Tech giant Microsoft has bucked the trend of GDPR-bashing and instead come out to suggest it may voluntarily roll out the strict data protection measures across the wider world.

Many businesses have bemoaned what they deem to be an unnecessarily heavy-handed approach by EU lawmakers to protect consumer data. Microsoft, on the other hand, has said the regulations align with its long-held business views and that what is now enshrined in law across the EU could become voluntarily adopted by the company everywhere else.

In a blog post published on Microsoft’s own website, the firm’s deputy general counsel Julie Brill (who was formerly a commissioner at the Federal Trade Commission) explained: “We’ve been enthusiastic supporters of GDPR since it was first proposed in 2012.

“It sets a strong standard for privacy and data protection by empowering people to control their personal information. We appreciate the strong leadership by the European Union on these important issues. We believe privacy is a fundamental human right… [and] the protection of this right is becoming more important than ever.”

By taking such a proactive stance on data protection, Microsoft could cleverly be giving itself a distinct business advantage over some of its nearest and fiercest rivals. Though the likes of Google and Facebook are still routinely used across the world, they are widely seen to be rather lax in the data protection department. As such, the more that their competitors put data protection at the forefront of their business objectives, the more fans are likely to be won over as a result.

These aren’t just empty promises and soundbites from Microsoft, though. The company has already updated its privacy policy, including within it a not-insignificant list of the changes that have been made. Among them are what Brill described as a: “robust set of tools and services” for compliance. What’s more, Microsoft promised to back these up with “contractual commitments”.

With a company as large and influential as Microsoft taking such a step, it may not be a surprise to see others begin to follow suit over the coming weeks and months.