Privacy protection essential to shield human rights, says Microsoft's Smith

Microsoft's President Brad Smith speaks at the Web Summit, in Lisbon, Portugal, November 6, 2019. REUTERS/Pedro NunesLISBON (Reuters) - Microsoft President Brad Smith said on Wednesday a “new wave” of data privacy protection and other security measures was needed to safeguard people’s rights at a time when “everything has gone digital”. Speaking at Lisbon’s Web Summit, Europe’s largest tech conference, Smith said it was important to protect privacy, something he sees as a “fundamental human right” and one of the next decade’s most critical issues.

“It’s why I believe we will not only need a new wave of technology but a new wave of privacy protection as well, a new wave of security protection, a new wave of measures to protect the ethics and human rights associated with artificial intelligence (AI),” he said.

He gave no details of any concrete measures he was proposing.

Tech companies such as Microsoft and rival company Apple have been under mounting pressure to do more to protect users’ data.
In August this year, the Dutch Data Protection Agency said Microsoft was remotely collecting data from users of Windows Home and Windows Pro. At the time, Microsoft said it was committed to protecting the privacy of its customers, and had improved privacy features for individuals and small business users of Windows 10 in recent years. Reporting by Catarina Demony; Editing by Alison Williams
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