Microsoft is to introduce technology for restricting access to data in Windows applications for users who need greater control over sensitive information.
Developers will be able to build the Windows Rights Management Services (RMS) technology, due later this year, into desktop applications, which will allow users to designate who can have access to content.
The move is based on the company's existing user list-based permission access control, where a licence is issued that has to be authorised by the server before the user is allowed to do anything with a document.
Windows RMS could be used, for example, to restrict the forwarding, copying or printing of sensitive documents such as financial reports, and could also include time-sensitive controls.
Mike Nash, corporate vice president of Microsoft's Security Business Unit, said in a statement: "What's really compelling about rights management technology is that it enables businesses to protect the information they worry most might leak, either deliberately or inadvertently, by putting persistent protections in the documents themselves."
The beta code for Windows RMS is due to be released in the second quarter of 2003, accompanied by two software development kits for allowing developers to build rights management features into applications.
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