TECH TREK

Microsoft Touts Privacy Bona Fides to European Customers

Having become the first company to formally meet the European Union’s data protection rules, Microsoft is trying to turn its trustworthiness into business in privacy-wary Europe.

“For customers who care about privacy and compliance, there is no more committed partner than Microsoft,” wrote Microsoft General Counsel Brad Smith in a Thursday blog post.

More so than in the U.S., data protection is a hot-button topic in Europe, especially in the wake of Edward Snowden’s leaks. Europe’s highest court earlier this week discarded a 2006 ruling that required telecommunications companies to store phone calls or online communications.

Also, German Chancellor Angela Merkel has championed the idea of having Europe-based data networks — which would, at least in theory, protect Europeans from NSA shenanigans.

German telecommunications companies also have seen marketing opportunities in privacy fears, announcing plans for snoop-proof communications.

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David Vranicar is a freelance journalist and author ofThe Lost Graduation: Stepping off campus and into a crisis. You can check out hisECT News archive here, and you can email him at david[dot]vranicar[at]newsroom[dot]ectnews[dot]com. You can also connect with him on Google+.

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