Microsoft has made some changes to its privacy policies after facing a strong criticism for snooping a suspected user’s email account under certain circumstances. Now the company will turn to law enforcement before they proceed in such cases.
In a blog post Friday, Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith said, “Effective immediately, if we receive information indicating that someone is using our services to traffic in stolen intellectual or physical property from Microsoft, we will not inspect a customer’s private content ourselves. Instead, we will refer the matter to law enforcement if further action is required.”
Lately, Microsoft broke into a blogger’s email account who was suspected for stealing Windows 8 code before the OS launched officially. In this case, former Microsoft employee Alex Kibkalo was also arrested for leaking intellectual trade secrets.
Microsoft’s actions were strongly criticized. In response to the criticism, the company said that they had all rights reserved to break into someone’s email account to protect its intellectual or physical property with no permissions.
The change in privacy practices also reflects Microsoft’s approach towards “post-Snowden era in which people rightly focus on the ways others use their personal information.” Indeed the changes will help Microsoft to gain the trust of all existing and new customers.
Microsoft usually condemns Google’s privacy practices in which they scan emails or attachments for adverts. And Microsoft’s willingness with regards to users’ personal details will indeed attract new users to Outlook.com, after all, they respect users’ privacy now.