Microsoft Steps in Privacy Quagmire with Email Snooping

March 21, 2014 – In The News

Scott L. Vernick was quoted in the Law360 article, "Microsoft Steps in Privacy Quagmire with Email Snooping." Full text can be found in the March 21, 2014, issue, but a synopsis is noted below.

While Microsoft Corp. will likely avoid criminal charges for looking through the email of a user who allegedly received trade secrets from a former employee, the company will have a harder time escaping backlash from consumers upset over policy terms the company claims allow it to read their communications, attorneys say.

“Regardless of what the terms of service say, looking at emails really seems to infringe on what users' reasonable expectation of privacy is,” said Scott L. Vernick, a noted privacy attorney. “When users sign up for an account, they don't expect that the service provider is reading their emails. It's like saying the postal service has the right to open my mail.”