Guest Post by Jon Pincus Chief Technology Officer, Qworky Co-Chair,
Computers, Freedom and Privacy conference
The issue of privacy in social networks is on the cover of Time
magazine and is showing up in attack ads in political races. We're in
the midst of intense political battles over net neutrality and
cybersecurity. The one-year anniversary of the Iranian election protests
highlights the potential as well as the risks of online activism for
human rights. Issues like privacy of health-care information, the
'smart grid' and intelligent transportation systems are affecting more
and more people in their day-to-day lives.
And hey, guess what? All of these topics and more are on the agenda
for this week's 20th anniversary conference on Computers,
Freedom and Privacy in San Jose, California. On top of that, we’ll
draft a Social Network Users' Bill of Rights and wrap up the
conference with a debate and voting.
CFP is sponsored by the Association
for Computing Machinery (ACM) as part of its ongoing effort to
educate policymakers and the public on how computing and information
technologies are transforming our society. In aid of that, we're
webcasting many of the sessions, including Tuesday's opening session on Privacy and Free Speech: It's Good for Business and
Microsoft Chief Privacy Strategist Peter Cullen’s Tuesday afternoon 5
p.m. PT keynote, on The Importance of Accountable and Privacy-Centric
Organization in the Cloud Era: Why Privacy Matters.
Posted by Peter Cullen Chief Privacy Strategist
have been actively engaged in privacy issues for over a decade, first
at the Royal Bank of Canada and now as Chief Privacy Strategist for
Microsoft since 2003.
During that time privacy has rarely
received as much attention as it’s getting now. Mainstream media from
Good Morning America to USA Today regularly have stories about
everything from shifting online privacy policies to unauthorized
collections and use of personal data. At the same time, some in the
tech industry have suggested that social networking and other new
technologies are making privacy obsolete.
Given the high level
of interest, I’m pleased to be in San Jose this afternoon to deliver the
keynote address at the Computers,
Freedom and Privacy conference.
Microsoft has been working
on online privacy issues since launching MSN in 1994. We’ve had our
challenges along the way, but we’ve learned from our mistakes and
privacy has become increasingly central to everything we do.
this year, in a speech at the University of Washington, Steve
Ballmer said: “As a mature and responsible organization, we have got to
lead with privacy.”
And this is very much Microsoft’s goal. To
apply what we’ve learned in the past around privacy to today’s rapidly
evolving landscape of social media, information flows and the cloud.
One reason we are focused on privacy is because it still very much
matters to our customers- it remains a matter of “trust.”
social media may be pushing the boundaries around privacy and altering
certain behaviors, heavy users of social media – including young people
who some claim don’t know better -- value and fiercely protect their
right to privacy.
Posted by Horacio Gutierrez Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel
For more than a decade, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has been criticized for long delays in the processing of patent applications and for issues around patent quality. Both can have negative impacts on innovation, as the USPTO recognized in a recent White Paper.
To address these problems, USPTO has done some innovating of its own. Director David Kappos announced a proposal earlier this month that grapples with the backlog issue and offers an opportunity for applicants to work with the Office to assign priority to pending applications. The “Three-Track” proposal would enable applicants, when they file, to request expedited review under Track I or delayed examination under Track III. Applicants that do not request either option would have their applications processed under current procedures (Track II). We applaud the creative thinking and leadership behind the Three Track initiative. If carefully implemented, it will have real benefits for innovators of all sizes, from companies like Microsoft to small and medium-sized enterprises, as well as individual inventors and universities.
Posted by Nancy Anderson Corporate Vice President and
Deputy General Counsel Today in Washington, DC, the
National Cyber-Forensics and Training Alliance (NCFTA) and other leading industry and
consumer protection organizations are announcing the worldwide launch of Internet Fraud Alert. It’s a new
program to help make the Internet a safer and more productive place for
consumers and businesses.
Through a centralized alert system
powered by Microsoft technology and managed by NCFTA, Internet
Fraud Alert provides a new, powerful tool to quickly inform financial
and online companies about compromised customer account credentials
(such as online usernames and passwords) or stolen credit card numbers.
With this information, institutions can take action to protect their
customers from further fraud against their accounts.
effects of fraud can be devastating to people and the financial and
online institutions whose services they use. Last year, according to the
Anti-Phishing Working Group,
one million U.S. households lost money or had accounts misused as a
result of phishing, at a cost of $650 million. APWG’s recent data
suggests that phishers are exploiting more brands than ever before.
online fraudsters become increasingly sophisticated in their endeavors,
so too have public/private countermeasures. But we’re not yet as
effective as we could be. For example, when compromised or stolen
account information is uncovered, there is no easy way to determine the
company responsible for the account or how best to report the problem –
which wastes valuable time and resources.
Posted by John Scarrow General Manager of Safety
Last week the Microsoft
Digital Crimes Unit filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court under the
federal CAN-SPAM Act against the perpetrators of what we believe to be
one of the largest-ever spam attacks on Windows Live Hotmail. The
lawsuit –Microsoft Corporation v. Boris Mizhen, et al. – alleges
defendants engaged in an elaborate scheme to evade Microsoft’s filters
by abusing Microsoft’s Junk E-Mail Reporting Program (JMRP)
and Smart Network Data Services (SNDS) to send
vast quantities of spam each day. JMRP and SNDS are free services
designed to help protect Windows Live Hotmail customers from spam by
encouraging people to report it and to help improve our spam filters by
identifying legitimate mail as such.
In our lawsuit, we allege
that defendants opened millions of Hotmail e-mail accounts and hired
people to manually identify spam mails as legitimate mails in order to
trick Hotmail into classifying spam as legitimate mail. Such actions
undermine the measures we’ve put in place to protect people. We take
this abuse very seriously, and while Hotmail and our SmartScreen filter continue to work to block spam
from this identified scheme, we’ll keep investigating and pursuing spam
attacks to protect our network and our customers.