Posted by Mary Snapp
Deputy General Counsel, Microsoft

Last week, Brad Smith wrote a post on the encouraging signs that privacy is not only on peoples’ minds but that real actions are being taken to strengthen consumers’ online privacy. Key groups helping to shape the future of online privacy are moving closer to consensus on standards and rules to better protect people’s information. And consumer groups, as well as consumers themselves, are raising their voices and urging the computing industry to work together to give people more choice and control over how information is collected and shared online.

Today, we’re showing our commitment to that evolving dialogue with the launch of several consumer-focused actions: a targeted ad campaign in two U.S. cities – Washington, D.C. and Kansas City, MO – and a new online resource for consumers that will help them learn about their privacy behaviors and take steps to shape their online personas.

As a long-time Microsoft lawyer who has worked on privacy since the day we launched MSN, I want to see a healthy, vibrant internet economy continue to blossom with advertising and advertisers critical to growth. But in my 25 years at Microsoft, I have also been stepmom to three teenagers coming of age during the Internet boom, and cared for aging Midwestern parents using their first computers and cellphones, so issues related to online privacy are quite personal as well. Through this lens, I want the Internet economy to grow, but to grow responsibly, so that my husband and my stepkids can have the type of privacy choice and control they want.

I got a chance to take the “Your Privacy Type” quiz this weekend, and, given my role, you’re probably not surprised that I’m a “Privacy Please” individual, while my husband is more of the “Carefree Surfer” type. The quiz already has sparked a conversation in our house, and reminded me that I really do need to value our differences.

The ad campaign we’re launching today, and our new www.microsoft.com/yourprivacy, site further reinforce our more than decade-long commitment to consumers worldwide that your privacy is our priority. Microsoft is committed to doing our part to helping protect privacy as we and others in our industry work to advance the internet economy.

We look forward to engaging with you in conversations related to online privacy and hope you’ll take advantage of the resources we and others provide to ensure that you have the information and tools you need to make informed decisions about your online privacy.