Microsoft has admitted they accessed a blogger’s Hotmail inbox in search of a software leak. Microsoft was in the process of conducting an investigation into the leaking of some software code. Microsoft read a blogger’s inbox who had displayed the code and released details of the then new Windows 8, in order to find out which employee leaked the information to the blogger.
The deputy general counsel for Microsoft, John Frank, said ‘extraordinary actions in the case’ were needed according to a report on the BBC website.
The company was allowed to take this action and had not acted outside the law in this matter, but they would in the future, if similar action was needed, seek guidance from others.
The fact that a blogger’s Hotmail account was read has only come to light because of the pending prosecution of Alex Kibalko, the ex-employee who is alleged to have leaked the software to the blogger, who then published it before release.
This investigation has called to question the actions in reading the inbox of anyone; the company have been firm objectors of the practice from Google who scans their customer’s inbox, so that adverts are appropriate to the customer. This is just one area of the investigation, but calls into question how they can show concern over one company’s action and then do the same.
The main reason of the difference between the two is a definite distinction; Microsoft was looking for an employee who had leaked information about the release of software, Google scan inboxes to target the adverts that they are going to bombard you with. Therefore, even though they didn’t break any law, the fact they read the inbox still brings into question the privacy of emails and how insecure they actually are.