A stir was created in June 2021 over the applications of Microsoft’s surveillance technology and their seemingly diametrical opposition to the company’s stated values. This conflict has been brought to public attention largely through shareholder proposals. Now, Microsoft has confirmed that it had a third-party review done to assess whether its products and values were misaligned.
This proposal situation has been defused and shareholders have withdrawn their motions, according to a Bloomberg report which also indicates that Microsoft is undergoing a third-party review to assess the impact of its surveillance technology on human rights. the man. Here is Microsoft’s statement:
In response to shareholder demands, Microsoft Corp. will commission an independent third-party assessment to identify, understand, assess and address actual or potential adverse human rights impacts of the Company’s products and services and business relationships with respect to law enforcement , immigration law enforcement and other government contracts. The assessment will include consultation with BIPOC communities, including immigrants, and other groups representing communities most impacted by Microsoft surveillance products, law enforcement, and government contracts.
Findings from this review are expected to drop in 2022, indicating that it will be some time before answers are forthcoming as to whether human rights are being violated or negatively impacted by Microsoft’s surveillance technology agreements with the police and government agencies.
This is far from the first time Microsoft shareholders have asked tough questions. Recently, Microsoft and the “right to repair” movement had a big moment due to shareholder activity.