Microsoft Hires Former FTC Member To Lead Data Privacy Efforts

Microsoft has tapped a former U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) member to lead its policy efforts on privacy and data protection.

Julie Brill was appointed by former President Barack Obama to the governing council of the consumer protection and antitrust regulator in 2010 after decades spent working on those issues at the state level. She stepped down in 2016, joining law firm Hogan Lovells in Washington, D.C.

At Microsoft, she will lead the teams setting company policy on privacy, data protection and cybersecurity, and will work with government officials on those issues. Her mandate will include compliance with the European Union's sweeping data-protection regulations set to take effect next year.

Microsoft has been one of the more vocal companies in the technology industry on internet-age policy issues, from jurisdiction over data stored in the cloud to defense against cyberattacks.

The effort, coinciding with Microsoft's aim to shift more of its business to web-based tools, is in part a bid to reassure business customers worried about the security of their data from the prying eyes of governments or competitors.

Brill is expected to join the company sometime after Microsoft's new fiscal year begins in July. She will be based in Redmond.

Fred Humphries, Microsoft's Washington, D.C.-based corporate vice president of U.S. government affairs, will continue to lead a parallel group charged with the company's lobbying and advocacy efforts.

Both report to Microsoft president and chief legal officer Brad Smith.

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