Chapell & Associates

Monday, June 26, 2006

Microsoft to publish its privacy rules

ZDNET - June 25, 2006 Microsoft plans in August to publicly release the privacy rules its employees have to follow when developing products. The move, which offers a look behind the scenes at Microsoft, is meant to give the industry an example of what the software giant sees as best practices in customer privacy, said Peter Cullen, the chief privacy strategist at Microsoft. "We think that this is information that partners and others could benefit from. Lots of people build and develop applications," Cullen said in an interview Thursday in the US. "The privacy development standards will not only be made public, but we will actively be promoting their use so that others can benefit from what we've learned."

The Chapell View
A nice idea, although it's hard to comment too much until I have a chance to read through them. Having interacted with several members of MSFT's privacy and software teams over the past year, I will say that they've developed as detailed a view of the consumer consent and download experience as just about anyone.

My assumption is that there's nothing in these guidelines which will contradict the TRUSTe Trusted Download program requirements, the Anti-Spyware Coalition standards documents and/or other privacy standards. Unfortunately, we'll need to wait a month to find out...

Given that MSFT has a tendancy to sit on many different sides of the proverbial equation (anti-spyware software, O/S maker, Search, Media network, ad supported software vendor, just to name a few) I would imagine it must've been a challenge to craft a workable document that didn't collaterally damage one or more of its businesses.

Of course, any set of standards tends to paint a bullseye on the back of those who create them...stay tuned.
posted by Alan on Monday, June 26, 2006

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