Microsoft Will Stop Reading Your Emails - BestCyberNews: Online News Presenter in the present world

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Microsoft Will Stop Reading Your Emails

According Brad Smith is Microsoft's general counsel and executive vice president of Legal and Corporate Affairs,  Microsoft will no longer snoop on customers' private communications during investigations of stolen property.

Last Thursday, news coverage focused on a case in 2012 in which our investigators accessed the Hotmail content of a user who was trafficking in stolen Microsoft source code.

Over the last week, Microsoft had the opportunity to reflect further on this issue, and as a result of conversations and they had internally and with advocacy groups and other experts, finally decided to take an additional step and make an important change to our privacy practices

Microsoft will no longer delve into customer emails or other content when conducting their own investigations. 

"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."

Microsoft said it performed such searches of private communications only in rare circumstances. Even though the searches appeared to be legal and in compliance with its own terms of service, the company faced criticism from privacy advocates who warned that it would discourage bloggers, journalists and others from using Microsoft communications services.

The controversy was especially damaging because Microsoft has tried to attract new users by boasting about its privacy protections. The company has aired ads claiming Google "scroogles" its users by invading their privacy.

Microsoft wants to continue the debate about customer privacy. "What is the best way to strike the balance in other circumstances that involve, on the one hand, consumer privacy interests, and on the other hand, protecting people and the security of Internet services they use?" 

The company will start to work with, among others, the Electronic Frontier Foundation  to work out a set of practices that will work for everyone who is part of the digital community.

Author Venkatesh Yalagandula Follow us Google + and Facebook and Twitter

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