Microsoft under the EU microscope again

Over the years Microsoft has been under the cosh from the European Union regarding Windows Media Player and Internet Explorer. Microsoft is under scrutiny once again, this time for changing the policies of its Internet product such as Hotmail and Bing.

So, why exactly is Microsoft being looked into this time? It all centres on policy changes that European data protection regulators are examining for potential privacy issues.

Those same regulators have written to Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO, and the head of Microsoft Luxembourg. It is Luxembourg’s and France’s data protection commissions leading the examination. Bloomberg News managed to get a copy of the letter, which states:

Given the wide range of services you offer, and popularity of these services, changes in your Services Agreement and the linked Privacy Policy may affect many individuals in most or all of the EU member states. We [Luxembourg and France regulators] decided to check the possible consequences for the protection of the personal data of these individuals in a coordinated procedure.

But Microsoft is confident that they are still above board. Robin Koch, a Microsoft Brussels spokesman, made the following statement on behalf of the company:

In updating the Microsoft Services Agreement we did not change our privacy policy. We are confident they will find Microsoft’s long-standing commitment to privacy has not changed.

There are 27 data protection regulators that work together in the so-called ‘Article 29 Data Protection Working Party.’ The same party insisted Google address the fears around its privacy policy in October.

Source: Bloomberg

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