Microsoft to Scan All of Your Company’s Private Data in Azure and Office 365

In the wake of the recent news that campaign consultants Cambridge Analytica used data from 50 million Facebook users to target digital political advertising during the 2016 U.S. presidential election, it’s brought up many tough questions once again as to just how these large technology companies are using your data – and whether they’re doing so with your consent.

Facebook’s value has dropped precipitously since the news broke, and company founder Mark Zuckerberg will likely have to testify before Congress soon. The promise of data-driven advertising is that you will be served much more relevant material – it’s common knowledge that companies like Google and Amazon have been doing this for years. While these companies say you can control the type of information that’s shared with advertisers, it’s hard to say just how easy it is to limit access and if it’s truly being followed to the letter.

As more people and organizations move their data to public cloud environments, vendors are working closer with government entities to share information for any number of reasons – most of which having to do with supporting criminal investigations. While Microsoft hasn’t been wrapped up in this latest controversy, the company announced last month that it is going to start monitoring virtually everything across its platform – specifically calling out Office, Xbox, and Skype. According to a new services agreement written by Microsoft, it is planning to ban accounts using offensive language and will go through private data to investigate users.

Experts say that this is in response to new government regulations – specifically two new sex trafficking bills passed by the U.S. Congress: The Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act and the Stop Enabling Sex-Trafficking Act. These two acts hold platforms such as the ones Microsoft operates responsible for users’ speech, illegally shared content, and anything connected to sex trafficking. This is causing many internet privacy and civil rights advocates to speak out against the new agreement, calling it an attack on free speech and another excuse to monitor and police people’s behavior.

If you are using Azure and Office 365, this means you may need to start asking tougher questions about just how secure your proprietary information is that’s stored on these platforms. Even if Microsoft is mandated to look for specific reasons, the fact of the matter is that they now have the ability to search through virtually any data you store with the tech giant – including your sensitive customer data and proprietary intellectual property.

If you’ve been one of the many enterprises worldwide starting to utilize cloud computing in your overall IT portfolio, now’s the time to look seriously at implementing a private cloud. Private clouds are the best option if you require greater privacy, high security requirements, and the need to have direct control over your data – including the ability to customize according to your unique business needs. Private clouds also give you the ability to provision and configure virtual machines and change or optimize computing resources on-demand; hosted behind your company’s firewall or externally; and managed by you or by a third-party like US Cloud.

US Cloud is ready to meet your needs to keep information safe and enable you to focus on running your business. With 2.1 billion secure logins managed since 1999, US Cloud can fully manage your private cloud with zero hassle on your end. Turn your operation into the most efficient machine possible.

Get a quote from us today to learn how you can save on startup costs and hardware with our fast, secure, and performance-driven private cloud service.

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