Over the last few days new awareness of the terms of service spread in the user community. PCWorld.com also received numerous complaints. In particular, users expressed alarm that Microsoft's access to personal data would become more dire when people store files on Microsoft's servers, which is part of the company's .Net strategy.
Prelude to a HailStorm
Hailstorm will let users store content on Microsoft servers, for access from any Web-enabled device.
Because Passport is an integral part of HailStorm, critics charged that Microsoft was positioning itself to take control of anything users stored on its servers, from business plans to fiction writing to financial records.
Microsoft: Just a Mistake
Regardless of Microsoft's intentions with its Passport terms of service, analyst William Knowles of the c4i.org security group questions why anyone would trust their data -- from passwords to business content -- to Microsoft.
"Microsoft has all of these existing security issues," he says, referring to last year's hacker attack on the company as well as ongoing security problems with its various products.
"Now Microsoft wants to be this data center and to have all your information. It's a total hacker target," he says.
Microsoft's Pilla admits the company has had its ups and downs with security. "We've had both good and bad experiences," he says.
Microsoft has learned from those experiences, and plans to be successful here, he says. "We plan to work hard on this issue," he says.