December, 2013

  • Privacy Models: The Next Evolution

    Posted by Peter Cullen
    General Manager, Trustworthy Computing, Microsoft

    We live in an environment where the amount of data being generated is increasing at a staggering pace. With it we see a corresponding growth in the potential for important benefits, both to us as individuals and as a society, based on using this information.However, in this data-rich world it is becoming clear that today’s privacy frameworks cannot adequately protect consumer privacy; it has become critical that we evolve our thinking with respect to the ways societies protect the privacy of individuals while providing for responsible, beneficial data use.

    Identifying frameworks that support the dual goals of privacy and responsible data use is the motivation for Microsoft’s collaboration with privacy stakeholders from around the world – across governments, private enterprise and civil society. Today, we are pleased to have been able to support the launch of two new white papers: “Data Protection Principles for the 21st Century” and “Data Use and Global Impact” which outline important new thinking on this topic.

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  • Reforming government surveillance

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

    Today, we are joining AOL, Apple, Facebook, Google, LinkedIn, Twitter and Yahoo in calling for reforms of government surveillance.

    Since Microsoft was founded, we’ve believed technology is a powerful tool that can help people. In that belief we remain steadfast.

    But we also recognize another important point. People won’t use technology they don’t trust. Governments have put this trust at risk, and governments need to help restore it.

    Last week we announced that we’re taking new steps to reduce the risk of government snooping. Today we’re joining with others across our industry to call on governments to adhere to specific principles with respect to surveillance.

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  • University of Colorado Health adopts Microsoft Office 365 for its data privacy and security commitment

    Posted by Dr. Dennis Schmuland
    Chief Health Strategy Officer, U.S. Health & Life Sciences, Microsoft

    On Wednesday, University of Colorado Health (UCHealth), one of the state’s largest healthcare providers, announced its migration to Microsoft Office 365, a decision that was made in large part due to Microsoft’s long-standing commitment to data security and privacy and because the company supports HIPAA requirements beyond what other vendors provide.

    Such cloud adoption within the healthcare industry is gaining momentum because the economic, clinician productivity and care team collaboration advantages of the cloud are undeniable. However, as was the case for UCHealth, there’s one fundamental concern that continues to weigh heavily on the minds of providers: Is patient data safe, secure and private in the cloud.

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  • Microsoft hosts conversation addressing myths and realities of unlicensed TV white spaces

    Posted by Jeff Meisner
    Editor, Microsoft on the Issues

    On Dec. 17, Microsoft’s Innovation & Policy Center in Washington, D.C. assembled panelists from the New America Foundation, Texas Instruments, the Institute for Complex Systems Simulation and Lerman Senter PLLC law firm to offer insight into the current state of affairs in the field of unlicensed spectrum use.

    Panelists participated in a wide ranging conversation, which included topics such as the potential uses of spectrum white spaces, the state of standards work, the policy issues pending before the FCC and the potential economic value of unlicensed use in the TV band. The experts sorted through the myths and promises of TV white spaces in order to discover what it will take to make robust unlicensed TV band use a reality.

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  • Raising the Bar: Exploring the diversity gap within the legal profession

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

    By 2042, the U.S. population is projected to be “majority minority," and no one race or ethnicity will any longer be the majority in America. While America increasingly reflects the extraordinarily diverse people and cultures from around the world, the legal profession does not.

    Unless the legal profession makes faster progress, it will miss the dynamism and creativity that diversity brings to other fields. We risk failure in having a profession that is as diverse as the country we serve – a prerequisite for healthy legal service for a democracy.

    Many lawyers are aware we have not kept pace with the nation. What is troubling is the lack of clarity about why this is happening. And until we know why, we are just guessing at the best ways to help build a more diverse legal profession.

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  • Microsoft voices support for passage of the Innovation Act

    Posted by Horacio Gutierrez
    Deputy General Counsel & Corporate Vice President, Legal & Corporate Affairs, Microsoft

    Thursday's overwhelming bipartisan House vote to pass the Innovation Act (H.R. 3309) marks a significant milestone toward enactment of common-sense reforms to curb abusive patent litigation. Abusive patent lawsuits create a heavy burden on the U.S. economy — slowing innovation, undermining competitiveness and stunting economic growth.

    H.R. 3309 addresses this urgent problem by striking a balance that deters bad actors while protecting intellectual property rights.

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  • Making important progress on computer science education

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

    This week, we have seen tremendous enthusiasm and excitement from more than 13 million students who are learning a new language. The language? Computer Science.

    Across the country and around the world, students have been celebrating Computer Science Education Week by participating in Hour of Code events. In partnership with Code.org, Microsoft has been hosting Hour of Code programs at our retail stores and with our YouthSpark partners, witnessing the delight of students who are experiencing coding for the first time. This week, I had the opportunity to see this excitement firsthand when I met with students and teachers at Fairwood Elementary School in Renton, Wash. to present $10,000 in Code.org funding for tablets that will help students strengthen their computer science skills.

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  • Microsoft, The Atlantic & National Journal Present “A New America: How Millennials are Sparking Change” town hall

    Posted by Jeff Meisner
    Editor, Microsoft on the Issues

    On Dec. 6, Microsoft, in partnership with The Atlantic and National Journal, hosted the first in a series of traveling town halls to explore the opportunities, inclinations and impact of the millennial generation as it faces an increasingly connected world and competitive workplace.

    “A New America: How Millennials Are Sparking Change” combines the knowledge of seasoned leaders with the ambitions of young iconoclasts who are changing the world from the outside in. This first conversation took place at California State University in Los Angeles, featuring leading thought-leaders, educators, government officials, entrepreneurs and students.

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  • A day of action to demand ECPA reform

    Posted by Frederick S. Humphries Jr.
    Vice President of U.S. Government Affairs, Microsoft

    On Thursday, Microsoft joined a nationwide day of action to call for an update to the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA). We are asking Congress to codify what courts and service providers across the U.S. are already doing: require all law enforcement to obtain a warrant before demanding access to the contents of customer communications or documents customers store in the cloud. Microsoft has long supported reform of ECPA, is an active member of the Digital Due Process Coalition, and has testified before Congress on the importance of striking a better balance between privacy and the needs of law enforcement.

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