Congressman Edward Markey (D-Mass), co-chair of the Congressional Bipartisan Privacy Caucus sent a letter to Microsoft CEO Steven Ballmer expressing concerns about Microsoft Services Agreement verbiage, that seems to have given the impression that Microsoft would leverage user data gathered within services such as email, instant messaging and search, to deliver targeted advertising despite previous statements by Microsoft that the company would not adopt such a practice.
Obviously looking to avoid any troubles, and with two major media events planned in the coming days, Microsoft has released a statement to ensure that its intentions were clear. It also responded to Rep. Markey’s admonition to consider an opt-in standard regarding the collection of data.
“One thing we don’t do is use the content of our customers’ private communications and documents to target advertising. We could have been clearer about this when we rolled out our updated Services Agreement. We appreciate the feedback we’ve received, and as a result, we will update the agreement as soon as possible to make that point absolutely clear.” -Microsoft
To that end, Microsoft also took the step to make the “do not track” option in Internet Explorer, even though it was not part of the Services Agreement. Score one for Microsoft.