Microsoft Being Investigated In The EU For Potential Privacy Violations

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Microsoft hasn't had the best of luck in the EU in 2012. The company was previously under investigation for potential antitrust issues, and now its privacy policy is under fire.

Bloomberg reports that Microsoft's recent service agreement update to its online services has caught the eye of data privacy watchdogs in the EU. The data protection commission, led by Luxembourg and France, sent a letter to Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer detailing the investigation.

The letter warns Microsoft that "changes in [their] Services Agreement and the linked Privacy Policy may affect many individuals in most or all of the EU member states." The investigation will "check the possible consequences for the protection of the personal data of these individuals." For its part, Microsoft told Bloomberg that the recent services agreement change did not change the company's privacy policy.

This isn't the first time that Microsoft has run into trouble in the EU this year. Back in September, Microsoft was accused of antitrust violations after a browser choice selection screen was not found on new Windows 7 PCs shipped to the region. Microsoft previously agreed to add the browser selection screen to new Windows 7 PCs instead of paying out a large cash fine. Now the company is threatened with another fine if the EU finds Microsoft in violation of its previous agreement.

As for the current investigation, there's not been any formal findings yet. The privacy commission is just starting to look over Microsoft's new services agreement so it might be a while before we hear anything from it. Even then, Microsoft had better hope that the the commission doesn't find anything. The company, and Steve Ballmer's career, doesn't need another fight with the EU.

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