Microsoft has announced it will extend its data privacy tools to individual users of the company’s products and services worldwide. Microsoft’s Data Subject Rights include the right to know about the data the company collects on you and the ability to correct the data, delete it, or move the data elsewhere. Microsoft’s privacy dashboard will help its customers manage their data. The announcement mirrors action taken by other technology companies in preparation for the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which goes into effect on May 25th. The GDPR sets new rules for how companies manage and share personal data.
In a blog post that calls privacy “a fundamental human right,” Microsoft says it’s had more than 1,600 of its engineers working on GDPR projects. It has also made investments to redesign its tools and systems to comply with the new rules. Microsoft notes that it will use customer feedback to improve the privacy tools.
“We believe privacy is a fundamental human right. As people live more of their lives online and depend more on technology to operate their businesses, engage with friends and family, pursue opportunities, and manage their health and finances, the protection of this right is becoming more important than ever.”
“Privacy is also the foundation for trust. We know that people will only use technology that they trust. Ultimately, trust is created when people are confident that their personal data is safe and they have a clear understanding of how and why it is used. This means companies like ours have a huge responsibility to safeguard the privacy of the personal data we collect and the data we manage for our commercial customers.”
Microsoft has also updated its privacy statement that governs consumers, making it easier to read and inclusive of specific information related to GDPR. Additions to the statement include highlighting new categories surrounding personal data the company collects like voice data, content consumption data, and browsing history. The updated privacy statement also clarifies how Microsoft uses personal data generally and describes how customers can access and control their data.
Previously, Facebook has said it will roll out privacy tools globally, while Apple has introduced a feature that allows anyone to download all the information the company has on them. The EU has previously expressed concern over Microsoft’s privacy settings in Windows 10. Microsoft released a new data collection viewer tool as part of the recent Windows 10 April 2018 Update to help dispel those worries.