Posted by Brendon LynchChief Privacy Officer, Microsoft
Accountability has been a globally recognized principle of privacy and data protection for more than three decades. But in the past few years, an important effort has been under way to clearly delineate what accountability—and the related concept of responsibility—means for organizations that collect, store and process information.
To help advance this critical conversation, today we are publishing an accountability-based analysis of Microsoft’s privacy program. We are releasing the paper to coincide with meetings at the European Parliament in Brussels this week of The Accountability Project co-hosted by the Centre for Information Policy Leadership and the European Data Protection Supervisor as part of a global Accountability Project.
Posted by Brad SmithGeneral Counsel & Executive Vice President, Legal & Corporate Affairs, Microsoft
Earlier today, I participated in an event on Capitol Hill about the U.S. patent system and software patents sponsored by BSA│The Software Alliance and the National Association of Manufacturers. Panelists included representatives of tech companies, manufacturers, and start-ups, and it was interesting to see the extent to which all of us innovate in software and rely on the patent system to incentivize and protect those innovations. This is not surprising: we live in a digital world. Many things that used to be done mechanically or via hardware – such as throttle control systems – are now implemented in software.
Recent studies from the Department of Commerce and the Brookings Institution show that patents drive job creation, productivity, and economic growth today. Given the benefits of the patent system, it is important to ensure that it functions well. As I mentioned in my remarks today, there is no question that the U.S. patent system has tremendous strengths but also significant weaknesses. All of us – private companies, the USPTO, Congress and the courts – share responsibility for taking steps to improve the operation of the patent system. From Microsoft’s perspective, the key opportunities relate to increasing transparency, curbing litigation abuse, and improving patent quality. Specific reforms we support include:
Posted by Dave HeinerVice President & Deputy General Counsel, Corporate Standards Group & Antitrust Group, Microsoft
Earlier today, Microsoft posted a statement concerning our commitment to industry standards. The statement sets forth Microsoft’s long-standing approach to patents that are essential to industry standards: we license them to other firms. We don’t seek to block other firms from shipping products on the basis of these patents. Our approach is shared by Apple, Cisco and many others in the industry.
Why are “standards essential patents” so important to the industry and to consumers?
You may not realize it, but anytime you use the Internet, your cell phone or a computer, you are benefitting from international technical standards. Watching a video? You’re probably using a standard called H.264. Connected to a wireless network? You’re using another standard called 802.11. These and other standards enable a wide variety of devices and websites to work well with one another. In fact, the whole Internet is built on standards like these.
Posted by Brad SmithExecutive Vice President & General Counsel, Legal & Corporate Affairs, Microsoft
One of the most important policy discussions emerging this year is the effort to update privacy laws in Europe and the United States. This is welcome news. Key laws governing privacy and security on both sides of the Atlantic have not been overhauled in a significant manner for two to three decades, yet technology – and society – has changed dramatically.
This morning I spoke at the International Association of Privacy Professionals’ Global Privacy Summit about these efforts. At Microsoft, we support the work here in the U.S. and in Europe to update privacy laws to reflect changes in technology, and the many new and different ways people and organizations gather and use information.
Posted by David FinnAssociate General Counsel, Worldwide Anti-piracy and Anti-counterfeiting, Microsoft
Software counterfeiting and piracy is a global problem that no single entity solves alone.