By now, many us are familiar with Microsoft's"Scroogled" campaign, which takes direct aim at Google over the issue of consumer privacy and the practice of user data being shared with advertisers. Now it appears that Microsoft is ratcheting up its own privacy efforts.
The firm posted a new television commercial (below) that highlights the company's efforts to ensure consumer privacy when using its web browser Internet Explorer. The commercial depicts several personal and family situations in which seemingly harmless information is publicly shared, only to be balanced with potentially negative information that the average consumer might not want to be made public.
Though it doesn't offer specific illustrations of privacy holes in our daily online lives, the commercial is nevertheless effective in outlining the dicey new world of inadvertently sharing one's activities and personal information online, without taking a direct shot at any one company, as it has in the past. Accompanying the commercial is a message from company stating: "The lines between public and private may never be perfect, but at Microsoft we are going to keep on trying, because your privacy is our priority."
In addition to the video, Microsoft has also launched a mini-site complete with a privacy quiz that allows users to profile their own levels of privacy awareness. After taking the quiz, the user is presented with results that describe various online personality types such as "The Privacy Procrastinator" for the person aware of privacy gaps, but puts off taking corrective actions, and the "Privacy Please" personality, for those who tend to be hyper-aware of their online privacy status.
The mini-site also offers links to information regarding the company's privacy ranking, as well as the issue of online privacy in general. Overall, while lacking the humor of the company's previous Google-centric efforts, this latest presentation manages to deliver a more sober, less conspiratorial view of taking one's online privacy seriously.