Last week, France's National Data Protection Commission (CNIL) issued a formal order on Microsoft to comply with data protection laws as the agency found that Windows 10 collects "excessive data" about its users. The software giant is given three months to make the necessary changes or else it will face fines in France.
In a response, Microsoft says it's happy to work with the CNIL to reach an acceptable solution, but it does not deny the allegations set against it, nor does it defend itself.
Below is the full text of the statement from David Heiner, vice president and deputy general counsel at Microsoft:
Earlier today Microsoft received a notice from the French data protection authority, the Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertés or CNIL, raising concerns about certain aspects of Windows 10. The notice gives Microsoft three months to address the issues.
We built strong privacy protections into Windows 10, and we welcome feedback as we continually work to enhance those protections. We will work closely with the CNIL over the next few months to understand the agency's concerns fully and to work toward solutions that it will find acceptable.
The CNIL noted that the Safe Harbor framework is no longer valid for transferring data from European Union to the United States. We fully understand the importance of establishing a sound legal framework for trans-Atlantic data transfers, and that is why Microsoft has been very supportive of the efforts on both side of the Atlantic that led to last week's adoption of the Privacy Shield.
As the European Commission observed, Microsoft's January 2016 Privacy Statement states that the company adheres to the principles of the Safe Harbor Framework. Microsoft has in fact continued to live up to all of its commitments under the Safe Harbor Framework, even as the European and U.S. representatives worked toward the new Privacy Shield. As we state in our privacy statement, in addition to the Safe Harbor Framework we rely on a variety of legal mechanisms as the basis for transferring data from Europe, including standard contractual clauses, a data transfer mechanism established by the European Commission and approved by European data protection authorities, to cover data flows from the European Union to the United States.
Microsoft will release an updated privacy statement next month, and that will say Microsoft intends to adopt the Privacy Shield. We are working now toward meeting the requirements of the Privacy Shield.