Just days after Google launched My Account dashboard which gives users more control over the data they share to third-party companies for advertisement and other purposes, Microsoft too has come up with similar features and policies in their updated service agreement and privacy statement.
The new changes which would come into effect from August 1, 2015 are easier to understand and provide an accurate picture to customers leading to better transparency.
Horacio Gutierrez, Deputy General Counsel at Legal And Corporate Affairs at Microsoft says,
In an effort to further simplify the terms and policies for our customers, we are updating the Microsoft services Agreement and the Microsoft Privacy Statement effective August 1 to reflect our latest services in a more streamlines format.
These new changes will be applicable to Xbox Live, Bing, MSN, Skype, OneDrive, Outlook.com and Microsoft account and are formed by Microsoft with an aim to simplify and bring clarity of text and agreements in use by avoiding legal jargon so that users can easily understand the otherwise complicated terms.
The most significant addition, incorporating these changes is the new Privacy Dashboard which will bring together its service agreements and privacy policies making them available in a single page or document.
The new dashboard incorporates dedicated functions to let the users control the amount of data they share with other websites. For instance, under Apps and Permissions section, one can manage which Microsoft apps and services can use your info. Similarly there are other sections such as Marketing, Advertising and Personalization which allow users to moderate marketing emails, opt in or out of personalized advertisements and to customize their experience on Bing search respectively.
With the advent of internet and new digital technologies, privacy of consumers is something which has been widely debated all over the world. It is interesting that the tech companies finally seem to be paying attention to the consumer concerns over their private data being no longer private, especially after the recent passing of a bill by US Legislature which gives NSA “official backdoor access” to personal information stored on mobile devices.
The move is vehemently opposed by as many as 140 tech companies including giants such as Google, Facebook, Apple who have together signed a petition addressed to President to reject the legislation as it deliberately weakens the security of their products and have requested to instead develop policies that will promote, rather than undermining the wide adoption of strong encryption technology.