For the past few months, Microsoft has been slamming Google about privacy policies via a series of Scroogled websites and TV commercials. Today, the company launched a new TV and Internet campaign about privacy but this time the emphasis is on how Microsoft tries to protect online users from having their private information released on the Internet.
The new campaign on the "Online Privacy" Microsoft website includes a TV ad, shown above, stating Microsoft has taken measures to put in extra privacy features in its software products such as Windows and Internet Explorer. One of those efforts mentioned in the commercial is the "Do Not Track" default feature in IE10. Microsoft has also launched a website called Your Privacy Type that has a series of questions designed to find out how much privacy you use in your Internet life.
Ryan Gavin, the general manager of Windows, states in a new Exploring IE post that Microsoft knows each person has to find the level of online privacy that works for them. He adds, "Providing customers with the tools and technology that allow you to have more choice and control is something Microsoft has been doing for quite some time, and today’s products like Internet Explorer, Windows, Xbox, and Outlook.com make it easier to manage and control your privacy."
This new public effort is certainly much different than Microsoft's satirical Scroogled ads, which tried to make Google look a bit like a villain. It will be interesting to see how the public reacts to this new, and somewhat softer, privacy ad campaign.
Microsoft's new campaign is launching even as the company, through the lobbying group TechNet, supports the controversial Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA). The bill, which passed through the U.S. House of Representatives last week, has been attacked by some pro-privacy groups which claim CISPA's language could be used as an excuse by businesses to spy on Internet users.