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How Microsoft Has Turned Data Privacy Issues Into an Advantage

Microsoft, despite owning a social network in LinkedIn with more than 600 million users, has managed to escape the scrutiny of its privacy practices that has dogged rivals like Google and Facebook, according to this article from Fast Company. The obvious reason is that Microsoft learned from its battles with the FTC and DOJ two decades ago and is now more keenly aware of where regulatory pitfalls lie. 

Under CEO Satya Nadella, Microsoft moved quickly to get out in front of privacy issues. Last summer, Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith called for government regulation of facial recognition software, even though Microsoft also develops it. It could be argued that moves like this have shielded Microsoft from the Techlash. However, with European regulators currently investigating LinkedIn’s data-handling policies, the goodwill Microsoft has built may end up having a limited shelf life.

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