Those of us who keep our confidential information in the Cloud will be pleased with the announcement last week by Microsoft General Counsel & Executive Vice President, Legal & Corporate Affairs, Brad Smith that “effective immediately” Microsoft will no longer inspect their customers’ private content.
The change is to be included in Microsoft’s Terms of Service and will be binding on Microsoft.
The new policy is the result of criticism of Microsoft over its investigators accessing Hotmail content in connection with alleged theft of Microsoft’s intellectual property.
Although, according to Smith, Microsoft was lawfully entitled under its terms of service to access accounts in such circumstances, given the changed environment of the “post-Snowden era”, Microsoft will now refer such cases to law enforcement authorities.
The company, says Smith, will now “rely on formal legal processes for our own investigations”.
Microsoft is promoting a project among stakeholders to address the issues raised by the tension between privacy interests and security.