October, 2012

  • Privacy and Technology in Balance?

    Posted by Brad Smith
    General Counsel & Executive Vice President, Legal & Corporate Affairs, Microsoft

    This week, I had the opportunity to speak in Uruguay at the 34th International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners. This conference brings together leading authorities on privacy from more than 50 countries, including many of the key government officials and regulators responsible for privacy policies around the world. It provides a great opportunity to engage in a dialogue about one of the most important topics facing our industry today. The theme of the conference was “Privacy and Technology in Balance,” a theme that describes well both the challenge we face and how we think about the goal.

    In my remarks, I focused on a few key questions. First, does privacy still matter? And second, how has technology changed the nature of privacy? I also talked about the way we all need to come together – the technology industry, advertisers, government, publishers and others – to shape a thoughtful and consistent approach to privacy that respects the needs and expectations of consumers while balancing the many other benefits that today’s technology and use of data can provide.

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  • Learn to Fight Online Fraud During Cyber Awareness Month

    Posted by Jacqueline Beauchere
    Director, Trustworthy Computing Communications, Microsoft

    Lottery scams, advance-fee fraud, phishing attacks and fake anti-virus alerts. These are just a few ways criminals are attempting to gain access to your personal information to steal money, and impersonate you or hijack your good name. On average, adults in the U.S. have been exposed to eight different types of online scams, according to a new Microsoft survey. Learn to better protect yourself and fight back during National Cyber Security Awareness Month (NCSAM).

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  • Pulse on Citizenship: Microsoft Reports on its Citizenship Work Across the Globe

    Editor’s Note: This post is part of a monthly series from Microsoft’s Citizenship team that appears on the second Wednesday of every month. Pulse on Citizenship provides insight and commentary on topics and trends in corporate citizenship.

    Posted by Lori Harnick
    General Manager, Citizenship & Public Affairs, Microsoft

    Today, we are releasing our annual Citizenship Report, which provides an overview of our citizenship work over the past fiscal year, from July 2011 to June 2012. This is the third year in a row that we have released the Citizenship Report at the same time as our annual financial report. Together, these two milestones give our shareholders, customers, employees and many community partners a full view of Microsoft’s financial and non-financial performance across all business operations.

    The Citizenship Report, in particular, outlines Microsoft’s citizenship goals, progress and next steps in our responsible work practices and service to communities as part of our company commitment to making a real impact for a better tomorrow everywhere we do business.

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  • Supporting Teachers and Schools: A Global Imperative

    Posted by Anthony Salcito
    Vice President, Worldwide Education, Microsoft

    Tomorrow, our partner UNESCO celebrates World Teachers Day, when thousands of communities around the globe honor the women and men who selflessly (and for little material reward) hold our collective future in their hands. It’s a lot to ask, but we trust teachers to help shape our children into productive, responsible citizens for the future. And without the innovative teachers who are redefining education for the 21st century, that future would be very uncertain indeed.

    As the joint impacts of rapidly advancing technology and environmental change continue to remake the global economy, we must build a workforce to support it. We know that well more than 50 percent of today’s jobs require some technology skills, and that percentage is expected to rise to nearly 80 percent in the next decade. We also know that technology alone does not improve student outcomes.

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  • TV White Spaces Spectrum: An Update from Singapore

    Posted by Paul Mitchell
    Senior Director, Technology Policy Group, Microsoft

    Earlier this year, the Singapore White Spaces Pilot Group (SWSPG) launched a significant pilot of wireless broadband using TV White Spaces (TVWS). As part of the momentum of this pilot, the SWSPG convened a one day workshop in Singapore on Oct. 10 that brought together technology and business leaders from around the world to discuss recent progress deploying wireless broadband solutions using TV White Spaces. While participants came from around the world and from across the public and private sectors, attendance and interest from Singapore and the Asia Pacific region were especially encouraging. I was fortunate enough to attend the event, and was truly impressed with the progress and creativity demonstrated by the pilot participants in developing the potential surrounding TV White Spaces.

    It was clear that Singapore in particular understands the importance of and correlation between the digital infrastructure and economic growth, and is determined to fully leverage ICT technologies to turn Singapore into a global leading Smart City and a data hub for the region’s digital economy.

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  • Reducing America’s Talent Deficit

    Posted by Jeff Meisner
    Editor, Microsoft on the Issues

    Today, the Wall Street Journal published an op-ed by Microsoft’s Brad Smith urging lawmakers to pursue a “race to the future” approach to secure U.S. competitiveness and growth.  Building on Microsoft’s National Talent Strategy released last month, Brad makes the case and outlines strategies to improve the education and immigration system, which will strengthen our economy and job opportunities for the next generation. 

    To read Brad’s op-ed, click here (Note: Wall Street Journal content is behind a paywall). For more on Microsoft’s National Talent Strategy proposal, click here.

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  • How You Can Get Involved in National Cyber Security Awareness Month

    Editor’s Note: The following is a guest post from Michael Kaiser, Executive Director of the National Cyber Security Alliance.

    October is National Cyber Security Awareness Month. National Cyber Security Awareness Month is about everyone doing their part to make sure our online lives are kept safe and secure. The Internet is a resource we all share and securing it is our shared responsibility, which is our theme for the month.

    We are thankful to the many companies, organizations and schools that actively do their part to educate the people around them during October, especially companies like Microsoft. Microsoft has been an invaluable partner in National Cyber Security Awareness Month and this year is no different.

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  • The View from Washington State: Creating an Education System for the 21st Century

    Editor’s Note: This post is part of a monthly series from Microsoft called “The View from Washington State”. The View from Washington State will provide insight and commentary on topics and trends of importance to technology, education, corporate citizenship and public policy in Washington State.

    Posted by Jane Broom
    Director of Community Affairs, Microsoft

    Last month, Microsoft unveiled a strategy for closing the growing gap between the skills of the US workforce and those required by employers in an information-driven economy.

    That gap exists here in Washington.  Our state ranks in the top five in the New Economy Index, placing us firmly at the forefront of the nation’s movement toward a global, innovation-based new economy.  However, Washington currently ranks 38th in the nation in bachelor’s degrees awarded per capita.

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  • Restoring U.S. Competitiveness: An @Microsoft Panel Discussion Featuring Scholars from the Toulouse Network for Information Technology

    Posted by Jeff Meisner
    Editor, Microsoft on the Issues

    On Sept. 27, the Microsoft Innovation and Policy Center hosted a panel discussion with scholars from the Toulouse Network of Information Technology (TNIT) in Washington, D.C. The @Microsoft Conversation focused on restoring U.S. competitiveness, specifically exploring how America can ensure job creation and economic growth after a significant recession and slower than anticipated recovery over the past few years.

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  • STEM Students: There is a Path Forward

    Posted by Jeff Meisner
    Editor, Microsoft on the Issues

    Yesterday, Brad Smith, Executive Vice President of Legal & Corporate Affairs at Microsoft spoke at the University of Washington’s Distinguished Lecture Series about the significant role Computer Science is playing in shaping the future of our global economy.

    While the United States faces a growing economic challenge – a substantial and increasing shortage of individuals with the skills needed to fill the new jobs the private sector is creating – supporting the next generation is critical to our nation’s long-term competitiveness and economic growth.

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  • The Week in Tech Policy: Oct. 8th Edition – The Debate on Cybersecurity, Warrantless Mobile Device Tracking & More

    Posted by Jeff Meisner
    Editor, Microsoft on the Issues

    In this edition of The Week in Tech Policy, we have stories on the continuing debates around cybersecurity, warrantless tracking of Americans’ mobile devices and more.

    Debate on cybersecurity continues. Gen. Keith Alexander, the head of U.S. Cyber Command and the National Security Agency, says that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) should lead any effort to facilitate the transfer of threat information between American companies and government agencies, according to this report in Hillicon Valley. However, Senate Republicans say a recent congressional report on DHS indicates that the agency lacks the skills and resources to take a lead role in protecting the nation's computer systems

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  • WE Day Seattle to Make its Debut on March 27

    Posted by Jeff Meisner
    Editor, Microsoft on the Issues

    Today, in front of 2,000 students and teachers at Federal Way High School in Washington state, Microsoft General Counsel and Executive Vice President of Legal & Corporate Affairs Brad Smith joined Free The Children founder Craig Kielburger and Seattle Seahawks’ Head Coach Pete Carroll to announce We Day Seattle - an exciting new, year-long program at that will educate, engage and empower 15,000 youth in Washington to become involved global citizens.

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  • The Week in Tech Policy: Oct. 1st Edition – California Bans Employers from Asking for Facebook Passwords & a New Privacy Bill Introduced in Congress

    Posted by Jeff Meisner
    Editor, Microsoft on the Issues

    In this edition of The Week in Tech Policy, we have stories on California banning employers and universities from asking for Facebook and social media information from employees and students, new Internet radio legislation and a new privacy bill that would require law enforcement to obtain a warrant before gaining access to Americans’ e-mail and cell phone data.

    California bans employers from asking for Facebook passwords. “California Gov. Jerry Brown signed two bills into law on (Sept. 27) that would block universities and employers from requiring that applicants hand over their passwords for email, Facebook and other social media accounts,” Hillicon Valley reports. One bill would ban employers from demanding social media account information from employees and job applicants while the other bill would ban universities from doing the same to current and prospective students as well as student groups.

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