As Microsoft announced last year, Microsoft is today expanding encryption across their services in an effort to reinforce legal protections for their customers’ data. All Outlook.com emails are now encrypted like how Office 365 e-mail works already. This will provide even greater protection for user’s data across all the great Microsoft services that you depend on every day. First, Outlook.com is now further protected by Transport Layer Security, or TLS, encryption for both outbound and inbound email. This means that when you send an email to someone, your email is encrypted and thus better protected as it travels between Microsoft and other email providers. Of course, this requires their email service provider to also have TLS support. Over the past six months, we have been working across the industry to further protect and help ensure your mail remains protected. This includes working closely with several international providers throughout our implementation, ...

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Microsoft yesterday sent out email to its users saying that they are updating their terms of use and privacy statement. The update was focused on increasing the privacy, transparency and simplicity. This Microsoft Services Agreement applies to your Microsoft account and includes many of Microsoft’s consumer services such as Outlook.com, OneDrive and Bing, while the privacy statement explains how your personal information is collected, used and protected across your Microsoft account, Outlook.com and OneDrive. Privacy: As part of our ongoing commitment to respecting your privacy, we won’t use your documents, photos or other personal files or what you say in email, chat, video calls or voice mail to target advertising to you. Transparency: We updated our Code of Conduct so that you can understand better the types of behaviour that could affect your account, and added language that parents are responsible for minor children’s use of Microsoft account and services, ...

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Last year, Microsoft announced the initiative to make its list of patents publicly accessible to anyone on the internet. Following the same path, Microsoft last year announced its plans to provide electronic access to Microsoft’s prior art today. By making this information available to the USPTO and public, reviewers can better ensure issued patents reflect truly novel inventions. Microsoft today announced that the beta testing will be over soon and they are implementing the USPTO’s feedback. They are planning to make the service available to all patent examiners by May 2014 and will continue to add to the database with the goal of providing examiners access to more than 10 million archived Microsoft technical documents. The USPTO reviews thousands of applications, and part of that review includes a search to see if the idea is truly novel. Right now, though, the USPTO lacks easy access to an enormous amount of this ...

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Microsoft today published its report on the governmental requests on customer data it received for a period of 6 months. Previously, Microsoft and other companies were banned from disclosing such data to the public. After the leading technology companies raised their voice about this concern, government recently agreed for the first time to permit technology companies to publish data about FISA orders. Microsoft has published a table that provides the information going back to July of 2011. Our most recent report covers the period from January – June 2013, addressing all of Microsoft’s services.  Specifically, during this time period: We received fewer than 1,000 FISA orders seeking the disclosure of customer content.  These orders related to between 15,000 and 15,999 accounts or individual identifiers.  It’s important to note that this does not necessarily mean that more than 15,000 people were covered by these data requests. This is because one individual ...

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  Microsoft along with other technology industry leaders are now trying to bring transparency to the law enforcement requests they receive from various government agencies around the world. Microsoft has released their own law enforcement requests report for the first half of 2013. It lists all the countries where data are available. When you click a country, you can get the break up of no.of requests Microsoft received, rejected, disclosed content, etc,. Here are the highlights of the data revealed, Microsoft (including Skype) received 37,196 requests from law enforcement agencies potentially impacting 66,539 accounts in the first six months of this year.  This compares to 75,378 requests and 137,424 potential accounts in the whole of 2012. Approximately 77 percent of requests resulted in the disclosure of “non-content data”. No data at all was disclosed in nearly 21 percent of requests. Only a small number of requests result in the disclosure ...

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