(The Hosting News) – In the wake of the recent controversy surrounding Microsoft, the company announced on Friday that it had changed its privacy practices.
“Effective immediately, if we receive information indicating that someone is using our services to traffic in stolen intellectual or physical property from Microsoft, we will not inspect a customer’s private content ourselves. Instead, we will refer the matter to law enforcement if further action is required,” said Microsoft general counsel Brad Smith via blog post.
Microsoft’s new customer terms of service will be incorporated in the coming months so that the rules are clear to customers and “binding” on the company, says Microsoft’s blog.
This change comes into effect after the tech giant admitted that it accessed a bloggers Hotmail account in 2012 to search for a stolen source code, striking criticism from users and advocacy groups about the protection of customers privacy.
“We’ve entered a “post-Snowden era” in which people rightly focus on the ways others use their personal information. As a company we’ve participated actively in the public discussions about the proper balance between the privacy rights of citizens and the powers of government. We’ve advocated that governments should rely on formal legal processes and the rule of law for surveillance activities,” added Smith.
Microsoft has approached advocacy groups such as the Center for Democracy and Technology and the Electronic Frontier Foundation in order to help make changes to the companies privacy practices to best meet the needs for both customers and the company.
“We hope that other companies will join in as well. Ultimately, these types of questions affect us all, and they will benefit from even more of the thought-provoking discussions that the events from last week have encouraged.”