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.
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.
Posted by Karen JonesVice President & Deputy General Counsel, HR Legal, Microsoft
Yesterday, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services announced it had reached the statutory cap for H-1B specialty occupation petitions for fiscal year 2013, giving us a stark reminder of the continuing obstacles created by our country’s current framework for high skilled immigration.
This comes at a time when the latest Bureau of Labor Statistics data shows the unemployment rate for computer and math occupations at just 3.5 percent – reflecting the growing shortage of U.S. workers with these skills. Reaching the annual allotment of H-1B visas only 10 weeks after the application filing period opened disrupts U.S. business and stifles growth at a critical time in our nation’s economic recovery by shutting down the hiring of global talent for the next 10 months.
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.
Posted by Tim FieldenAssistant General Counsel, Microsoft
Microsoft, like other businesses, relies on user agreements that we ask consumers to read and accept before using our products and services. We revise and update these agreements over time. This post discusses a change we have begun making as we update user agreements across our consumer products and services.