On Saturday The New York Times reported that Microsoft altered its privacy rules. Buried within the story was the real crime, and the real reason Microsoft altered its policies: arbitration. As noted by the Times, “Microsoft, officials were focused not on whether the policy changes affected privacy but rather on a different change, one that limits the ability of Microsoft customers to sue the company, including in a class action, over its products. The new agreement requires the use of binding arbitration.”

Microsoft has its eye on the ball. The simple fact is that whatever the privacy rules may portend, they don’t actually matter. Arbitration, and class action bans, strip users of any rights they may have. If Microsoft violates any privacy law, arbitration effectively denies any remedy.  A right without a remedy, is no right at all.  Arbitration makes sure you have none.