Microsoft plans to extend EU data privacy rights to global customers

Microsoft plans to extend EU data privacy rights to global customers
24 May, 2018

Tech giant Microsoft Corporation said it plans to extend the rights accorded by the European Union's new data privacy law to all its customers globally.

The General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which comes into effect from Friday, aims to give people greater control over how their personal data is used. In addition, companies will have to follow strict protocols on storing private data and sharing it with third parties.

"As an EU regulation, GDPR creates important new rights specifically for individuals in the European Union," Julie Brill, corporate vice president and deputy general counsel, Microsoft, wrote in a blog post. "But we believe GDPR establishes important principles that are relevant globally." 

Brill alluded to Data Subject Rights, which gives users the right to know what data is collected about them and to correct, delete or redirect that data.

"Our privacy dashboard gives users the tools they need to take control of their data," she added.

Brill said that the company has also published an updated privacy statement governing its consumer products and services. The new privacy statement reflects the company's decision to extend key rights under GDPR to consumers around the world, she said.

Microsoft has more than 1,600 engineers across the company working on GDPR projects. Brill said that since the regulation was new and was in the process of being interpreted, Microsoft will keep working towards ways that helps it maintain compliance with the law.

She added that Microsoft will constantly evaluate its products, services and data uses as understanding of GDPR evolves.

Apart from Microsoft, a number of firms including Google, Facebook and Twitter have changed their privacy settings in the build-up to the GDPR rules coming into force. These companies have been shooting off mails to their users asking them to agree to the new policies.