Microsoft and Google Terms of Service

Both Microsoft and Google have updated their terms of service recently to enable them to share and reuse user-generated content across their different online services.

Microsoft has just announed an update to its standard online services agreement.

As reported by The Verge:

Microsoft’s revised policy allows the company to access and display user content across all of its cloud properties. Whereas the previous version of the TOS granted Microsoft the right to appropriate user content “solely to the extent necessary to provide the service,” the terms now state that this content can be used to “provide, protect and improve Microsoft products and services.”

Interestingly, just 6 months ago in March, Google did the same and Microsoft took out ads blasting them for it. Slightly hypocritical to now follow suit but no surprise.

Reported by the IdeaLab at the time, here’s what Microsoft had to say back then:

Google is in the midst of making some unpopular changes to some of their most popular products. Those changes, cloaked in language like “transparency,” “simplicity,” and “consistency,” are really about one thing: making it easier for Google to connect the dots between everything you search, send, say or stream while using one of their services.

But, the way they’re doing it is making it harder for you to maintain control of your personal information. Why are they so interested in doing this that they would risk this kind of backlash? One logical point: Every data point they collect and connect to you increases how valuable you are to an advertiser.


In reality, the change by both platform providers is logical. Tying in the different services does have dual benefits – the potential to improve the services for consumers and the potential to earn more from advertising to those consumers. A necessary tactic when offering ‘free’ services.