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Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella Praises GDPR, Says Tech Companies Need To Protect Data

Satya Nadella called data privacy a human right. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella speaks to guests at an Economic Club of Chicago dinner on October 3, 2018 in Chicago, Illinois. Nadella succeeded Steve Ballmer as Microsoft CEO in 2014. Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images

By Alex Perry, International Business Times

Data privacy practices of major tech companies has become a hot topic in 2018. On Thursday, Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella became the latest tech CEO to publicly endorse greater privacy protections for users.

In his keynote address to open the Microsoft Future Decoded Conference in London, Nadella noted how tech firms need to think about the potential consequences of excessive data collection. He called privacy a "human right."

"All of us will have to think about the digital experiences we create to really treat privacy as a human right," Nadella said.

He called Europe’s recently enforced General Data Protection Regulation (or GDPR) a “great start” in protecting user data. Nadella also said he thought of it as “the standard” for data regulation around the world.

GDPR went into effect earlier this year and requires tech companies to be more transparent about what data they collect and how it is used, among other things.

Facebook has received a bulk of the scrutiny over data privacy. Mark Zuckerberg’s social network has come under fire for data misuse this year, between the Cambridge Analytica incident and a recent breach that affected nearly 30 million users. Names, genders and other personal information could have been stolen in the breach.

Before Nadella’s comments, Apple CEO Tim Cook has been perhaps the most notable tech voice pushing for greater data regulation. In early October, he called the idea that collecting data enables more features “a bunch of bunk.”

At a keynote address in Brussels last week, Cook praised GDPR and said the United States needs similar data regulation at the federal level. A group of executives from companies like Apple, Facebook, Twitter and more also endorsed federal legislation recently.

Apple and Microsoft do not rely on digital advertising in quite the same way as other companies that have been accused of excessive data collection, like Facebook and Google.

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Business News: Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella Praises GDPR, Says Tech Companies Need To Protect Data
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