Locking down your data. Are lawmakers finally waking up to the importance of privacy?

Locking down your data. Are lawmakers finally waking up to the importance of privacy? Locking down your data. Are lawmakers finally waking up to the importance of privacy?

November 27, 20192 min read
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Data collection and data control are becoming international issues. As the lucrative and important pieces of customer data collection become a priority for major tech and software companies – privacy and protection is now emerging as the key issue for international legislators.


Just recently, Microsoft had to update several of its agreements with cloud customers and re-classify its role in Europe.


Last month, as part of an enquiry that opened earlier this year, the European Data Protection Supervisor (EDPS) expressed 'serious concerns' over whether the relevant contractual terms were compliant with GDPR, and over Microsoft's role as a data processor or data controller for EU institutions.


The report followed the publication of a series of papers by the Dutch Ministry of Justice and Security, suggesting that Office 365 was breaching GDPR by collecting 'functional and diagnostics data', including email subject lines and text run through a spell-checker.


Microsoft has now acknowledged its position as a data controller - which has a higher bar for ensuring user data - when it comes to the provision of enterprise services.


"In the [Online Services Terms] OST update, we will clarify that Microsoft assumes the role of data controller when we process data for specified administrative and operational purposes incident to providing the cloud services covered by this contractual framework, such as Azure, Office 365, Dynamics and Intune," says Julie Brill, Microsoft's corporate vice president for global privacy and regulatory affairs and chief privacy officer.


"This subset of data processing serves administrative or operational purposes such as account management; financial reporting; combating cyber attacks on any Microsoft product or service; and complying with our legal obligations." 

Forbes Magazine – November 18





Data collection and control are becoming big issues on a global scale as more and more governments are looking for consumer protection while companies are seeking the profit that comes from the information customers provide voluntarily and sometimes unwillingly .


  • Are you a reporter covering technology, privacy and data collection and control? 


  • Did you know that there is value in the results of spell-checkers and document review tools?


If you have questions or need an expert source for insight and perspective – let us help.


Dr. Rachel Cummings is an expert in data privacy, algorithmic economics, optimization, statistics, and information theory. Dr. Cummings is available to speak with media regarding data privacy and other topics, simply click on her icon to arrange an interview.


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  • Rachel Cummings
    Rachel Cummings Assistant Professor, Industrial and Systems Engineering

    Rachel Cummings is an expert in data privacy, algorithmic economics, optimization, statistics, and information theory.

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