On Thursday, Microsoft informed users that it is working towards simplifying its privacy statements and service agreements. Moreover, as part of this reform process, the software company is offering its users a privacy dashboard that will allow them to control privacy settings for all of the data that the Windows maker stores about them.
Microsoft making it easier for users
The proposed changes from Microsoft, which are expected to come into operation starting Aug. 1, are aimed at making it easier for consumers to read and understand the terms and conditions. In addition, they signify the company’s attempt to become more transparent to its customers.
Horatio Gutierrez, company’s deputy general counsel, confirmed the updates and suggested that they are aimed at developing “straightforward terms and policies that people can easily understand.” In addition, Gutierrez implied that the changes will focus on three major sections: simplicity, transparency and privacy. The changes concerning simplicity will combine several separate and repetitive pieces of information into one document, while updates aimed at enhancing transparency will focus on revealing more information about the process Microsoft uses to gather and use personal data. Meanwhile the updates in the privacy segment reaffirm the company’s claims of providing users with increased control over their data and reassure customers that it does not use information to serve targeted ads.
The new updates to the documents will encompass most of Microsoft’s consumer services, such as Bing, Cortana, Outlook.com, Xbox Live, etc. Similar to the company’s present service agreement, the refurbished one consists of a dispute resolution clause that prevents people from filing a class action lawsuit and compels them to convey an individual dispute to either a small claims court or to a binding arbitration. Several other tech companies, such as Amazon, Netflix and Snapchat, have already added this clause into their service agreements. The changes in the privacy statement also consider new services in the upcoming Windows 10.
The timing of updating service agreements and privacy statements is not surprising as the changes will be enforced after the launch of Windows 10. The changes in this upcoming OS, for instance the introduction of Microsoft’s virtual assistant Cortana, would have required the company to update its documents anyhow.