In the midst of all the topics surrounding data usage and antitrust claims against big conglomerates such as Amazon, Google, and YouTube, there seems to be one big tech company that has avoided a majority of government backlash today–Microsoft.
Although the company is no stranger to facing substantial fines due to its own antitrust claims, Microsoft has found a defensive approach in order to revolutionize its external affairs becoming a leading advocate in public policy matters and ethical settlements aligned with the government.
Microsoft has restructured its external strategy by becoming less of a consumer company through market shifts and a newly defined business plan. For instance, the company has rallied behind the protection of consumer privacy and ordered for more legitimate sanctions in regards to artificial intelligence. Unlike companies today, Microsoft attributes its corporate personality change by not becoming reliant upon online advertising and storing personal data–a headline we are all too familiar with in the current media landscape. The President of Microsoft, Brad Smith, claims that, “when your technology changes the world, you bear a responsibility to help address the world that you have helped create.” The company still undergoes business selling ads but instead compromises with the views of its competitors and policymakers, making a case for bringing tech sectors and government together.
Smith has since marshaled support for the Paris Call for international norms of behavior on the internet and for the Christchurch Call to curb terrorist and extremist content online. These initiatives are without restrictive law, however, Mr. Smith claims they could start global conversations that shape global policy.
Smith notes how the mentality behind the leaders in tech today is to continue to fight, because that is how they made it out to be successful in the first place. However, the more ethical approach is compromise– to reach out and be proactive in confrontational disputes. Microsoft’s has framed a fundamental model all tech companies should follow. To advocate for change in a productive way and make meaningful decisions that positively impact technology and the consumer.