Microsoft to Apply EU GDPR Rights Globally

With the May 25 introduction date the the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation looming, computing giant Microsoft has announced that it will be extending the core privacy rights of the new EU legislation on a worldwide basis.

Microsoft Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Julie Brill, stated in a blog post earlier this week that: “GDPR is an important step forward for privacy rights in Europe and around the world, and we’ve been enthusiastic supporters of GDPR since it was first proposed in 2012”.

Along with this, Microsoft will be attending the official launch event for GDPR in Brussels this Friday. Brill added: “We believe privacy is a fundamental human right. As people live more of their lives online and depend more on technology to operate their businesses, engage with friends and family, pursue opportunities, and manage their health and finances, the protection of this right is becoming more important than ever”.

“We are committed to making sure that our products and services comply with GDPR,” Brill said, adding that Microsoft has had more than 1,600 engineers across the company working on GDPR projects.

“We feel good about what we achieved so far. But we know that May 25 isn’t the end of our work. Instead, it is the beginning of the next phase of our focus on GDPR”.

The company recently updated its privacy statement to make it ‘clearer and more transparent’ as part of GDPR compliance. Microsoft chief executive Satya Nadella speaking recently in Seattle also spoke strongly regarding the company’s focus on safeguarding user data. He said: “We need to ask ourselves not only what computers can do, but what computers should do” and he referred to GDPR saying “”GDPR is a sound, good regulation” that Microsoft have been enthusiastic since it was first approved in 2016.

The official statement from Microsoft revealing the worldwide roll out of GDPR rules said: “We’ve been advocating for national privacy legislation in the United States since 2005. We’re encouraged that some other tech companies are starting to endorse the need to address this issue as well. While debate about how to protect data privacy continues in the U.S., we’re committed to moving forward now to take concrete steps to help strengthen people’s privacy protection”.

It added: “That’s why today we are announcing that we will extend the rights that are at the heart of GDPR to all of our consumer customers worldwide. Known as Data Subject Rights, they include the right to know what data we collect about you, to correct that data, to delete it and even to take it somewhere else. Our privacy dashboard gives users the tools they need to take control of their data”.