Businesses Using Microsoft Products: Be Aware of New Policy

MicrosoftMicrosoft has updated its services agreement, which may not seem like a huge issue for users of the company’s many products, but it could be worth a second look to users concerned with cloud security and privacy.

The update changes the way that Microsoft can share user data between its different cloud based services. Basically, the company has adopted a policy of sharing data between its many different services such as Outlook, SkyDrive, and Office accounts.

Microsoft says that the change is supposed to make the user experience better for those who use multiple Microsoft products, since they won’t ever have to look around for their data that may be stored in one of several different cloud storage services.

These products are used by businesses, and since many are concerned with cloud security, it is important for business owners to understand how their data is being used in the cloud.

The content you upload to the service is still owned by you and remains your responsibility. Users also still have control over who can access their account data. Just because data is stored on the cloud, doesn’t necessarily mean that it is secure.

The company does, however, reserve the right to review content uploaded to its services to make sure it complies with Microsoft’s Code of Conduct and Anti-Spam Policy. Content that doesn’t comply can be removed by Microsoft.

The user agreement states that anyone who uses its services is agreeing to its terms. Users will be required to have a Microsoft account, formerly known as a Windows Live ID, in order to access portions of these services. The changes will become effective September 27, 2012.

Realistically, most users of these products probably won’t even notice a difference, but the new policy still has an impact on privacy rights and your company’s data.


Annie Pilon Annie Pilon is a Senior Staff Writer for Small Business Trends, covering entrepreneur profiles, interviews, feature stories, community news and in-depth, expert-based guides. When she’s not writing she can be found exploring all that her home state of Michigan has to offer.

2 Reactions
  1. Thanks! This is useful info for cloud security.

  2. Looks like Microsoft is following Google’s lead. Google did the same thing earlier this year with its data sharing policy – data is now aggregated from their various services into a central database.