Recently, Microsoft has updated the user agreement on the services it provides and it doesn't look pretty. Did you think that it was you who owned a private Skype conversation, private emails or what you put into your personal documents in Word? Well, according to the latest terms and conditions, it appears that you don't. Microsoft has explicitly said that you are not allowed to use any offensive language on most of it's platforms. Failure to comply may get your Microsoft account terminated.
Of course, violations that can get your account closed are not limited to swearing. Sharing pornography or any criminal material will get you banned too. However, the agreement is worded in such a way, that offensive language is given equal weight to those types of material.
You though that Word is merely a user interface that allows you to create documents and Skype was merely a platform for making video calls. Once downloaded, it was entirely up to you how you would use those. If you wanted to write a profanity-laden book, publish a porn magazine or just have a normal manly conversation over Skype with your buddies, you were free to do that. Well, the answer is no. Microsoft has reminded everyone who the real owner of its products is.
Including those points into the user agreement implies one thing that is worrying. In order to determine whether anyone has violated those terms, Microsoft needs the means of knowing how you use its products. Therefore, it most probably collects your data that you thought is completely private.
When interviewed, Microsoft has stated that it will not actively police the usage of it's products and will only investigate those violations if somebody raises a complaint about them. However, this will open the door to potential abuse. Imagine if a particular youtuber has recorded a Skype conversation and posted it online. Now, this vlogger may have some opinions that other people strongly disagree with, that, however, are very far from being illegal. Alternatively, there simply may be people out there who are envious of his success. If then the Skype video that he posted contains any swearing, he can now get his Microsoft account closed because some haters would take the opportunity to report him.
The updated terms and conditions will take effect from the first of May. However, how vigorously they will be enforced, remains to be seen. After all, companies like Microsoft have been putting over-the-top conditions into their user agreements for decades and people have been ignoring those without any consequences. Very few people bother to actually read any of those agreements. The "I agree" button tends to be clicked because this is what the users have to do to install a given product and not because they genuinely agree with what the vendor of the product wants them to do.
For more information, follow this link:
Published by Mobile Tech Tracker
Posted on 30 Mar 2018