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Microsoft faces flak over changes in service agreement

Privacy experts have criticized Microsoft over the changes it made in its service

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Representational image.
Representational image. Wikimedia Commons

Privacy experts have criticized Microsoft over the changes it made in its service through which the company has the right to review user’s content without their consent. The new rules prohibit users from using Microsoft’s services to “publicly display or share inappropriate content or material” including “offensive language” and nudity, Fortune reported.

According to civil rights activist Jonathan Corbett, the term “offensive language” is ambiguous as its definition varies from person to person.

Microsoft’s new privacy policy allows it to see users’ content without their permission.

Trash-talking is a regular occurrence among Xbox Live players. “If I call someone a mean name in Xbox Live, not only will they cancel my account, but also confiscate any funds I’ve deposited in my account?” he asked.

The activist noted that couples who engage in sexy video chats when they’re separated could not only be banned but also monitored. “In 2018, when anyone can be offended by anything, these terms allow Microsoft staff to play unrestrained censor if and when they choose,” Corbett was quoted as saying.

Also Read: Three users sue Facebook over call, text data scraping

“What’s also clear is that they reserve the right to go through your private data and these terms seem to pretty clearly allow them to watch and listen to your Skype calls, so long as they are ‘investigating’ something. The terms don’t appear to require any complaint to be filed against you-just that an employee deciding that they want to investigate,” he added.

The criticism comes at a time when several tech giants, especially Facebook, are facing the heat over users’ privacy and data sharing. On Tuesday, the US Federal Trade Commission confirmed that it was investigating Facebook after the leak of personal and other data on some 50 million users to political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica.

Microsoft Kaizala
Users’ data is in great risk with this step. Wikimedia Commons

The German government on Monday said the social media giant would get stricter regulations in the country. Meanwhile, Apple chief Tim Cook and IBM chair Ginni Rometty have also called for more measures to ensure user data protection. IANS

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Also taking part in the meeting were representatives of WhatsApp, Google and ShareChat

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social media
The Election Commission is in talks with the representatives of Internet companies, including social media platforms, on the use of social media for campaigning in the Lok Sabha polls while the Model Code of Conduct is in force. Pixabay

Social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, agreed on Wednesday to process any request from the Election Commission to take down content within three hours during the 48-hour period before voting days.

The agreement was arrived at a meeting between the Election Commission and Internet companies as part of a conduct code for the staggered Lok Sabha elections starting on April 11 and also for the future, informed sources said.

Also Read- ‘Inbox’ App by Google Shutting Down in April

Also taking part in the meeting were representatives of WhatsApp, Google and ShareChat. (IANS)