One of the biggest concerns people have about using a cloud-based service is around privacy and security of their data.  To this end, we’ve made considerable investments in both these areas to help ensure your data is both private and secure.  Let’s address each of these areas individually.

 

Privacy

Microsoft takes the privacy of your data very seriously, and there is an internal organization dedicated to this, also known as one of themain pillars of theTrustworthy Computinginitiative. To quote the TWC:

“We believe that people have the right to not receive unwanted communications. We also believe that people need to be able to trust that their personal information is used appropriately—and that any use of that information provides specific value to them.”

  Over the life of a development project at Microsoft, there are regular design reviews with our internal privacy team to help ensure that products and services are developed in accordance with industry best practices.  A Privacy Statement is prepared and published that outlines what we will and will not do with your data, and provides transparency into how your information will be handled.  Also, access to your information is strictly controlled, and only individuals who need access are given it (for example, to assist you with a support issue you may have submitted).

 

Security

Security is another important pillar in the Trustworthy Computing initiative.  Again, to quote:

“The security of our customers' computers and networks is a top priority, and we are committed to building software and services to better help protect our customers and the industry. Our approach to security includes both technological and social aspects.”

Security considerations can include design and architecture decisions, how the data is moved around, as well as policies and processes for governing access to data.  Again, ongoing security checkpoints are observed throughout the development process to ensure Microsoft corporate Security standards are being met.

 

These are important considerations when building an online service, with the goal of providing a safe and reliable environment for your data, and to assure you that we do as much as we can to address any privacy concerns our customers may have.