What Is Microsoft and How Is It Affected By The EU Data Protection Regulation?
Microsoft is a US-based company that makes software for use on computers. Its most recognizable products are the Windows operating system and Office productivity suite. It also develops hardware and provides a number of cloud services.
Founded in 1975 by Harvard College dropout Bill Gates and his childhood friend Paul Allen, Microsoft has become the world’s largest software company. It is headquartered in Redmond, Washington, but has offices and data centers worldwide.
The firm is well-known for its computer operating systems, including Windows and the office suite Microsoft Office (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Access). It is also the leading developer of computer software for mobile devices. Its market share of the PC software industry is substantial, with more than 60% of the market for operating systems and 50% for the office suite.
It is the market leader in a variety of markets, including Internet search, video games, and digital services. In addition to its software products, the company sells electronic game systems and computer peripherals (input/output devices).
While some critics say that Microsoft’s success has stifled competition in the operating system and office suite markets, others argue that it has helped spur innovation. They point to Microsoft’s sponsorship of what it called the “world’s largest private hackathon,” which drew more than 10,000 engineers to hundreds of cities in a single weekend.
In 1999, a judge found that Microsoft was engaging in anticompetitive practices. He ordered Microsoft to break up, but the company successfully defended itself. It argued that it was only acting in the best interests of its customers.
Since then, it has faced numerous regulatory disputes in both the United States and Europe that have delayed its planned $68.7 billion takeover of Activision Blizzard, a U.S.-based video game company with a large number of employees.
Its most recent legal challenge is in the EU, where the European Commission has been arguing that Microsoft’s data protection policies and the way it collects and stores personal information are not compliant with Regulation (EU) 2018/1725. This is in particular the case when it comes to the engagement of sub-processors.
As a result, the EDPS has conducted an investigation into the use of Microsoft by EU institutions. This includes examining the terms of the Inter-Institutional Licensing Agreement that EU institutions signed with Microsoft in 2018.
The EDPS has also considered technical measures that the European Commission implemented to affect the flow of personal data to Microsoft. It has found that the negotiated terms of the ILA allowed for a significant amount of data to be stored in the United States, which is not compliant with the EU’s requirements on personal data protection.
The EDPS has recommended that EU institutions should exercise control over the engagement of sub-processors, rather than leave it to Microsoft to decide where to store their personal data. This will help to ensure that EU institutions live up to their obligations to protect personal data. In this regard, the EDPS recommends that each EU institution should have its own umbrella licence agreement which gives it control over the use of Microsoft products and services. This should be accompanied by an unambiguous order of precedence in which the terms of the umbrella licence agreement override any other contractual documents.