Did Microsoft Corporation (MSFT) Commit This Huge Violation?

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) was today let off the hook by European agency CNPD, which was investigating the company for sharing data files of Europe-based users with U.S. security agencies.

Following Edward Snowden’s revelations of the United States’ all-pervasive security program named PRISM, which allowed U.S. security forces to access data files of users on Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) and similar social networking sites, several organizations had filed against it in Europe, Ireland and more.

In Europe, an organization called Europe-v-Facebook had filed before the CNPD that Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Skype had allowed U.S, intelligence mass access to files of its European users. The complaint was based following the report published by The Guardian and files presented by Snowden to the paper.

As both Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) and its subsidiary Skype are headquartered in Europe at Luxembourg, CNPD was involved in the investigation.

Microsoft not guilty

CNPD investigations included looking at compliance with the Safe Harbor framework by both the companies.

Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT)

What is the framework?

The Safe Harbor Framework is a technical agreement which exists between the Department of Commerce in the U.S. and the European Commission, under which companies located in the E.U. can exchange information with the U.S.

The agreement was drawn as Europe has stringent data-protection laws in place and the policy of the European Union is to allow the exchange of personal data only if the other country has stringent protection laws in place.

CNPD announced that the transfer of data files by both Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) as well as Skype have been within the framework of the Safe Harbor Agreement. The agency commented that it was involved in fact-finding missions since July. The analysis of its findings has not brought any activities of either Skype or Microsoft Corporation, which are not in compliance with the Safe Harbor Framework.

At the time of filing the complaint, the core allegation by Europe-v-Facebook was that both the companies had allowed mass-access to its data files.

Currently, CNPDs findings do not find that either of the companies had provided mass access to personal files of Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) or Skype users.

Concurrence

Earlier this year, the Irish office of the Data Protection Commissioner had also ruled that the exchange of files between U.S. and Irish offices of Facebook and Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) did not violate the Safe Harbor Framework.

However, the refusal by the Irish agency to investigate has led to the Europe-v-Facebook group filing before the Irish High Court to investigate irregularities.


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