Privacy and security have been all over the news in the US recently with the upcoming expiration of the Patriot Act and the sun-setting of the NSA bulk data collection. Many tech companies have huge concern over how government will change laws to affect the security of their products. Recently, many big names in tech have sent a letter to Congress urging them to not require companies to install backdoors to encryption techniques.
While companies like Apple and Google have lots of consumer attention with popular mobile products like iOS and Android, Microsoft stands to lose the most because of their heavy enterprise focus. Windows remains the gold standard of desktop business productivity operating systems. If congress required Microsoft to provide a way for law enforcement to access encrypted data, it would seriously hamper their ability to promise customers security.
In a time when massive data leaks at retailers such as Target, Home Depot and others make headlines far too often, tech companies are trying to convince lawmakers we need more security not less. In a letter written to the Obama administration, tech companies were united when they said,
“We urge you to reject any proposal that U.S. companies deliberately weaken the security of their products. We request that the White House instead focus on developing policies that will promote rather than undermine the wide adoption of strong encryption technology. Such policies will in turn help to promote and protect cybersecurity, economic growth, and human rights, both here and abroad.”
You can read the full letter right here. In addition to Windows, Microsoft could risk losing customer confidence in their cloud strategy. Products like Azure, Office 365, Yammer, SharePoint, Skype for Business, and OneDrive for Business all use the cloud for transporting and storing customer data. If the US government requires Microsoft to give law enforcement and national security agencies access to encrypted data then there would be a way for hackers, criminals, or rouge governments to do the same.