Microsoft Priva Commercially Released for Data Privacy Management

Microsoft on Friday announced that Microsoft Priva, a somewhat new privacy management add-on solution for Microsoft 365 or Office 365, is at the "generally available" commercial-release stage.

The announcement comes on Jan. 28, international "Data Privacy Day," or "Data Protection Day" in Europe, which is a day that's formally observed by about 51 countries, per Wikipedia's count. It's a day that's perhaps more generally celebrated in the breach, however.

Microsoft Priva Origins
Microsoft Priva aims to address the messy details organizations face as government regulations mandate privacy restrictions on data. It's a product that hasn't had much publicity, even from Microsoft.

The Microsoft Priva name apparently first appeared in a Nov. 2 Microsoft Ignite announcement by Vasu Jakkal, corporate vice president for security, compliance and identity at Microsoft, who offered the following two-sentence description at the time:

Today, we're excited to announce Microsoft Priva with Privacy Management for Microsoft 365 as the first Priva solution. We're committed to helping you build a privacy-resilient workplace and look forward to sharing future Microsoft Priva capabilities.

Microsoft had commercially released Privacy Management for Microsoft 365 in October as an add-on to a Microsoft 365 or Office 365 subscriptions at the top-tier E5 level. One month later, the Privacy Management product apparently was incorporated in the little-known Microsoft Priva product. The Privacy Management product now appears to be a module category within the Microsoft Priva product.

Moreover, Microsoft's Friday announcement described Microsoft Priva as being the add-on.

"Microsoft Priva solutions are generally available for customers as an add-on to all Microsoft 365 or Office 365 enterprise subscriptions," the announcement clarified.

Microsoft Priva Capabilities
Microsoft Priva currently consists of two Privacy Management modules, one for privacy risks and another for subject rights requests.

The privacy risks capability identifies the risks associated with transferred and stored data. The subject rights capability is designed to help manage requests from people seeking to find out the information that's stored about them, with "automated data discovery and privacy issues detection," plus secure collaboration features.

A subject rights request is terminology that comes from the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation. It's the instrument whereby outside parties can request getting the personal information that's stored about them by an organization.

Microsoft asserts that Microsoft Priva provides "in-the-moment nudges" to keep employees more aware about how to properly handle data that has privacy implications. The service also sends prompts when data get retained for a period of time, such as "more than 180 days," when it may lack business value but be a potential liability.

Microsoft also touted using Microsoft Teams to get "near-real-time notifications and guidance" on privacy issues when transferring personal data.

IT pros get a dashboard overview of privacy compliance with Microsoft Priva. They can see new items, subject rights requests and privacy risks in aggregate. The user information associated with the data gets obscured by pseudonyms. "Admins can easily spot privacy issues and fine-tune policies to engage with users," Microsoft suggested.

Microsoft Priva is unrelated to the company Priva, which makes solutions for horticultural industries. Priva, the horticultural services company, notably offers a secure data offering for greenhouses that taps Microsoft Azure cloud services.

About the Author

Kurt Mackie is senior news producer for 1105 Media's Converge360 group.


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