The new restrictions, outlined in a memo sent to vendors on Friday, states that external staff is limited to 18 months of access to Microsoft’s building and networks, in which a mandatory 6 month break will be required between jobs, The Seattle Times reports.
“The policy change affects US-based external staff (including Agency Temporaries, Vendors and Business Guests) and limits their access to Microsoft buildings and the Microsoft corporate network to a period of 18 months, with a required six-month break before access may be granted again,” states the email. “If your staff does not have Microsoft building or network access, this policy change will not apply to or impact them. The policy went into effect July 1st, 2014…”
The memo states that the new policy is to “strengthen protection of Microsoft’s confidential communication” about who is granted access to the building and network.
“It’s not clear that all of the access to the corporate network that’s currently been granted is absolutely necessary for people to do their work,” said Microsoft spokesman Mark Murray. “It’s more been granted out of habit or out of default.”
“The company does want to carefully consider the volume of our use of external staff. But this particular policy is focused on protecting our confidential information and intellectual property.”
Currently these restrictions only apply to the U.S., though the company intends to make the changes global, “subject to local law.”