Microsoft can access and disclose information about Hotmail users

An ex-Microsoft employee was recently arrested for allegedly leaking company secrets, all because Redmond found evidence against him in his contact’s Hotmail account. Hold on, is it even legal for the company to go through someone’s account without permission? Well, according to Microsoft, it sure is. In fact, Hotmail’s Terms of Service apparently states that the company can “access or disclose information about you” for a number of reasons.

Pro tip: When leaking or receiving leaks about a company, don’t use that company’s Web mail service. One of the revelations in this week’s case of a Microsoft worker who leaked pre-release Windows 8 software was that Microsoft accessed the Hotmail account of the blogger to whom the data was leaked. And it did so without a court order. Well, it turns out Microsoft was apparently within its rights to do so, having explicitly carved out the right to access communications to protect its own intellectual property. 

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