Microsoft backs EU-US shield

ShieldSoftware King of the World Microsoft has backed the EU-US Privacy Shield.

For those who came in late, Privacy Shield, a proposed legislation to govern data transmission between the EU and US.

While acknowledging that more work will need to be done after it is adopted, Vole has thrown its support behind Privacy Shield, writing in its Volish bog that after careful and detailed review, it “believes wholeheartedly that it represents an effective framework and should be approved”.

Not only does it urge the quick acceptance of Privacy Shield in its proposed form, its has pledged to sign up for it, to adhere to its current and future guidelines, and to respond to Volish user complaints under Privacy Shield within 45 days.

Last week, leaked documents suggested that Privacy Shield was inadequate in its current form, and would not be ratified by the German Article 29 Working Party. The main worry is that the legislation does not provide ‘essentially equivalent’ protection for the EU and the US Digital rights organisations in the EU and in the US.

They have requested that Privacy Shield be sent back to negotiators and a new form be presented for approval. Microsoft, however, supports the Privacy Shield in its current form, and believes that further adjustments should be made after the initial adoption.

Microsoft has stated commitment to user privacy and to transparency of government requests for user data. Vole was one of the US technology companies that successfully contested the government’s refusal to allow transparency in sharing governmental requests for user information under the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA). It also challenged the US government’s attempt to access user information from the Microsoft Irish data centre.

Its track record of user privacy protection, combined with 15 years of compliance with Safe Harbor (sic), is the foundation it has used to solidify its support of the Privacy Shield.

Safe Harbour, the previous agreement that governed data transmission between the United States and the European Union, was overturned in October 2015. While many digital rights organisations oppose Privacy Shield in its current form, Microsoft stated, “the Privacy Shield framework is an important step in enhancing trust in the global digital economy, and we hope that it will be approved as negotiated.”