Administration Indicates Important Support for Consumer Privacy Legislation

Posted by Brad Smith
Senior Vice President and General Counsel, Microsoft

Consumer trust is vital to the growth of a vibrant Internet, and respect for privacy is a critical component to earning and maintaining that trust.

At Microsoft, our goal is to be transparent about our privacy practices, offer meaningful privacy choices and protect the security of our customers’ data.

Microsoft is pleased that the Administration will endorse the creation of federal privacy legislation in testimony before the Senate Commerce Committee today. We support the Administration in this effort.

For several years, we have endorsed the adoption of comprehensive federal privacy legislation that establishes a baseline set of privacy and security requirements. Deputy General Counsel Erich Andersen will emphasize this in his testimony before the Senate Commerce Committee later today. We see this as part of an overall approach to privacy that includes technology tools, industry initiatives and consumer education. A common set of privacy rules across the U.S. will provide much needed clarity compared to the patchwork we see today.

This news comes at an important time. This week, Microsoft released a groundbreaking “Tracking Protection” tool as part of our new Internet Explorer 9 browser. We are very proud that Internet Explorer was the first major browser to respond to the Federal Trade Commission’s recent call for a “Do Not Track” mechanism.

We look forward to working with the Administration, Congress, and other stakeholders to enact privacy legislation that both promotes innovation and respects consumers’ privacy interests.