Microsoft CEO calls Data Privacy a Human Right

What’s Going On? Microsoft (MSFT) CEO Satya Nadella said on Thursday while speaking to the World Economic Forum in Davos that data protection at an individual/consumer level should be seen as a human right, and referred to the GDPR legislation of the European Union as a model for the rest of the world.

What did Nadella say? “In some senses, Europe has taken the lead with GDPR and has even effectively regulated that. In our case, we took that regulation and we are in fact hoping to see more of a federal standard in the United States and in the world over…And in fact we have taken some of the subject rights of GDPR and made them available worldwide.” Nadella continued to speak about data privacy and how it has to be protected and companies need to be “transparent” about it. 

Nadella also noted that surplus value was generated when a consumer gives their data to a company, and called for further research on the “data integrity” principle. The “data integrity” principle goes one step further than privacy according to Nadella. “It’s not just ‘privacy’ and ‘oh, I give away my data’. I should be able to control in a much more finer-grained way how my data is being used to create utility for me and the world and the causes I care about.”

Nadella’s remarks are encouraging and the message he is sending is similar to the one Google CEO’s Sundar Pichai made at the same forum on Wednesday. Will their respective companies show an increase in privacy regulations and consumer protection? Well with more legislation similar to the CCPA and the EU’s GDPR companies will not have a choice. Like Nadella said earlier, data privacy should be thought of as a human right.