Microsoft reaffirms its commitment to data sharing, urges others to do the same

In May, a month after France's Notre-Dame cathedral was ravaged by a fire in France, Microsoft announced the Open Notre Dame initiative that called for a sharing of open data to help quicken restoration efforts. Today, the tech giant has yet again reaffirmed its commitment toward data sharing in a blog post written by Erich Andersen, CVP & Chief IP Counsel at the company.

Microsoft believes that despite the questions regarding privacy and security involved with data sharing between organizations, it can still turn out to be quite beneficial if performed appropriately. Andersen cites the Answer ALS initiative as an example, noting how other companies are allowed access to the dataset used in that project. This ultimately is helping them improve their AI research to efficiently advance various treatments for ALS. Another such example is Microsoft, Adobe, and SAP's Open Data Initiative announced last year, that aims to make consumer data available across platforms.

However, the Redmond giant still believes that a lot more can be done with regards to data sharing. It wants agreements for broad data sharing scenarios to be less convoluted and better explained. For this reason, Microsoft has developed drafts of three data use agreements that have been devised with new ideas drawn from the firm's experience with data sharing projects.

Microsoft has highlighted its aim of working with interested stakeholders, and asked for community review and suggestions regarding these agreements as well. Through this, Microsoft hopes to make the terms even more well-defined and easy to comprehend in the future.

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