Microsoft Azure is now ISO/IEC 27018 compliant. The Microsoft cloud has adopted this new international cloud privacy standard which gives users more control of their data. The company’s move makes it the first major cloud service provider to comply with this new privacy standard.
As Beta News explains, “There’s a strong focus on leaving the customer not only in control, but fully informed about how data is processed.”
The policy attempts to make data storage and data sharing more transparent, informing customers who can access it, where it is being stored, and if and when it is transferred.
Perhaps most notable to customers, especially in light of recent alleged violations of consumer privacy, is the policy’s assurance that customer data will not be used for advertising or marketing purposes. Customers will also be notified if their data is accessed by the government unless this notification interferes with the law.
Being the first to adopt this voluntary standard sets Microsoft apart as a proponent of consumer data privacy and will gain it some measure of goodwill, especially in contrast with companies like Verizon, which has allowed third-party companies access to consumer data for ad-targeting purposes.
This isn’t the first move by Microsoft to establish its brand as an advocate for consumer privacy. The Inquirer points out:
Microsoft’s adoption of the standard comes months after the firm acquired start-up Aorato in a bid to boost its enterprise cloud security. It also comes during a legal battle with the U.S. government over access to data stored in the cloud overseas. Microsoft is refusing to hand over customer data held in Ireland.
Engadget rightly points out that though adhering to ISO standards doesn’t necessarily guarantee the privacy of customers’ data, it is a big step toward dispelling consumer uncertainty surrounding cloud providers and toward rebuilding trust.
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