Microsoft has recently announced that it supports comprehensive national privacy legislation. According to a white paper by Microsoft Senior Vice President and General Counsel Brad Smith:
Over the past few years, however, several factors have altered the privacy landscape in such a way and to such a degree that we now believe the time has come to support national privacy legislation as a component of a multifaceted approach to privacy protection. As a strong supporter of free-market solutions, Microsoft did not come to this decision without careful consideration. But it is one we now believe is the right course in order to provide meaningful protections for individuals, while avoiding unnecessary obstacles to legitimate business activities.
I applaud Microsoft’s shift from calling for self-regulation to calling for comprehensive privacy regulation. I have long believed that self-regulation has not worked effectively.
My main concern with Microsoft’s proposal is its call for federal preemption of state regulation: