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Microsoft rejects handing over emails stored overseas

PCMag reports that Microsoft rejects handing over emails stored overseas in Ireland. A New York judge ordered the email data to be handed over to the US government, while the data is stored in Ireland. The emails were requested by the US government this summer. Judge Preska approved this request in a ruling in late July. However, the green light for the government to go ahead and get the emails off the Microsoft servers in Ireland was only given last Friday. The reason for this was to allow Microsoft time to appeal the ruling.

Microsoft rejects handing over emails stored overseas

A Microsoft datacenter in Dublin, Ireland

The reason Microsoft refuses to hand over the emails is privacy. This is noted by Microsoft chief privacy officer Brendon Lynch in a blog article from August 27th. A quote from the article:

So far the courts have sided with the U.S. government, but we are appealing the latest decision. This case could have important implications outside the U.S.  Other governments could demand emails held in datacenters outside their jurisdiction. In fact, earlier this month the British government passed a law asserting its right to require tech companies to produce emails stored anywhere in the world. This would include emails stored in the U.S. by Americans who have never been to the UK.

Brendo points to Microsoft’s Digital Constitution website which shows a timeline of events, posts and surveys about the situation and how Microsoft is responding to the situation.

Microsoft is not alone in its stance on privacy online: other large technology corporations including Cisco and Apple support the company’s vision. This can be found on the ‘what others are saying‘ page on the Digital Constitution website.

Modern technology can be both a blessing and a curse for people and corporations. While it enables to communicate with everyoen everywhere, and find all the information on any subject, however obscure, it also poses security and privacy issues. While some laws and regulations have been updated over the years, legislation in general is lagging behind technology developments.

In the case of Microsoft’s refusal to hand over the emails, I believe Microsoft has a strong point when it comes to trust. If trust in a company is lost by its customers, can it ever be rewon when it comes to online services like email?

Source: PCmag

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Email comic: we must be on a mailing list

Have you ever had the feeling your email address had landed on the ‘wrong’  mailing list?
These guys in this email comic have arrived on a deserted island together. Being cut off from the world, messages in bottle arrive via the sea:


Then again, even if you have subscribed yourself to the right mailing list, it sometimes feels like your being flooded with messages. While consistency and continuity is good in email marketing, you really can flood your audience. Make sure you’ll find a goldilocks zone of frequency in email marketing. That could be sending out an email campaign once a day, but it could also mean sending out email campaigns once every week or two weeks.

This frequency impacts many of your company’s processes, if email marketing is one of the core channels through which you bring in new business -and- lift existing customers to the next level. Think of sales, marketing but also content creation and customer support. When you notice both your existing customers and would-be customers are craving more input, be it inspiration, products to buy or such: be sure your organization is ready for it. Both you, your company -and- your customers can only benefit from it. After all, isn’t that the sole reason companies exist: to make their customers more succesful in business?

In this comic however, it’s a bit of an overload, so keep an eye on your email frequency: enough is enough.

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German anti-stress law in the making that bans work email and phone calls outside office hours

In Germany, it’s already common at a few employers to not receive any work email and/or phone calls outside office hours. Companies that have enforced this in the past years include BMW, Volkswagen and Telekom. However, the German government, in this case the minister for Employment Andrea Nahles, is looking into the creation of an anti-stress law.


image via Flickr –

According to an interview posted on RP-online (Google Translate link), Nahles’ goal with the new law is to let all Germans have proper downtime, after work time. With modern economics and communications having people send out work emails and phone calls around the clock, the boundaries between work and private life are fading. This is dangerous when it comes to recharging one’s energy during private time, so one can go to work refreshed and healthily.

The problem with legislation like this German anti-stress law is that on the one hand, being concerned about people’s mental health and stress levels is good and important, on the other hand government involvement in situations like this can be seen as too big brother-ish.

Find out more about the details of the plans concerning this new German anti-stress law in the Google Translate-linked article here.

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Morning Mail app for iOS: one email at a time

morning-mail-app-ios-logoThe Morning Mail app is a new app for iOS that promises one email at a time. For now, the accompanying website lists iOS as the only mobile OS supported, but who knows, maybe it will be available for Android later on.

With all the crowded inboxes these days, new email apps and services to handle the email overload are popping up everywhere.

Here’s an animation of the interface:

From the animation above one can conclude that a little preview of the email contents is shown in the Morning Mail app, plus the sender name and subject line. If this app (or similar apps) are the future of mobile inbox management, then sender name, subject line and snippet (first lines of an email) will become even more important than they already are.
Furthermore, emails are shown in the order they arrived in your inbox.A quote from the Dribbble design page:
The app helps you to handle your inbox when you just wake up. One email at time. You can’t see whole list of emails. Mark current email to go to the next one.
Handling email like that would hardly work on desktops, where as a power email user you are used to mark several emails at the time and archive them, delete them or do any other bulk action. Morning Mail has already been dubbed the ‘Tinder for email’.
And another preview of the Morning Mail app interface:


The app website can be found here. You can get early access to the Morning Mail app on that website too. A launch date hasn’t been announced yet.

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