I wanted to make you aware of a very important announcement we made earlier today. As you know, Trustworthy Computing is all about Security, Reliability and Business Practices. Our house has a fourth pillar - Privacy - which we view as extremely important, not only in terms of the way we manage our customers’ data, but more broadly in the way we earn and keep our customers’ trust.
You may have heard about the European Union Article 29 Working Party, which issued a statement in April to search providers concerning search anonymization policies. A major part of their focus is the length of time search companies store customer data. The Article 29 Working Party’s view is that this should be no more than six months.
Earlier today we announced that we support the Article 29 Working Party’s call for a common industry standard for search data anonymization methods and timeframes to help protect users’ privacy. We also said that whilst the timeframe is important, more important still is the adoption of strong data anonymization methods. I am glad we made this commitment and I hope that others will follow our lead and support the standard laid down by the Article 29 Working Party. To truly protect users’ privacy, it is imperative that all search companies adopt the same standard.
If you want to read more, read Peter Cullen’s (our Chief Privacy Strategist) blog post: Microsoft Supports Strong Industry Search Data Anonymization Standards