Microsoft released a paper outlining privacy concerns businesses should consider prior to leaping into computing “cloud” in conjunction with an International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy in Madrid. “Cloud computing does raise a number of important policy questions concerning how people, organizations, and governments handle information and interactions in this environment,” Microsoft said. “Privacy protections’re essential to building customer trust needed for cloud computing and Internet to reach their full potential.” Sales of packaged software’ve long been at heart of Redmond, Washington-based technology giant’s empire’s fortune. Rivals such as Google have been wooing consumers and businesses with email, document, spreadsheet, and other applications offered online as free or inexpensive services. Consumers and businesses need to be assured that their online data is guarded by “robust” privacy policies and infrastructures safe from intruders, according to Microsoft.