“Microsoft is caught up in a privacy storm after it admitted it read the Hotmail inbox of a blogger while pursuing a software leak investigation,” BBC News reports. “On Thursday, the firm acknowledged it read the anonymous blogger’s emails in order to identify an employee it suspected of leaking information.”

“Microsoft owns Hotmail, a free email service now called Outlook.com,” The Beeb reports. “John Frank, deputy general counsel for Microsoft, said it took ‘extraordinary actions in this case.’ While the search was technically legal, he added Microsoft would consult outside counsel in the future.”

“The search was legal because it fell within Microsoft’s terms of service which state that the company can access information in accounts that are stored on its “Communication Services”, which includes email, chat areas, forums, and other communication facilities,” The Beeb reports. “Nonetheless, revelations of the search have led to renewed focus on the privacy violations of technology firms. It has also left Microsoft in a difficult position, as the firm has often criticised rival Google for its automatic scanning of users’ emails in order to serve them with advertising.”

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MacDailyNews Take: From Microsoft’s “Don’t Get Scroogled” website:

Microsoft hypocrites

Microsoft: Total hypocrites.