Your privacy is important to us. This privacy statement explains what personal data we collect from you and how we use it. It applies to Bing, Cortana, MSN, Office, OneDrive, Outlook.com, Skype, Windows, Xbox and other Microsoft services that display this statement. References to Microsoft services in this statement include Microsoft websites, apps, software and devices.
We encourage you to read the summaries below and to click on "Learn More" if you'd like more information on a particular topic. The Service-Specific Details below provide additional information relevant to particular Microsoft services.
Microsoft collects data to operate effectively and provide you the best experiences with our services. You provide some of this data directly, such as when you create a Microsoft account, submit a search query to Bing, speak a voice command to Cortana, upload a document to OneDrive, complete a survey, or contact us for support. We get some of it by recording how you interact with our services by, for example, using technologies like cookies, and receiving error reports or usage data from software running on your device.
We also obtain data from third parties (including other companies). For example, we supplement the data we collect by purchasing demographic data from other companies. We also use services from other companies to help us determine a location based on your IP address in order to customize certain services to your location.
The data we collect depends on the services and features you use, and includes the following.
Name and contact data. We collect your first and last name, email address, postal address, phone number, and other similar contact data.
Credentials. We collect passwords, password hints, and similar security information used for authentication and account access.
Demographic data. We collect data about you such as your age, gender, country and preferred language.
Interests and favorites. We collect data about your interests and favorites, such as the teams you follow in a sports app, the stocks you track in a finance app, or the favorite cities you add to a weather app. In addition to those you explicitly provide, your interests and favorites may also be inferred or derived from other data we collect.
Payment data. We collect data necessary to process your payment if you make purchases, such as your payment instrument number (such as a credit card number), and the security code associated with your payment instrument.
Usage data. We collect data about how you interact with our services. This includes data, such as the features you use, the items you purchase, the web pages you visit, and the search terms you enter. This also includes data about your device and the network you use to connect to our services, including IP address, device identifiers (such as the IMEI number for phones), regional and language settings. It includes information about the operating systems and other software installed on your device, including product keys. And it includes data about the performance of the services and any problems you experience with them.
Contacts and relationships. We collect data about your contacts and relationships if you use a Microsoft service to manage contacts, or to communicate or interact with other people or organizations.
Location data. We collect data about your location, which can be either precise or imprecise. Precise location data can be Global Position System (GPS) data, as well as data identifying nearby cell towers and Wi-Fi hotspots, we collect when you enable location-based services or features. Imprecise location data includes, for example, a location derived from your IP address or data that indicates where you are located with less precision, such as at a city or postal code level.
Content. We collect content of your files and communications when necessary to provide you with the services you use. For example, if you receive an email using Outlook.com, we need to collect the content of that email in order to deliver it to your inbox, display it to you, enable you to reply to it, and store it for you until you choose to delete it. Examples of this data include: the content of your documents, photos, music or video you upload to a Microsoft service such as OneDrive, as well as the content of your communications sent or received using Microsoft services such Outlook.com or Skype, including the:
We also collect the content of messages you send to us, such as feedback and product reviews you write, or questions and information you provide for customer support. When you contact us, such as for customer support, phone conversations or chat sessions with our representatives may be monitored and recorded. If you enter our retail stores, your image may be captured by our security cameras.
You have choices about the data we collect. When you are asked to provide personal data, you may decline. But if you choose not to provide data that is necessary to provide a service, you may not be able to use some features or services.
Service-specific sections below describe data collection practices applicable to use of those services.
Microsoft uses the data we collect for three basic purposes, described in more detail below: (1) to operate our business and provide (including improving and personalizing) the services we offer, (2) to send communications, including promotional communications, and (3) to display advertising.
In carrying out these purposes, we combine data we collect through the various Microsoft services you use to give you a more seamless, consistent and personalized experience. For example, Cortana can use the favorite sports teams you add to the MSN Sports app to provide information relevant to your interests, or Windows Store can use information about how you use a variety of services to make personalized app recommendations. However, to enhance privacy, we have built in technological and procedural safeguards designed to prevent certain data combinations. For example, we store data we collect from you when you are unauthenticated (not signed in) separately from any account information that directly identifies you, such as your name, email address or phone number.
Providing and improving our services. We use data to provide and improve the services we offer and perform essential business operations. This includes operating the services, maintaining and improving the performance of the services, including developing new features, research, and providing customer support. Examples of such uses include the following.
Providing the Services. We use data to carry out your transactions with us and to provide our services to you. Often, those services include personalized features and recommendations that enhance your productivity and enjoyment, and tailor your service experiences based on your activities, interests and location.
Communications. We use data we collect to deliver and personalize our communications with you. For example, we may contact you by email or other means to inform you when a subscription is ending, let you know when security updates are available, remind you about items left in your online shopping cart, update you or inquire about a service or repair request, invite you to participate in a survey, or tell you that you need to take action to keep your account active. Additionally, you can sign up for email subscriptions and choose whether you wish to receive promotional communications from Microsoft by email, SMS, physical mail, and telephone. For information about managing email subscriptions and promotional communications, please visit the Access and Controls section of this privacy statement.
Advertising. Many of our services are supported by advertising. We use the data we collect to help select the ads Microsoft delivers - whether on our own services or on services offered by third parties. The ads we select may be based on your current location, search query, or the content you are viewing. Other ads are targeted based on your likely interests or other information that we learn about you over time using demographic data, search queries, interests and favorites, usage data, and location data - which we refer to as "interest-based advertising" in this statement. Microsoft does not use what you say in email, chat, video calls or voice mail, or your documents, photos or other personal files to target ads to you. You may opt out of receiving interest-based advertising from Microsoft by visiting our opt-out page. More information about advertising controls is available in the Access and Controls section of this privacy statement. Further details regarding our advertising-related uses of data include:
We share your personal data with your consent or as necessary to complete any transaction or provide any service you have requested or authorized. For example, we share your content with third parties when you tell us to do so, such as when you send an email to a friend, share photos and documents on OneDrive, or link accounts with another service. When you provide payment data to make a purchase, we will share payment data with banks and other entities that process payment transactions or provide other financial services, and for fraud prevention and credit risk reduction.
In addition, we share personal data among Microsoft-controlled affiliates and subsidiaries. We also share personal data with vendors or agents working on our behalf for the purposes described in this statement. For example, companies we've hired to provide customer service support or assist in protecting and securing our systems and services may need access to personal data in order to provide those functions. In such cases, these companies must abide by our data privacy and security requirements and are not allowed to use personal data they receive from us for any other purpose. We may also disclose personal data as part of a corporate transaction such as a merger or sale of assets.
Finally, we will access, disclose and preserve personal data, including your content (such as the content of your emails in Outlook.com, or files in private folders on OneDrive), when we have a good faith belief that doing so is necessary to:
For more information about data we disclose in response to requests from law enforcement and other government agencies, please see our Law Enforcement Transparency Report, available at http://microsoft.com/about/corporatecitizenship/en-us/reporting/transparency.
Please note that some of our services include links to services of third parties whose privacy practices differ from Microsoft's. If you provide personal data to any of those services, your data is governed by their privacy statements.
You can view or edit your personal data online for many Microsoft services. You can also make choices about Microsoft's collection and use of your data. How you can access or control your personal data will depend on which services you use.
You can always choose whether you wish to receive promotional email, SMS messages, telephone calls and postal mail from Microsoft. You can also opt out from receiving interest-based advertising from Microsoft by visiting our opt-out page.
You can view or edit your personal data online for many Microsoft services. You can also make choices about Microsoft's collection and use of your data. How you can access or control your personal data will depend on which services you use. For example:
If you cannot access personal data collected by Microsoft services via the links above or directly through the services, you can always contact Microsoft by using our web form. We will respond to requests to access or delete your personal data within 30 days.
Your Communications Preferences
You can choose whether you wish to receive promotional communications from Microsoft by email, SMS, physical mail, and telephone. If you receive promotional email or SMS messages from us and would like to opt out, you can do so by following the directions in that message. You can also make choices about the receipt of promotional email, telephone calls, and postal mail by visiting and signing into Microsoft's Promotional Communications Manager with your personal Microsoft account, which allows you to update contact information, manage Microsoft-wide contact preferences, opt out of email subscriptions, and choose whether to share your contact information with Microsoft partners. If you do not have a personal Microsoft account, you can manage your Microsoft email contact preferences by using this web form. These choices do not apply to mandatory service communications that are part of certain Microsoft services, or to surveys or other informational communications that have their own unsubscribe method.
Your Advertising Choices
You may opt out of receiving interest-based advertising from Microsoft by visiting our opt-out page.When you opt out, your selection will be stored in a cookie that is specific to the web browser you are using. The opt-out cookie has an expiration date of five years. If you delete the cookies on your device, you will need to opt out again.
You can also link your opt-out choice with your personal Microsoft account. It will then apply on any device where you use that account, and will continue to apply until someone signs in with a different personal Microsoft account on that device. If you delete the cookies on your device, you will need to sign in again for the settings to apply.
For advertising that appears in apps on Windows, you may use the opt-out linked to your personal Microsoft account, or opt out of interest-based advertising by turning off the advertising ID in Windows Settings.
Because the data used for interest-based advertising is also used for other necessary purposes (including providing our services, analytics and fraud detection), opting out of interest-based advertising does not stop that data from being collected. Nor does it mean you will stop getting ads or see fewer ads. However, if you do opt out, the ads you receive will no longer be interest-based and may be less relevant to your interests.
We also use web beacons to help deliver cookies and gather usage and performance data about our services. Our services may include web beacons and cookies from third-party service providers.
You have a variety of tools to control cookies, web beacons and similar technologies, including browser controls to block and delete cookies and controls from some third-party analytics service providers to opt out of data collection through web beacons. Your browser and other choices may impact your experiences with our services.
Some of the cookies we commonly use are listed in the following chart. This list is not exhaustive, but it is intended to illustrate the main reasons we typically set cookies. If you visit one of our websites, the site may set some or all of the following cookies:
Identifies unique web browsers visiting Microsoft sites. It is used for advertising, site analytics and other operational purposes.
Contains the ANID, a unique identifier derived from your Microsoft account, which is used for advertising, personalization, and operational purposes. It is also used to preserve your choice to opt out of interest-based advertising from Microsoft, if you have chosen to associate the opt-out with your Microsoft account.
Contains a country code as determined from your IP address.
RPSTAuth, MSNRPSAuth, KievRPSAuth
Helps to authenticate you when you sign in with your Microsoft account.
Contains an encrypted version of your country, postal code, age, gender, language and occupation, if known, based on your Microsoft account profile.
Appears on co-branded sites where Microsoft is partnering with an advertiser. This cookie identifies the advertiser so the right ad is selected.
Maintains information about which ads you clicked on and where you clicked on the ad.
Records your decision not to receive interest-based advertising delivered by Microsoft.
In addition to the cookies Microsoft sets when you visit our websites, third parties may also set cookies when you visit Microsoft sites. In some cases, that is because we have hired the third party to provide services on our behalf, such as site analytics. In other cases, it is because our web pages contain content or ads from third parties, such as videos, news content or ads delivered by other ad networks. Because your browser connects to those third parties' web servers to retrieve that content, those third parties are able to set or read their own cookies on your device and may collect information about your online activities across websites or online services.
How to Control Cookies
Most web browsers automatically accept cookies but provide controls that allow you to block or delete them. For example, in Microsoft Edge, you can block or delete cookies by clicking Settings > Privacy > Cookies. Instructions for blocking or deleting cookies in other browsers may be available in each browser's privacy or help documentation.
Certain features of Microsoft services depend on cookies. Please be aware that if you choose to block cookies, you may not be able to sign in or use those features, and preferences that are dependent on cookies may be lost. If you choose to delete cookies, settings and preferences controlled by those cookies, including advertising preferences, may be deleted and may need to be recreated.
Additional privacy controls that can impact cookies, including the Tracking Protection feature of Microsoft browsers, are described in the Access and Control section of this privacy statement.
Our Use of Web Beacons and Analytics Services
Microsoft web pages may contain electronic images known as web beacons (also called single-pixel gifs) that we use to help deliver cookies on our sites, count users who have visited those sites and deliver co-branded services. We also include web beacons in our promotional email messages or newsletters to determine whether you open and act on them.
In addition to placing web beacons on our own sites, we sometimes work with other companies to place our web beacons on their sites or in their advertisements. This helps us develop statistics on how often clicking on an advertisement on a Microsoft site results in a purchase or other action on the advertiser's site.
Finally, Microsoft services often contain web beacons or similar technologies from third-party analytics providers, which help us compile aggregated statistics about the effectiveness of our promotional campaigns or other operations. These technologies enable the analytics providers to set or read their own cookies or other identifiers on your device, through which they can collect information about your online activities across applications, websites or other services. However, we prohibit these analytics providers from using web beacons on our sites to collect or access information that directly identifies you (such as your name or email address). You can opt out of data collection or use by some of these analytics providers by clicking the following links:
In addition to standard cookies and web beacons, our services can also use other similar technologies to store and read data files on your computer. This is typically done to maintain your preferences or to improve speed and performance by storing certain files locally. But, like standard cookies, these technologies can also be used to store a unique identifier for your computer, which can then be used to track behavior. These technologies include Local Shared Objects (or "Flash cookies") and Silverlight Application Storage.
Local Shared Objects or "Flash cookies." Web sites that use Adobe Flash technologies may use Local Shared Objects or "Flash cookies" to store data on your computer. To manage or block Flash cookies, go to http://www.macromedia.com/support/documentation/en/flashplayer/help/settings_manager.html.
Silverlight Application Storage. Web sites or applications that use Microsoft Silverlight technology also have the ability to store data by using Silverlight Application Storage. To learn how to manage or block such storage, see the Silverlight section of this statement.
With a Microsoft account, you can sign into Microsoft services, as well as third-party services. Signing into your account can enable improved personalization, provide seamless and consistent experiences across services and devices, and help you access and use cloud data storage and other enhanced features and settings.
When you sign into your account to access a service, we create a record of that sign in. If you sign into a third-party service with your Microsoft account, you will be asked to consent to share the account data required by that service.
With a Microsoft account, you can sign into Microsoft services, as well as those of select Microsoft partners. When you create your own Microsoft account, we refer to that account as a personal Microsoft account. When your account is created and provided to you by your organization, such as your school or employer, using Microsoft's Azure Active Directory (AAD), we refer to that account as a work or school account.
Creating and using your personal Microsoft account. When you create a personal Microsoft account, you will be asked for certain personal data and we will assign a unique ID number to identify your account and associated information. While some services, such as those involving payment, require a real name, you can sign into and use some Microsoft services without providing your real name. Some data you provide, such as your email address and phone number, can be used to help others find and connect with you within Microsoft services. For example, people who know your email address or phone number can use it to search for you on Skype and send you an invite to connect with them.
Signing in. When you sign into your Microsoft account, we create a record of your sign-in, which includes the date and time, information about the service you signed into, your sign-in name, the unique number assigned to your account, a unique identifier assigned to your device, your IP address, and your operating system and browser version.
Signing into Microsoft. Signing into your account enables improved personalization, provides seamless and consistent experiences across services and devices, and allows you to access and use cloud data storage and other enhanced features and settings. When you sign into your account, you will stay signed in until you sign out. If you add your Microsoft account to a Windows device (version 8 or higher), Windows will automatically sign you into services that use Microsoft account that you access on that device. When you are signed in, some services will display your name or username and your profile photo (if you have added one to your profile) as part of your use of Microsoft services, including in your communications, social interactions and public posts.
Signing into third-party services. If you sign into a third-party service with your Microsoft account, you will be asked to consent to share the account data required by that service. The service will also receive the version number assigned to your account (a new version number is assigned each time you change your sign-in data); and whether your account has been deactivated. The third party can use or share your data according to its own practices and policies. You should carefully review the privacy statement for each service you sign into in order to determine how it will use the data it collects.
Personal Microsoft accounts received from third parties. If you received your personal Microsoft account from a third party, like an Internet service provider, that third party may have rights over your account, including the ability to access or delete your Microsoft account. You should carefully review any additional terms the third party provided you to understand what it can do with your account.
Connecting your personal Microsoft account to your social network accounts. You may connect your personal Microsoft account to your accounts on social networks such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn in order to access data from those social networks from within Microsoft services. If you choose to do so, we will store data about your social network accounts on our servers so that we can display updated data from your social network account. You can disconnect a social network account from your personal Microsoft account at any time at https://profile.live.com/services.
Using work or school accounts. You can sign into certain Microsoft services with a work or school Microsoft account. If required by your organization, you will also be asked to provide a phone number or an alternative email address for additional security verification. If you sign in to Microsoft services with a work or school account, the owner of the domain associated with your email address may control and administer your account, and access and process your data, including the contents of your communications and files. Your use of the services may be subject to your organization's policies, if any. Microsoft is not responsible for the privacy or security practices of these organizations, which may differ from those of Microsoft.