As the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation — better known as GDPR — officially takes effect on May 25, Microsoft has announced it will extend the core rights guaranteed under the new regulations to all of its customers worldwide.
GDPR empowers people to control their personal information, setting a strong standard for privacy and data protection.
“GDPR is an important step forward for privacy rights in Europe and around the world, and we’ve been enthusiastic supporters of GDPR since it was first proposed in 2012,” Julie Brill, Corporate Vice President and Deputy General Counsel, Microsoft, wrote in a blog post this week.
“That’s why… we are announcing that we will extend the rights that are at the heart of GDPR to all of our consumer customers worldwide,” Brill added.
“Known as Data Subject Rights, they include the right to know what data we collect about you, to correct that data, to delete it and even to take it somewhere else. Our privacy dashboard gives users the tools they need to take control of their data,” she added.
The move is an important one, as Microsoft has received criticism in the past over the telemetry data it collects as part of Windows 10, Windows Central reported on Tuesday.
Microsoft will be among a small number of companies participating in the official events in Brussels, which hosts the headquarters of the main EU institutions, on Friday, the day when the GDPR comes into effect.
“We believe privacy is a fundamental human right. As people live more of their lives online and depend more on technology to operate their businesses, engage with friends and family, pursue opportunities, and manage their health and finances, the protection of this right is becoming more important than ever,” Brill said.
“We are committed to making sure that our products and services comply with GDPR,” Brill said, adding that Microsoft has had more than 1,600 engineers across the company working on GDPR projects.
“We feel good about what we achieved so far. But we know that May 25 isn’t the end of our work. Instead, it is the beginning of the next phase of our focus on GDPR,” she added.