Microsoft was accused of secretly collecting children’s data

by nativetechdoctor
2 minutes read

Microsoft is once again the subject of an investigation in Europe, this time concerning issues related to its educational software. According to Engadget, Microsoft is under scrutiny in the European Union (EU) for its 365 Education software, rather than its Teams application. Austrian privacy advocacy group Noyb has filed two complaints, alleging that Microsoft violated children’s privacy by utilizing the software in schools.

Noyb claims that Microsoft 365 Education installed cookies without permission to track user behavior and gather browser data for advertising purposes without notifying the schools. The organization also alleges that Microsoft lacks transparency regarding its handling of student data and may have surreptitiously tracked children.

Felix Mikolasch, Noyb’s data protection lawyer, has voiced serious concerns about this questionable data collection, emphasizing that it could impact hundreds of thousands of students in the EU and EEA. Noyb has urged authorities to intervene to safeguard the rights of minors.

Noyb has also accused Microsoft of transferring data protection responsibilities under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) to schools without providing them with sufficient information and control. According to Noyb’s lawyer Maartje de Graaf, schools are unlikely to fulfill transparency and information obligations when Microsoft holds all the critical information about data processing.

The GDPR has stringent regulations for safeguarding children’s data, with an emphasis on enhancing personal protection, transparency, and accountability. If found guilty of a violation, Microsoft could face a fine of up to 20 million euros or 4% of its annual global revenue.

This is not the first time Noyb has filed complaints against major tech companies. Previously, the organization has targeted OpenAI, Meta, Spotify, and several other firms over privacy-related issues.

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