Duress is exactly the right word, defined as “compulsory force or threat.” The compulsory part is I must agree by 15 June, 2021 and the threat is that unless I do so, I “can choose to discontinue using the products and services, and close my Microsoft account before these terms become effective.”
Say what? Really? That’s the choice I gotta make?
Microsoft dominates the computer operating system market worldwide by a margin of 87.7%. The only other practical choice is Apple, which controls a 9.4% share—pretty well wrapping up the what’s available out there in the market between the two. I use the word ‘practical’ with some degree of irony, because that choice would mean getting rid of all my PCs and purchasing Apple equipment, as well as changing my Microsoft cloud storage to some other outfit and kissing Microsoft Word goodbye.
Sorry, Bill Gates, but that’s more extortion than choice
You’re receiving this email because we are updating the Microsoft Services Agreement, which applies to one or more Microsoft products or services you use. We’re making these updates to clarify our terms and ensure that they remain transparent for you, as well as to cover new Microsoft products, services and features.
Well gosh Bill, clarity and transparency is always a good thing and it pleases me no end that you would include me in that conversation. Whatcha got for me?
Your Privacy: Your privacy is important to us. The Privacy Statement also describes how Microsoft uses your content, which is your communications with others; postings submitted by you to Microsoft via the Services; and the files, photos, documents, audio, digital works, livestreams and videos that you upload, store, broadcast or share through the Services ("Your Content").
Now I think I understand what you mean by “important to us” You don’t mean it’s important to me, your user, who pays the bills. I guess I got the meaning of ‘us’ all wrong. Usually when I use ‘us.’ I mean both of us or all of us. I used to have a cat very much like Microsoft. It always said ‘meow,’ never ‘youow’ or ‘weow.’ Come to think of it, our agreement was pretty straight-forward as well. I agreed to feed it and it agreed to shit in the box.
Microsoft uses the data we collect to provide you with rich, interactive experiences. In particular, we use data to:
Provide our products, which includes updating, securing, and troubleshooting, as well as providing support. It also includes sharing data, when it is required to provide the service or carry out the transactions you request.
Improve and develop our products.
Personalize our products and make recommendations.
Advertise and market to you, which includes sending promotional communications, targeting advertising, and presenting you with relevant offers.
Well, is that a deal or what?
You can forget the first three meaningless statements and concentrate your attention on the advertise and market to you part. Microsoft (and Amazon, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google, Apple, along with any other dude, including your bank) are selling everything they know about you, while claiming to respect your privacy. And they know a lot. And it’s worth a lot. And they make a lot.
Which is okay, if they didn’t take me for such a fool
Our Policy: (revised for clarity)
We use everything we can find out about you for our own profit. That’s what makes our founders so rich. And they like being rich, so we’re going to continue—because we’re really the only game in town.
In addition, you can’t sue us for anything. You read that right. We’re too big to sue anyway—we have really deep pockets and you don’t and we know you don’t.
No matter how much you paid for our services, if you ever access our site for any reason at all, you agree to our terms.
Simple, straightforward and honest. We don’t give a shit about your privacy and we never have and never will.
Have a nice day.
(Disclaimer) It’s not only Microsoft. Any online service who ever told you they value your privacy is lying to you for profit. Have a nice day anyway…
Image Credit: britannica.com