Microsoft Could Turn Out to Be a GDPR Winner – Windows Maker Pledges to Extend EU Privacy Rights Worldwide


While some in the US are taking GDPR as a bitter pill that they have to take to avoid paying millions in fines, Microsoft is taking the new privacy laws as a business opportunity. The Redmond software giant is also happy to extend the new privacy protections to all its consumer customers worldwide.

"As an EU regulation, GDPR creates important new rights specifically for individuals in the European Union," the company wrote in its announcement today. "But we believe GDPR establishes important principles that are relevant globally."

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That’s why today we are announcing that we will extend the rights that are at the heart of GDPR to all of our consumer customers worldwide.

Microsoft's pledge essentially means that regardless of where you use Microsoft's services - whether in or out of the European Union - the company will offer the same privacy tools to all its users. These rights include the right to know the data a company collects about you, to enable you to correct that data, to take it somewhere else, or to delete it.

While some companies like Facebook have limited these protections to those in the European Union, promising to offer similar controls elsewhere but not the same rights, Microsoft's clearly delivered promise is probably one of the first in the industry taking the mandatory rules in Europe to users worldwide.

Microsoft will also help others become GDPR compliant

It should be noted that this focus on following up with GDPR rules is in part helping the company gain more enterprise consumers. Microsoft wrote in today's blog post that for the past several years, it has been working to ensure GDPR compliance and that it's now ready to help other businesses with their own GDPR compliance obligations.

...our business is built on helping other businesses and organizations succeed. We create the technology and tools that others use to transform their own businesses and drive success. We succeed only when our customers succeed. Therefore, an especially important part of our GDPR effort has been our work to develop tools, best practices and guidance to enable our enterprise customers to prepare for implementation of GDPR.

The Windows maker that has been at the center of more than a few privacy controversies since the release of Windows 10 has promised to offer a "set of tools and services for GDPR compliance that are backed up by contractual commitments" to businesses and organizations.

"This week is an important week on an important journey," the company wrote. "We’re committed to protecting the right to privacy and ensuring that the benefits of a new generation of technology innovation truly empower people and organizations around the world to achieve more."

GDPR rules take effect on Friday, May 25.