While Microsoft has not fallen foul of European data and privacy laws as much as rivals like Facebook and Google, the company does face some issues. A preliminary report by the European Data Protection Supervisor suggests Redmond may face GDPR antitrust issues in Europe.
According to the data watchdog, authorities in Europe are concerned by Microsoft’s data management. If problems are found it would be a rare example of Microsoft has been troubled by recent antitrust laws.
“Though the investigation is still ongoing, preliminary results reveal serious concerns over the compliance of the relevant contractual terms with data protection rules and the role of Microsoft as a processor for EU institutions using its products and services,” an EDPS statement issued Monday states.
EDPS launched an investigation into Microsoft products being used by the European Union earlier this year. Specifically, the watchdog will check to see if contracts held with Microsoft comply with the EU’s data laws. Among them is the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR).
“When relying on third parties to provide services, the EU institutions remain accountable for any data processing carried out on their behalf,” the EDPS’ Wojciech Wiewiorowski said in April. “They also have a duty to ensure that any contractual arrangements respect the new rules. And to identify and mitigate any risks.”
According to EDPS, Microsoft has been helping with the investigation. In the past the company has been willing to make changes to fall in line with European regulation. In doing so, the company has been able to avoid legal action.
Back in 2017, the Dutch DPA, Autoriteir Persoongegevens said Microsoft is failing to tell Windows 10 Home and Pro customers which data the platform collects. In 2018, Dutch regulatory pointed to eight privacy issues in Office 2016 and Office 365 ProPlus. These issues were reportedly allowing Microsoft to collect data from Dutch users through apps stored on US-based servers.