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Microsoft Adopts Cloud Privacy Standard

Microsoft have laid down a policy for their cloud network which they hope will make it easier for users to trust them when they upload their personal files to online services from the company. An atmosphere of mistrust is floating around technology and online services with regard to personal information of late, as big tech and governments are repeatedly clashing  over the subject of sharing of personal data to law enforcement.

Now, Microsoft has become the first tech company to enact an international standard policy for privacy on cloud services – it will apply not just to those in the US, but to everyone, everywhere, who use their services to back up data online. The policy is first and foremost designed to provide users with assurance that their data won’t be snooped into or shared without the company notifying users first.

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Developed by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO), the document known as ISO/IEC 27018 represents one of the first industry standards around cloud data usage adopted by an industry leader in the tech world. Since it’s approved and designed by the ISO, it is recognizable and easier to acknowledge in the legal world as well.

The standard makes it clear just where data goes once uploaded to the cloud and also defines what is publicly shared, and most importantly what isn’t. Parties named include those labeled as Microsoft’s ‘business clients’ (AKA you) as the primary group concerned in matters of data privacy. It also make a strict promise that data will not be used for purposes of advertising.

Other parts of the standard include a strong security policy from Microsoft designed to keep data safe on the cloud – hacking is an ever growing concern for big tech industry companies since Sony Pictures were hacked last year. It’s not like Microsoft’s security isn’t already extensive, but it’s good to know that there’s now a concrete policy in place.

You can read more about the new security standard over at the Microsoft blog link below, which explains what it means for users more comprehensively. There’s a lot of jargon in the actual document itself, but if you’re up for the read you might find it quite interesting.

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Users of Microsoft’s cloud services, such as Office 365 and Microsoft Azure, can now be confident that both services are in accordance with the standard. Third party body the British Standards Institute has verified that indeed these services do stay in line with what Microsoft and ISO have laid down.

To put the standard in a nutshell, it’s another victory for data protection which is also drawn up and verified by a number of respected legal bodies. This is great news if you’re worried that the Microsoft cloud might be bad for your data.

Source: Microsoft Blog

Source: ISO.org

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