Microsoft Won’t Read Your Email Anymore But You’re Now Responsible for Your Kids Behavior

Microsoft is previewing changes to it’s new privacy policy set to go live on July 31, 2014. In an email sent out to holders of MS accounts, one interesting change is highlighted:

As part of our ongoing commitment to respecting your privacy, we won't use your documents, photos or other personal files or what you say in email, chat, video calls or voice mail to target advertising to you.

These changes come, unsurprisingly, hot on the heels of leaked NSA documents that described Skype as “vital” to their spying efforts. Although this change does absolutely nothing to actually fix the the broken cryptography used by Skype, it is a welcome change that flies in the face of traditional ‘Read and record everything’ policies invented by Google and employed by most online service providers today (You DO read your EULAs (End User License Agreements), rightWinking smile).

I know that some of the GUO staff here have become quite disillusioned with Google of late. The Big G has lost its luster between the constant snooping, obfuscation of activities within the so-called transparency report, forced Google+ adoption, and cancelation of beloved services. While choosing between Google and Microsoft is akin to choosing between the baby-kicking devil and the puppy-eating devil, every move towards giving you some rights versus taking you data makes ‘em seem a little less gross.

Another notable upcoming change to the Microsoft policy involves your kids.

We updated our Code of Conduct so you can better understand the types of behaviors that could affect your account, and added language that parents are responsible for minor children's use of Microsoft account and services, including purchases.

This is in response to incidents Apple has encountered where you hand the kids your phone and the little monsters buy that $100 “Best Value” pack of Smurfberries. It is currently unknown if the ol’ “The dog bought it,” excuse will still work or not. Technically, this also puts parent on the hook for all the horrible things their kids are saying on Xbox Live. So, if you’re not already doing so, this might be a good time to turn off the TV and stuff a bar of soap into the mouth of your household’s loudest Halo fan.

Microsoft’s surprisingly readable privacy policy is available online here.

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