Microsoft Corp. faces a preliminary investigation by European data protection regulators who are examining potential privacy issues raised by changes to policies for Internet products including Hotmail and Bing.
Updates to Microsoft’s services agreement, which took effect Oct. 19, are being reviewed by Luxembourg’s data protection commission in collaboration with other European Union privacy regulators, said Gerard Lommel, president of the Luxembourgish agency.
Robin Koch, a spokesman for Microsoft in Brussels, said the changes don’t alter the company’s existing privacy policies.
“We recognize we could have been clearer about this when we rolled out our updated services agreement,” Koch said in an e-mailed statement. “We will update the agreement as soon as possible to make that point absolutely clear.”
Data protection is currently policed by separate regulators across the EU. As part of an overhaul of the union’s 17-year-old rules on the issue, its executive body wants to simplify the system so companies deal with only one regulator in the region.
The Luxembourg commission, in close cooperation with the French and other European data protection authorities, is examining the policy in this case because Microsoft’s service agreement with users falls under Luxembourg law, said Lommel.