Does Microsoft Have Conflicted Interests Around Data Privacy?
Wednesday is Data Privacy Day in the US, Canada and European Union, and Microsoft says it will release the results of its research into how three demographic groups view data privacy. The findings, along with a short documentary, will be discussed at public event at the San Francisco Library.
industry experts, including Joanne McNabb from the California State Department and Jim Dempsey of the Center for Democracy and Technology, will provide their point of view on online privacy.
Foremski's Take: Microsoft is in an interesting position when it comes to data privacy because it straddles several different communities with different interests:
- It provides most of the technology that consumers use in accessing websites and thus has a responsibility to make sure its operating system and web browser is secure. It's latest Internet Explorer includes a lot of improvements in the security of the browser
- It also has a major online advertising business which seeks to gather as much data as it can in order to better target advertising at consumers. It is interested in consumers sharing as much as they can about their interests and buying habits.
- It provides much of the web server-side technology to third-parties that interface with consumers, and also track consumers across the Internet. Those third-parties are interested in gathering as much information as they can about their visitors to better target products and services and they rely on Microsoft technology to do that.
Does Microsoft have conflicted interests around data privacy?