Posted by Andy LeesPresident, Mobile Communications Business, Microsoft
Many consumers and policymakers are asking important questions about how today’s phones are collecting and using information about a phone user’s location. The discussion has intensified over the past few weeks when the practices of two other companies in the mobile market were called into question. As a result, several members of the House of Representatives sent a letter to a number of companies that provide mobile phone services seeking clarity on this issue.
We at Microsoft believe this is an important discussion to have. To that end, below, I’ve included what we’ve shared with Congress about the ways Microsoft has taken privacy into account proactively with Windows Phone 7. (You can also find a copy of our response here.)
Posted by Curt KolcunVice President, U.S. Public Sector, Microsoft
Today, I had the honor of representing Microsoft as President Barack Obama discussed the administration’s ongoing commitment to fostering opportunities to help prepare the nation’s veterans for their transition to the civilian workforce.
We applaud the President for continuing to draw attention to this very important issue, supporting veterans, as they move from the military to civilian life, and ensuring they are fully supported and see great success along the way.
Microsoft also understands the need in this area. In response, we will step up our existing efforts. We will expand our Elevate America veterans initiative by partnering with the U.S. Department of Labor to distribute 10,000 technology training and certification packages to veterans.
Posted by Dave HeinerVice President & Deputy General Counsel, Microsoft
The FTC took steps today to address some of Google’s improper business practices. We find it troubling that the agency did not adhere to its own standard procedures that call for the agency to obtain industry input on proposed relief and secure it through an enforceable consent decree. The FTC’s overall resolution of this matter is weak and—frankly—unusual. We are concerned that the FTC may not have obtained adequate relief even on the few subjects that Google has agreed to address.
For years Google has publicly championed the virtues of “data portability”—the idea that customers ought to be able to use their own data in products from various companies. But in practice, Google effectively prohibited its primary paying customers (advertisers) from using data about their own advertising campaigns on any ad platform other than Google’s. That made it much more difficult and costly for advertisers (especially small advertisers) to run their ad campaigns on Bing and other ad platforms.
Posted by Samantha DoerrPublic Affairs Manager, Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit
In order to effectively solve difficult societal problems, we must first understand them. With the belief that research can open the door to effective interventions in the fight against modern day slavery, in December the Microsoft Digital Crimes Unit and Microsoft Research partnered to release a request for proposals from the academic community to better understand the intersection of technology and child sex trafficking.
Posted by Jeff JonesDirector, Trustworthy Computing, Microsoft
Computing is now an essential part of our everyday lives. The Internet today reaches a global population of more than two billion people – providing a range of critical services to more citizens around the world than ever before. We are using a greater variety of devices and managing data in unique ways to communicate and share information with others and conduct business online. However, a range of players are focusing their energies on misusing and attacking an increasingly networked environment through a variety of complex cyber threats that raise new challenges for citizens on the Internet.
Commonly available cyber defenses such as firewalls, antivirus software and automatic updates for security patches help reduce the risk from threats, but they are not enough. Industry and governments have begun efforts to help protect consumers against online threats. This collective work to build safer computing experiences online is very important and should continue. We must try to prevent computer infections before they happen, before data can be lost and identities stolen. This effort requires a collaborative approach among key members across the IT ecosystem. We are better together.