Tuesday 17 September 2019

Dutch warn Microsoft over data privacy

Helen Dixon, Ireland’s DPC
Helen Dixon, Ireland’s DPC

Bart Meijer

Microsoft is remotely collecting data from users of Windows Home and Windows Pro in a potential breach of privacy rules, the Dutch Data Protection Authority said yesterday.

The DPA said it had found the practices while it was testing privacy protection changes in Windows made last year by Microsoft at the agency's request. "Microsoft has complied with the agreements made," it said.

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"However, the check also brought to light that Microsoft is remotely collecting other data from users. As a result, Microsoft is still potentially in breach of privacy rules."

The regulator said it had forwarded its findings to its counterpart in Ireland, where Microsoft has a headquarters.

The Irish Data Protection Commissioner said it received the information from the Dutch regulator last month.

"The DPC has had preliminary engagement with Microsoft and, with the assistance of the Dutch authority, we will shortly be engaging further with Microsoft to seek substantive responses on the concerns raised," it said.

Irish DPC Helen Dixon recently opened an investigation into Verizon Media, formerly called Oath, which owns online properties such as Yahoo and the 'Huffington Post'.

The investigation comes on foot of complaints across the EU related to the company's use of online cookies.

Irish authorities often oversee such investigations because many tech companies have their EU headquarters in Dublin.

Under GDPR law, the Irish DPC can fine a company up to 4pc of its annual turnover.

Last month, American authorities fined Facebook $5bn (€4.5bn) for data privacy failings.


Irish Independent

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