Posted by Mike HintzeChief Privacy Counsel, Microsoft
For any technology company, continuous innovation is essential to stay relevant. But new features and functionality are not enough. Increasingly, consumers want innovations that help them keep their personal information secure and private. And policymakers and regulators are looking to industry to take the lead on creating new tools and policies that enhance privacy and data protection. To explore these issues in more detail, last week we hosted our latest “@Microsoft Conversations on Privacy” in our Washington, D.C. office. Our theme was “Empowering Consumers with Privacy Innovations,” and the discussion explored some of the many privacy-enhancing technologies that organizations are developing to assist their customers. We also examined the expectations that regulators and policymakers have for companies to help enhance consumers' data protection, and heard feedback on the progress made in this area to date.
Posted by Jeff MeisnerEditor, Microsoft on the Issues
Welcome to The Week in Tech Policy, a new weekly roundup that highlights interesting news in key policy that affect the tech industry.
Technology is an ever-evolving business, and each week there are plenty of interesting policy-related developments that affect our industry. Our goal is to bring you an easy to digest summary each week of the developments that we think are interesting, or that you may have missed. Visit Microsoft on the Issues every Monday at 6 a.m. to quickly get caught up. We’ll bring you stories from all around the Web on a diverse set of topics including intellectual property, corporate citizenship, high-skilled immigration, education, privacy and more.
In this, the premier edition of The Week in Tech Policy, we have stories on standard essential patents, digital copyright issues, education and more.
Editor’s Note: This post is the first in a new monthly series from Microsoft’s Citizenship team called “Pulse on Citizenship,” which will appear at 6 a.m. PT on the second Wednesday of every month. Pulse on Citizenship will provide insight and commentary on topics and trends in corporate citizenship.
Posted by Steve LippmanDirector, Citizenship and Public Affairs, Microsoft
The Internet gains approximately eight new users every second. Sitting in the Corporate Citizenship team of a large public company like Microsoft, it sometimes feels that there’s a similar rate of growth in the number of global corporate responsibility ratings, certifications and voluntary codes and initiatives. This is an exaggeration of course, but it’s worth noting that the think tank SustainAbility conducted an inventory of corporate responsibility ratings two years ago, which found 108 separate ratings, of which only 21 had existed in 2000. In my experience, the number of ratings has only increased in the two years since that inventory.
In many ways, that’s great news. It demonstrates the growing recognition of the importance of corporate social responsibility among a wide range of groups, including institutional investors, government policymakers, the media and customers. It provides a wealth of opportunities for feedback, learning and collaborative partnerships between companies and their important stakeholders.
Posted by Brad SmithGeneral Counsel & Executive Vice President, Legal & Corporate Affairs, Microsoft
This week privacy authorities from all 27 European Union member states adopted a long-awaited Opinion clarifying what companies must do to safeguard the private information of Europe’s citizens when these companies use cloud services. Known as the Article 29 Working Party, the Opinion from these experts is essential reading for every business considering moving to the cloud.
In issuing this Opinion, European regulators provided the strongest endorsement to date for the European Model Clauses, a set of contractual safeguards that cloud service providers can use to demonstrate their commitment to the world’s most stringent data protection requirements.
Last week, Brad Smith, Microsoft’s general counsel and executive vice president of Legal & Corporate Affairs, joined Jeffrey Wadsworth, CEO of Battelle Memorial Institute, and others at the U.S News STEM Solutions 2012 summit. During the opening panel, moderated by basketball icon and current Global Cultural Ambassador Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, participants spoke to the challenges, successes and needs surrounding STEM (science, technology, engineering and math) education in the United States.
Brad spoke about the need for a more transformative approach to the advancement of STEM education, his involvement in rethinking the role business plays in education, and the types of partnerships needed to improve STEM learning outcomes for students. He also spoke about the importance of combining philanthropy with advocacy work, as well as the importance of the business community using its voice to advocate needed policy changes in state capitals and in Washington D.C.