent stance on individual privacy than other regions around the world, though Microsoft seems to be non-compliant with them at present.

Incidentally, Microsoft recently made changes to its privacy policies for its Voice Over Internet Protocol (VoIP) product called Skype as well as its artificial intelligence (AI) assistant called Cortana.

These changes in Microsoft privacy policies were seen to be a knee-jerk reaction to reports which suggested that the company’s contractors listened to audio clips of consumers in order to improve translations and the accuracy of inferences.

As things stand, the European Data Protection Supervisor recently raised questions about whether contracts between Microsoft and various European Union institutions which use Microsoft products are compliant with European data protection laws.

The central issue is whether contractual terms being followed by Microsoft are compliant with European data protection laws intended to protect individual rights across the region from foreign organizations which do not have European standards of data protection.

Significantly, preliminary findings by the European Data Protection Supervisor follow similar investigations taking place in the Netherlands and also recent changes to Microsoft privacy policies for its VoIP product Skype and AI assistant Cortana.

According to a recent statement by the European Data Protection Supervisor, “Though the investigation is still ongoing, preliminary results reveal serious concerns over the compliance of the relevant contractual terms with data protection rules and the role of Microsoft as a processor for EU institutions using its products and services”.

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