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Microsoft To FTC: Don't Tell Us How Long To Retain User Data

Soulskill posted about 3 years ago | from the you-can-trust-us dept.

Microsoft 76

Roberto123 writes "In a public response to proposed federal regulations to protect users' privacy online, Microsoft said it is committed to 'privacy by design' but thinks the Federal Trade Commission should use a light regulatory touch. The company 'urges the Commission to avoid imposing prescriptive requirements with respect to data retention periods or in further defining "specific business purpose" or "need."'"

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76 comments

Anonymous Coward to FTC: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35628468)

Please tell them how long to retain user data.

Re:Anonymous Coward to FTC: (-1, Troll)

dovios (2027228) | about 3 years ago | (#35628478)

Well, what Microsoft is saying here is that FTC might not know how long the data needs to kept for things to work. You really think they understand computers and IT better than Microsoft? After all, Microsoft has been in the business since the 80's.

What FTC really should be doing is looking what Google and Facebook do and how much those companies violate users privacy, both intentionally and unintentionally. Microsoft produces mainly computer software and makes money with that. Both Google and Facebook by design make money by exploiting users privacy and selling their data to advertisers. If FTC wants to do something, they should look into that and let the good companies like Microsoft be alone.

Re:Anonymous Coward to FTC: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35628482)

You really think they understand computers and IT better than Microsoft?

Not much of a stretch.

What FTC really should be doing is looking what Google and Facebook do and how much those companies violate users privacy

Microsoft violates user privacy just as badly, except that fewer people use their online services.

Re:Anonymous Coward to FTC: (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35628584)

there are more hotmail and live email accounts than gmail.

Re:Anonymous Coward to FTC: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35640364)

So? There are more idiots than people with brains too.

Re:Anonymous Coward to FTC: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35628600)

Isn't Microsoft worse about privacy? We all like to imagine that Google keeps everything on us, but at least they have a central page supposedly dedicated to erasing data from Google services. Last I looked, Microsoft had no such page.

Also, although I guess it's not really related to privacy, Google's services are like "here, export your data in $x standard format" while Microsoft's are all "fuck you, we're keeping your data for ourselves." IIRC you can't even forward Hotmail to a non-Microsoft email address - they force you to use pop3.

Re:Anonymous Coward to FTC: (2)

perlchild (582235) | about 3 years ago | (#35630074)

How I read the article:

Microsoft: Please Mister FTC, don't delineate what's "legal" so we won't get sued if we find a novel/barely legal/grey area way of selling/otherwise profiting from privacy data.

My answer to them:
Please Mister FTC, if they don't have my permission, in writing, to use my data, for every client they sell it to, it should be illegal.
Each time a client wants to use my data, I should know, and should explicitly allow it.

Thank you, have a nice day

Hey look the MS shill/troll (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35628500)

So like, how many accounts have you burned through now?

Re:Anonymous Coward to FTC: (4, Insightful)

Senes (928228) | about 3 years ago | (#35628522)

Here's the thing: Microsoft looks out for Microsoft. That's how capitalism works, and it really does help people when capitalism is applied correctly. But having high-level capitalists telling the state what to do with regards to protecting the citizenry is not a correct application of capitalism.

Microsoft needs to look out for Microsoft, the government needs to look out for the safety of the common taxpayers.

Re:Anonymous Coward to FTC: (2)

martin-boundary (547041) | about 3 years ago | (#35628846)

Capitalism (when applied correctly) doesn't always help people. Sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't. Capitalism is just one system and shouldn't be held beyond question.

Re:Anonymous Coward to FTC: (1)

Hazel Bergeron (2015538) | about 3 years ago | (#35629478)

The "invisible hand of the market" was a quasi-religious substitute for god in a time when atheistic concepts were crude and relatively unevolved from their theistic heritage. Those who had broken free from the chains of pious dogma found themselves lonely - perhaps man could divine an intelligent design for society instead? One so perfect that it must surely improve everyone's lot.

Turns out god is just man, and man is not god.

Some people are taking their time to catch up with this.

Re:Anonymous Coward to FTC: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35629522)

Capitalism (when applied correctly) never helps people, it only helps the shareholders.

Re:Anonymous Coward to FTC: (1)

Omestes (471991) | about 3 years ago | (#35630394)

I'm not Capitalism's largest fan... But thats not quite true either. True capitalism doesn't necessarily even mean shares, or shareholders would exist. If there was a much more fragmented market, and large monopolies and ultra massive conglomerates were stomped out, then the free market would move closer to helping the social good.

Basically Capitalism is a tool, and it could be used for good or ill. The government exists to constrain it, and subjugate it to the common good. Or at least strike a balance between individual profit and the said common good.

I really can't think of an alternative to capitalism.

Re:Anonymous Coward to FTC: (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35631820)

-Where would we be without public roads?
-At home.

Re:Anonymous Coward to FTC: (1)

sFurbo (1361249) | about 3 years ago | (#35636168)

The magical shareholders who aren't people?

The correctness of the rest of the comment hinges on the definition of "correctly". If there is a government helping to avoid market failures (mostly by limiting the power of monopolies, punishing outright lying and protecting property rights), capitalism does help everybody, as they can focus on the work they do best (comparatively), and exchange the product of that work with others.

Whoa-whoa-whoa... (1)

denzacar (181829) | about 3 years ago | (#35629664)

Are you suggesting that "the guberment" should impose regulations on hard-working citizens instructing them how they should run their business?
But that's... that's... a communism.

I mean, shouldn't humanity's greatest hero The Invisible Man be the one dealing with this issue like he has done for... forever now?
What's so funny about "the invisible hand" anyway?

Re:Anonymous Coward to FTC: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35628554)

Do you ever sleep, or are you shilling 24 hours a day? How many operators run your fifty accounts?

Re:Anonymous Coward to FTC: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35628566)

I've got mod points, and it was borderline, but I was about to actually mod that post as interesting. Then I got to the last line, which changes the whole tone of your post. If you could have just restrained yourself. I'm not sure why you did. Maybe you were worried you wouldn't get paid if you didn't include it.

Re:Anonymous Coward to FTC: (1)

Klivian (850755) | about 3 years ago | (#35628592)

Well, what Microsoft is saying here is that FTC might not know how long the data needs to kept for things to work.

If this is the case, the software is completely broken and need to be redesigned or scraped.

Besides from a user point of view Microsoft does not provide any services where where storing of privacy data are needed at all(Apply to Google too). Obviously this does not include a regular customer database, as this is not what the FCC discuss in this case and such databases have already some regulation in place. What FCC discuss in this case is user profiling/spying.

Re:Anonymous Coward to FTC: (3, Interesting)

hairyfeet (841228) | about 3 years ago | (#35628852)

Dude I just gotta ask: How much does MSFT pay you to shill? Is it an every two week kinda thing, or do you get paid quarterly? How are the benefits? Because from your post you are obviously getting paid because NOBODY kisses that much ass for free!

As for TFA, can we choose none of the above? I don't trust MSFT, and I sure as hell don't trust the government, what with their shredding the constitution practically on a daily basis, so it is kinda a rock and a hard place here. Can we hear from the EFF on this? Because frankly so far they seem to be the ONLY ones who give a shit about privacy anymore.

Re:Anonymous Coward to FTC: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35632840)

He was obviously trolling.

But then again so are you.

mr hairyfeet

Re:Anonymous Coward to FTC: (2)

Jesus_666 (702802) | about 3 years ago | (#35628906)

It's simple: If $COMPANY's business model can't cope with not being allowed to store user data for $DURATION then it's too bad for the company. Citizen interests should always trump corporate interests and privacy is in the interest of the citizen. If MSFT, GOOG or any other company relies on being able to mine you for years that doesn't mean everyone has a sacred duty to uphold their business model just because it exists. It's really like with the record companies - they can't comprehend that their business model might not work and would rather adapt society to them than vice versa.

(Of course a paid shill won't care but your post makes for a good entry point to the discussion.)

Re:Anonymous Coward to FTC: (3, Informative)

marcello_dl (667940) | about 3 years ago | (#35628954)

> You really think they understand computers and IT better than Microsoft? After all, Microsoft has been in the business since the 80's.

You really think we understand state leadership better than Gaddafi? After all, Gaddafi has been in the business since 1969.

Re:Anonymous Coward to FTC: (1)

Joce640k (829181) | about 3 years ago | (#35629582)

Microsoft produces mainly computer software and makes money with that. Both Google and Facebook by design make money by exploiting users privacy and selling their data to advertisers

Microsoft doesn't have search engines, online user accounts, web mail, etc, just like Google...?

Re:Anonymous Coward to FTC: (1)

Omestes (471991) | about 3 years ago | (#35630354)

You really think they understand computers and IT better than Microsoft? After all, Microsoft has been in the business since the 80's.

Argument by authority. I could argue that Microsoft isn't really an authority, nor very much interested in consumer privacy, and that in their epochs (30 years...) of business they have made plenty of mistakes. I have as much faith in Microsoft as I do in the FTC (not much), but at least the FTC is (supposedly) looking out for me, while MS only cares about MS.

I agree, they should be looking at Google and Facebook. But, remember, Microsoft is trying to get into the same markets as them now. They aren't just a software company anymore, they're trying to get into the whole "social content" market just like Google and Facebook.

If FTC wants to do something, they should look into that and let the good companies like Microsoft be alone.

When the hell did MS turn into a "good company"? Their OS phones home every month, against your will. They've played fast and loose with customer data. MS is a "good company" in the "they are good at being a company" sense, but not in "they are good to customers, and play well with others" sense.

Also, the FTC rules aren't aimed straight at MS, they are aimed at the whole industry. MS just took affront to them, since they will hurt the bottom line. I'd bet that the FTC looked at Facebook and Google too, and probably looked at them more than MS, because they hold a bigger mindshare when it comes to potential privacy issues.

Re:Anonymous Coward to FTC: (0)

dissy (172727) | about 3 years ago | (#35635452)

and let the good companies like Microsoft be alone.

You're preaching to the wrong website here pal.
We don't take kindly to your type around these parts

Re:Anonymous Coward to FTC: (2)

Z00L00K (682162) | about 3 years ago | (#35628588)

It makes some sense to limit the use of privacy-intruding data, regardless of the collecting agency.

We all know that Google collects data - that's their main business, but what is more disturbing is all those cookies that are used to track us and make statistics from. They are really useful to see if someone likes certain car brands and which type of porn that's preferred. So statistical collectors can probably figure out that there is a 25 year old male who drinks Jack Daniels and Coca Cola, living in Texas who likes Ford Mustang and other American Muscle cars, works at Home Depot and prefers anal sex. All that can be determined by combining a collection of cookies stored in your browser and in turn that will control the ads displayed to you when you are surfing.

I know exactly how long... (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | about 3 years ago | (#35629834)

...they should be forced to retain online user data for exactly as long as the shortest amount of time they generally retain their own employees' emails.

If Microsoft is anything like Intel and the other big boys, that would be ~2 weeks for inboxes. Wanna keep the web-hoovered data for longer? They can then expose themselves to more legal liability by extending their corporate email retention policies similarly. I'm willing to wager that they really won't want to do that, but it's generally win-win - longer email retention times mean that anything stupid/illegal there has a better chance of recovery.

(Most big corps keep the time short to save disk space in general, to help auto-purge crap messages that most folks ignore, and of course to provide legal CYA. Individual employees are allowed to copy off mails to other folders which keeps the messages around for longer, but then liability shifts to the individual employee).

pesky regulations (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35634358)

MS wants to retain it indefinitely, but if the FTC imposes a limit there will probably be disposal giudelines which prevent this.

CIA vs. FTC: What do they want? (4, Funny)

mykos (1627575) | about 3 years ago | (#35628614)

CIA wants them to store it for eternity. FTC wants them to get rid of it ASAP. Make up your mind, The Government!

Re:CIA vs. FTC: What do they want? (1)

AliasMarlowe (1042386) | about 3 years ago | (#35628696)

CIA wants them to store it for eternity. FTC wants them to get rid of it ASAP. Make up your mind, The Government!

There is no need to wonder whether the FTC rules would apply to the CIA or FBI or IRS or any other government agency. And don't bother worrying about it either, citizen, unless you have something to hide...

Re:CIA vs. FTC: What do they want? (1)

AHuxley (892839) | about 3 years ago | (#35629108)

Dont worry the Office of Naval Research and Air Force Office of Scientific Research have your blogs, web 2.0, twitter ect, covered via the Social Computing Data Repository http://socialcomputing.asu.edu/pages/about [asu.edu]

Re:CIA vs. FTC: What do they want? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35630958)

Errmm, isn't that the data from Google?
They seem to bend over backwards to any government / agency out there just for a few measly bucks.

Re:CIA vs. FTC: What do they want? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35631208)

Is there no one intelligent out there any more - is everyone so blinded by the mighty Google empire?!

Microsoft is an old, almost forgotten dinasaur in comparison to Google and the amount of (hidden) evil by Google.

You only have to look at the numerous startups and companies they're acquiring to realise what they're up to: -
Adverts / DoubleClick / "Analytics" / Mail / Maps / Search / YouTube / Bloger / DNS / Chrome / Android / Captcha / etc / etc.

Strange how for quite a long time, just to sign up to YouTube / Blogger / or other Google service, you had to give them your CELLULAR / mobile number too!?
I mean WTF! And it had to be real, so they can link you nicely up with the gigantic amount of data already collected on you.

With search, they know the majority of sites you visit; and any time you login to any Google service from then, they know you and can link your profile directly with all the collected data.
With DoubleClick and Analytics, they can tap in to the remaining websites you visit without going through Google.
With Adverts, they pretty much have you cornered to only the handful of sites they didn't know you visited.
With Chrome, they now know exactly what you visit, who you are, who you bank with, your isp, everything - and all nicely linked to your "safe" Google (do no evil) profile.

WIth Android... well, I don't have to tell you... they know exactly where you are, and where you travel to, and can build a nice pattern on your day to day movements in the city as well as where you spend the majority of your time, etc.
Ah, not to mention, who you're associated to or have contact with - as long as the other person also uses Android.

Strange how Google hasn't innovated anything new with Android / Chrome / Analytics / and pretty much everything else they have - they're either bought it, or copied it. Chrome is nothing more than Safari (WebKit) rebranded, with a partially new JS engine.
Why doesn't Google simply contribute to any open source project already out there (like Firefox) rather than copy and sell and buy it out?

Re:CIA vs. FTC: What do they want? (0)

mjwx (966435) | about 3 years ago | (#35635146)

CIA wants them to store it for eternity. FTC wants them to get rid of it ASAP. Make up your mind, The Government!

Yes, the idea that the "gubbermint" is not some massively interconnected single entity which is hell bent on controlling all your lives and actually is a group of loosely connected group of small individual entities with their own needs and agenda's is uncomfortable to some people.

Re:CIA vs. FTC: What do they want? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35635732)

"Small" individual entities? I wish.

For those of you too young to remember... (1)

93 Escort Wagon (326346) | about 3 years ago | (#35628622)

Back in the bad old days of apartheid, South African's white minority advocated that foreign companies follow a policy known as "constructive engagement" - it's pretty much analogous to what Microsoft is asking the FTC to do now with regards to user privacy.

"Don't punish us, because we really REALLY intend to be good in the long run..."

Re:For those of you too young to remember... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35628698)

I don't see any evidence of their stated intent either. Business and government paranoia was what forced Microsoft to make Windows flexible in regards to privacy -- Microsoft had to cater to their demands to sell licenses. However, WRT the 'Live' services, the target user is the person sitting at home, and Microsoft can get away with whatever they want when dealing with them. So far it seems like Microsoft has escaped some much-deserved criticism... although it helps somewhat that few people are interested in the Windows Live 'experience'.

Re:For those of you too young to remember... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35629794)

South African's white minority advocated that foreign companies follow a policy known as "constructive engagement"

Constructive Engagement was a policy invented and supported by the Regan administration (Chester Crocker to be specific). I'm old enough to remember and bored enough to Google.

fuddles has been 'spying' stealing sucking inf.... (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35628670)

since he knew there was such a thing. he & .gov are almost the same thing, as they use the same pr co., & answer to the same domestic 'royals'. fuddles' sole functions in life appear to be greed & fear (spying, stealing). it appears that his only buybull was ayn rand. she was a real life lover, hers alone.

ayn rand's buybull reviled revered respectdead (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35628732)

right. it was really all about her need to feel better about being born without a conscience? &, to get money & to help us learn not to suffer a conscience (aka develop antisocial personality disorder). teaching instead that we must constantly pursue the illusionary wealth of the pampered seclusion (servants?), & more fear (loss/re-stealing) & no guilt (conscience). much of the secret holycost was contrived/conductdead under her infactdead textual tutoring from her very own buybull.

fortunately, many (billions) of the babys are yet unable to (read) text, so their conscience, & other amazing abilities, are developing as intended. the wild card here for sure, as our hand is being played for us. not to fret, our sacred trusts have an affinity for the truth, & already know our #'s/time/history/freedom/development have been insidiously FUDged. the babys can FEEL it/do something about it. take heed/pause. that we do not seem to realize where we are, & what time it is, is curious to them. babys rule. thank goodness.

no randoidians/minons out there? speechless? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35628978)

the paid pr firm shills used to go all insult/crap flood text when ayn's perfect life by selfish shallow pursuit, greed etc..buybull is challenged. odd? she (buy merit of whoever told her she was chosen) may have been more instrumental in our world demise than even the king james work of fiction. tag team.

Translation: (4, Insightful)

osu-neko (2604) | about 3 years ago | (#35628710)

"We support privacy in principle, but oppose privacy in practice."

Re:Translation: (1, Interesting)

Sc4Freak (1479423) | about 3 years ago | (#35628916)

Which doesn't jive with the fact that Bing has a better privacy policy than Google. Bing anonymizes IP logs after 6 months. Google after 9 months.

I believe the reason IPs are logged at all is because of a legal requirement - but I don't know exactly what that requirement is.

Re:Translation: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35628966)

Ohnoes a 3 months difference. Certainly better but not by much.

I would be more impressed by differences e.g. who they will give the data out to. Microsoft bends over to anyone requesting data.

Re:Translation: (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35629800)

As if Google fucking doesn't. You're a joke and your post shows that it bites your ass that the company you love to hate the most actually is a step up on a company that you desperately try to keep pushing on people as doing "no evil."

The truth is becoming more evident and all the FUD you try to spread is only showing your true colors.

Re:Translation: (1)

Omestes (471991) | about 3 years ago | (#35630492)

As if Google fucking doesn't. You're a joke and your post shows that it bites your ass that the company you love to hate the most actually is a step up on a company that you desperately try to keep pushing on people as doing "no evil."

Do they? Evidence please. I've been using Google services for a very long time, and haven't ran into any obvious privacy problems. I've been using Microsoft services for longer, and am perplexed on how I need to send them my data once a month just so they can sure that I'm still not a criminal.

Google has a decent track record of keeping customer privacy on the forefront. MS isn't trustworthy in the slightest. I don't trust either of them, but I trust Google slightly more.

Also, anyone loves a corporation is a moron. Unless they founded it, or get their livelihood from them, corporate loyalty is idiotic. Who the hell cares? Apple, Microsoft, and Google are not really worth the emotional attachment.

Re:Translation: (1)

uniquegeek (981813) | about 3 years ago | (#35631168)

Privacy problems at Google? How about Youtube ditching the existing user accounts (holding your bookmarks hostage), and encouraging you to automatically link it to any other Google-based services that are logged in? What about Picasa continually insisting that you need to create a profile that shares and updates it with friends?

In the end you can dart around these problems, but they sure like to continually throw them in front of you. Sometimes it's not clear what they're up to until you're halfway through signing up. We know most non-tech people will be bitten in the butt in the process.

Re:Translation: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35633116)

Thank You!
Finally, there ARE still some people in this world who have their eyes open to Google.

In my opinion, Google is the biggest stealth spyware corp, especially with products like Chrome, DNS, Captcha, DoubleClick, and Analytics.
I keep wondering why they stole WebKit - or basically simply rebranded Safari with a partially new JS engine... why didn't they innovate something new or better yet, contribute to existing Open Source code like Firefox and help them progress an excellent browser forward?

Re:Translation: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35636738)

Why is china harassing Google every now and then and not Microsoft??

You can neutralize most of Googles (no)evils simply by using NoScript in your FF.
Has IE something similar?

Remember that using M$-blessings is far more dangerous to your privacy than using Google s equivalents.

Re:Translation: (1)

Omestes (471991) | about 3 years ago | (#35641612)

Yahoo did much the same, as does any other corporation who acquires another property. It makes sense for them to roll things into a single registration/user account framework, and I really don't have much of a problem with that. Granted, I'm not a big Youtube user (I watch, but don't contribute), and thus I really don't have a stake in the issue. Its like when Yahoo rolled Flickr into its crappy account system, it was a pain, but ultimately silly. I did have a stake in Flickr (I contributed), and hated every bit of it. But in retrospect it was just annoying, not the end of the world.

If you have diverse services it is logical to roll them together into a common framework, and (in marketing speak) experience.

Picasa nags you? Ignore it, or don't use it. Picasa, like Flickr, is a social networking service, what do you expect?

Don't get me wrong, I'm leery of Google. Right now they are fine, but there is a growing potential for them not to be. When I got my Droid, I was creeped out by Google wanting to know, and share, my location data with the internet, for instance. Yes, I can turn it off, but it still is damn creepy.

Re:Translation: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35630806)

You complete turd, you have absolutely no evidence for what you state.

Google is the biggest shit corporate spyware technological empire with the most amount of user data as compared to any government (let alone software) agency out there.
Do you have absolutely any idea how the hell they are the biggest money maker - far FAR bigger than Microsoft!

Google sell user data, user stats, user analytics and behaviour patterns, not to mention their web analytics data to any piss ant out there, just to make a tiny bit more money to their collosal empire.
They even boast about giving user data to ANY government agency out there who requests it (there's a stats on the help page about all the government's they've given data to and how frequently, including the Israhelli zionists).

Re:Translation: (1)

Wiiboy1 (1699132) | about 3 years ago | (#35631784)

You complete turd, you have absolutely no evidence for what you state.

Google is the biggest shit corporate spyware technological empire with the most amount of user data as compared to any government (let alone software) agency out there.
Do you have absolutely any idea how the hell they are the biggest money maker - far FAR bigger than Microsoft!

Google sell user data, user stats, user analytics and behaviour patterns, not to mention their web analytics data to any piss ant out there, just to make a tiny bit more money to their collosal empire. .

Hmm, speaking of having no evidence.... Hypocrisy FTW!

I feel like taking the time to argue with you would be a waste, because you're clearly just spewing garbage without any rational basis for what you're saying.

Re:Translation: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35632792)

You complete turd, you have absolutely no evidence for what you state.

Re:Translation: (2)

AHuxley (892839) | about 3 years ago | (#35629132)

Australia tried to explain data retention via the European Convention on Cybercrime http://www.zdnet.com.au/data-retention-not-blanket-but-targeted-339311987.htm [zdnet.com.au]
"...under the convention, law enforcement agencies would approach an ISP with a certificate, requiring information pertaining to an individual to be retained until the agency can get a court order or warrant."
Retention keeps your interesting ip safe and usable until a "court order" can be requested at some point.
Soon they will just keep it all.
"[But] more generally the retention of all of the communications on their network is a very different issue and having to retain those and retrieve those would be quite a different scenario. And we're not talking about that at this stage."

The network effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35628762)

If this thread looks too long to read and mod, TL;DR people aren't evil beyond the fact they're delluded by the system or forced to do unsavoury things for job security.

It's in Microsoft's financial interest. Really, it's in *everyone's* interest apart from you the private citizen - and that sort of systemic impetus to grab your info should scare you *shitless*.

On first thought, you'd assume that going back twice as long provides twice as much data. Think again, since each year you go back provides an exponential number more interactions and personal connections that the Feds can sniff through.

Intelligence and Investigative agencies (and I say this as an Aussie - the the spying zeitgeist is global these days) love grabbing more and more data. They get bigger 'tech' budgets they can pilfer to grow their staff, get nicer brand coffee and buy $640 toilet seats with. More importantly, they get a decent return on investment since they can label more people terrorists (not always deliberate - mistakes (human or especially databases), coincidences and bad luck incriminate people).

The companies make money selling your info to authorities who want to save the world - they're for-profit and it's for The Greater Good.
Those organisations then use that information to maintain or grow their budgets - they're all trying to have retirement benefits and Save The World on a shoe string.
The government of the day wins votes by spending big on cameras, databases and invisible strip searches to leverage the public fear of subways and explosive underwear - after all, they're there to stop The Other Side of the left-right spectrum.
The public go to facebook, remain blissfully ignorant of black sites/Room 641a and figure they can't fix military budgets/immoral banking practices - Zuckerberg is an ok looking kid who surely doesn't eat babies, those CIA thingies are probably just made up, AT&T didn't get in trouble so it must be ok and there's nothing I can do now I'm foreclosed.

I'm 21 and incredibly pessimistic about how society is and as you can see think endlessly about our problems since they all jump out at me - I'm the guy who comes off as whingy when I speak my mind and thinks the trechery and ills of Roman society aren't as far behind us as history books and 'common knowledge' make out.

But don't feel sorry for me, the young over-thinker, feel sorry for the people who don't know how to listen or contribute to discourse on topics that directly affect them simply because they don't get phrases like 'wage slave' or 'inflationary pressure'. Blame it on the education system being a system.

Re:The network effect (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35637718)

Well, you certainly didn't over-think the spelling in your post.

Just trust us... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35628952)

...since we have a long historical record showing that we can be trusted.

Sometimes, my polite words aren't sufficient to express my feelings towards something. This time, I'm even out of unpolite words

Isn't it already covered? (1)

140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) | about 3 years ago | (#35629322)

Doesn't Sorbanes-Oxley Act already prescribe how much and how long companies should keep electronic records? That is what they told me when our company implemented a bone-headed password change process.

Re:Isn't it already covered? (1)

perlchild (582235) | about 3 years ago | (#35630246)

Those records apply to information generated inside the company, and to a lesser degree to customer information.

ISP-type information is not specifically covered, as it is a special case.

What is so bad about storing data I give them? (2)

Trufagus (1803250) | about 3 years ago | (#35630578)

I can be in favor of the gov protecting consumers, but I don't get what is so inherently evil about these companies storing the data that I give them for a long time.

Typically, when I let them have the data I figured they would, at the very least, use it to pick which ads to show me and I really don't mind that.

In my opinion, the real privacy problems lie elsewhere, e.g.
- Selling or sharing my data without proper consent.
- Collecting it without my consent.
- 'Forcing' or tricking me into allowing them to collect my data. For example, if I agree to iTunes terms of service for the iPhone then I'm agreeing to let Apple collect data about my precise location. To me these are too unrelated, and I don't really have any choice.

So, I think this issue is how they collect it and what they do with it, not how many years they store it.

Re:What is so bad about storing data I give them? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35630870)

In my opinion, the real privacy problems lie elsewhere, e.g.
- Selling or sharing my data without proper consent.
- Collecting it without my consent.
- 'Forcing' or tricking me into allowing them to collect my data...

Sounds a LOT like google.

Re:What is so bad about storing data I give them? (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | about 3 years ago | (#35630892)

Cost. All of that storage hardware and administrating its library costs money. They will simply pass the cost down to the consumer. YEY Goverment!!! **retarded clapping**

Re:What is so bad about storing data I give them? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35634316)

The government wants to set a MAXIMUM length of time that a company can store data, not a minimum length. A minimum length requires more space for storage; a maximum length requires no more hard drive space, since Microsoft can always throw the data away BEFORE the maximum time allowed.

YEY DigiShaman!!!

Re:What is so bad about storing data I give them? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35635960)

I can be in favor of the gov protecting consumers, but I don't get what is so inherently evil about these companies storing the data that I give them for a long time.

Typically, when I let them have the data I figured they would, at the very least, use it to pick which ads to show me and I really don't mind that.

In my opinion, the real privacy problems lie elsewhere, e.g.
- Selling or sharing my data without proper consent.
- Collecting it without my consent.
- 'Forcing' or tricking me into allowing them to collect my data. For example, if I agree to iTunes terms of service for the iPhone then I'm agreeing to let Apple collect data about my precise location. To me these are too unrelated, and I don't really have any choice.

So, I think this issue is how they collect it and what they do with it, not how many years they store it.

Well, consider this. I once upon a time had a PayPal account. In the early days, it was rather nice. I could load it, or unload it, without worrying about someone compromising my bank account.
However, over time Paypal became more intrusive. It got to the point where not only did they require me to lock a credit card to the account, then they required me to lock an actual BANK account to it (in case the CC expires, of course).
So now I'm back to where I started- using my actual bank account online again, instead of having a layer of insulation to prevent a security breech from bleeding my funds dry. The worst part is, I have no recourse if someone gets into paypal and drains my bank using a funds transfer, where I would have had some recourse if it was only using my credit card (debit card tied to the same account, actually).
In the end, I attempted to close my paypal account. Trying to do that without leaving my bank account information on file with them turned out to be impossible. Literally. So I eventually just said, Fuck That, and I told my bank that my account number was compromised, and had them re-issue me an entirely new account with entirely new information.

It would be nice if there was a law that required asshole companies like Paypal to delete such user information. Why? Well because my brother in law had closed his paypal account a few years back, someone managed to get it re-opened and since his account was still linked, they made off with several thousand dollars which was all the money he had. No recourse, because it was a bank funds withdrawel. Paypal claims no wrongdoing, and of course the police are worthless.

Re:What is so bad about storing data I give them? (1)

Trufagus (1803250) | about 3 years ago | (#35716046)

True.

The consumer should be given the option to delete their account (and data). I would support that.

I just don't understand why they should have to delete the data even if we don't request it.

Translation to dailyspeak : (1)

unity100 (970058) | about 3 years ago | (#35641532)

"Microsoft said it is committed to 'privacy by design'" == Empty talk

"but thinks the Federal Trade Commission should use a light regulatory touch" == we are corporate whores that want to exploit people as much as we can

MS & Privacy (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 3 years ago | (#35648600)

MS is truly the clueless person here. If it bothered them then they should have said we do it this way because. However if the government wants it another way then we will listen.

hey are acting like the bull in the chica shop. When the users need to tell MS that shape up or ship out we now have LINUX and UBANTU as competitors and we will take our marbles elsewhere.

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