Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) and dozens of other tech and communications companies believe that Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) is doing the right thing in waging a data privacy war against the government. Microsoft has refused to hand in data held in offshore servers to the U.S. government. The company claims that the government request for the data held in cloud servers in Ireland is legal and goes against data privacy.
Backing for data protection
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) disclosed this week that its litigation over the government’s request to turn over customer emails held in offshore servers received a major boost. Some prominent companies in the tech and media industries, as well as trade pressure groups, pledged their support for its stance.
The software company disclosed that 28 tech and media companies signed a brief backing its position on data privacy. It further revealed that another 23 advocacy groups and 35 computer scientists threw their support behind it.
In addition to Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL), the other companies that have pledged their backing for Microsoft include Verizon Communications Inc (NYSE:VZ), Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Cisco Systems, Inc. (NASDAQ:CSCO).
Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has itself had encounters with the law enforcement agencies over data protection. The company made tweaks to iOS 8 that hinders extraction of data even from locked iPhone and iPad devices.
Risks of counter data privacy challenges
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) has argued that the law is not clear on the government’s access to data held overseas. For the U.S. companies, the government’s access to their international cloud servers is the risks of turning away international customers. The customers cannot be comfortable with actions that breach their data privacy.
Additionally, the U.S. government’s request for overseas data can also prompt foreign governments to make similar requests to access customer data stored in the U.S.
U.S. tech companies are already crying foul in China, where concerns over U.S. spying are hurting their business opportunities.