Microsoft: We're giving you all Euro-style GDPR rights over how we use your data

Microsoft says the privacy rules it's introduced to meet the EU's new GDPR law will apply to users globally.
Written by Liam Tung, Contributing Writer

Video: To comply with EU, Google simplifies privacy settings.

Microsoft has announced it will extend the rights available to Europeans under the EU's new privacy regulation to all consumers around the world.

The General Data Protection Regulation comes into effect this Friday, introducing a range of new Data Subject Rights for EU residents, such as the right to obtain data a company has collected, and to request the deletion of data if the user no longer consents to a company holding it.

Consumers also have the right to take data to another service provider, and to know how a company is processing their data.

See: Special report: Turning big data into business insights (free PDF)

Rather than enabling these rights only for European consumers, Microsoft will provide them to all consumers.

"As an EU regulation, GDPR creates important new rights specifically for individuals in the European Union. But we believe GDPR establishes important principles that are relevant globally," wrote Julie Brill, Microsoft's corporate vice president and deputy general counsel.

"We will extend the rights that are at the heart of GDPR to all our consumer customers worldwide."

Facebook in April confirmed it would soon move 1.5 billion non-EU users off an agreement with Facebook Ireland as part of a plan to reduce its exposure to GDPR.

However, the company also said it would offer the same privacy controls and settings available to Europeans under GDPR to the rest of the world.

Microsoft-owned LinkedIn in May similarly clarified that all users inside the EU have a contract with LinkedIn Ireland, while users outside the EU will have a contract with LinkedIn Corporation.

Microsoft has updated its privacy statement with new language required by GDPR and to reflect its promise to offer all users the same access rights as its EU users have.

"If Microsoft obtained your consent to use your personal data, you can withdraw that consent at any time," the statement reads.

"You can request access to, erasure of, and updates to your personal data; and if you'd like to port your data elsewhere, you can use tools Microsoft provides to do so, or if none are available, you can contact Microsoft for assistance."

The statement also clarifies that users can object to or restrict Microsoft's use of personal data for direct-marketing purposes or if Microsoft is "pursuing our legitimate interests or those of a third party".

"You may have these rights under applicable laws, including the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), but we offer them regardless of your location," Microsoft states.

Google has also released an updated privacy policy that will take effect on the same day GDPR does. The new policy uses images and video to explain elements of the policy in simple language.

Google is also rolling out its Family Link Android app to all countries within the EU. Until now the Family Link service was only available in the UK and Ireland within the EU.

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