Your privacy is important to us. This privacy statement explains the personal data Microsoft processes, how Microsoft processes it, and for what purposes.

Microsoft offers a wide range of products, including server products used to help operate enterprises worldwide, devices you use in your home, software that students use at school, and services developers use to create and host what’s next. References to Microsoft products in this statement include Microsoft services, websites, apps, software, servers, and devices.

Please read the product-specific details in this privacy statement, which provide additional relevant information. This statement applies to the interactions Microsoft has with you and the Microsoft products listed below, as well as other Microsoft products that display this statement.


Microsoft collects data from you, through our interactions with you and through our products for a variety of purposes described below, including to operate effectively and provide you with the best experiences with our products. You provide some of this data directly, such as when you create a Microsoft account, administer your organization’s licensing account, submit a search query to Bing, register for a Microsoft event, speak a voice command to Cortana, upload a document to OneDrive, sign up for Microsoft 365, or contact us for support. We get some of it by collecting data about your interactions, use, and experience with our products and communications.

We rely on a variety of legal reasons and permissions (sometimes called “legal bases”) to process data, including with your consent, a balancing of legitimate interests, necessity to enter into and perform contracts, and compliance with legal obligations, for a variety of purposes described below.

We also obtain data from third parties. We protect data obtained from third parties according to the practices described in this statement, plus any additional restrictions imposed by the source of the data. These third-party sources vary over time and include:

  • Data brokers from which we purchase demographic data to supplement the data we collect.
  • Services that make user-generated content from their service available to others, such as local business reviews or public social media posts.
  • Communication services, including email providers and social networks, when you give us permission to access your data on such third-party services or networks.
  • Service providers that help us determine your device’s location.
  • Partners with which we offer co-branded services or engage in joint marketing activities.
  • Developers who create experiences through or for Microsoft products.
  • Third parties that deliver experiences through Microsoft products, such as skills related to Cortana.
  • Publicly-available sources, such as open government databases.

If you represent an organization, such as a business or school, that utilizes Enterprise and Developer Products from Microsoft, please see the Enterprise and developer products section of this privacy statement to learn how we process your data. If you are an end user of a Microsoft product or a Microsoft account provided by your organization, please see the Products provided by your organization and the Microsoft account sections for more information.

You have choices when it comes to the technology you use and the data you share. When you are asked to provide personal data, you can decline. Many of our products require some personal data to operate and provide you with a service. If you choose not to provide data required to operate and provide you with a product or feature, you cannot use that product or feature. Likewise, where we need to collect personal data by law or to enter into or carry out a contract with you, and you do not provide the data, we will not be able to enter into the contract; or if this relates to an existing product you’re using, we may have to suspend or cancel it. We will notify you if this is the case at the time. Where providing the data is optional, and you choose not to share personal data, features like personalization that use the data will not work for you.

The data we collect depends on the context of your interactions with Microsoft and the choices you make (including your privacy settings), the products and features you use, your location, and applicable law.

The data we collect can include the following:

Name and contact data. Your first and last name, email address, postal address, phone number, and other similar contact data.

Credentials. Passwords, password hints, and similar security information used for authentication and account access.

Demographic data. Data about you such as your age, gender, country, and preferred language.

Payment data. Data to process payments, such as your payment instrument number (such as a credit card number) and the security code associated with your payment instrument.

Subscription and licensing data. Information about your subscriptions, licenses, and other entitlements.

Interactions. Data about your use of Microsoft products. In some cases, such as search queries, this is data you provide in order to make use of the products. In other cases, such as error reports, this is data we generate. Other examples of interactions data include:

  • Device and usage data. Data about your device and the product and features you use, including information about your hardware and software, how our products perform, as well as your settings. For example:
    • Payment and account history. Data about the items you purchase and activities associated with your account.
    • Browse history. Data about the webpages you visit.
    • Device, connectivity, and configuration data. Data about your device, your device configuration, and nearby networks. For example, data about the operating systems and other software installed on your device, including product keys. In addition, IP address, device identifiers (such as the IMEI number for phones), regional and language settings, and information about WLAN access points near your device.
    • Error reports and performance data. Data about the performance of the products and any problems you experience, including error reports. Error reports (sometimes called “crash dumps”) can include details of the software or hardware related to an error, contents of files opened when an error occurred, and data about other software on your device.
    • Troubleshooting and help data. Data you provide when you contact Microsoft for help, such as the products you use, and other details that help us provide support. For example, contact or authentication data, the content of your chats and other communications with Microsoft, data about the condition of your device, and the products you use related to your help inquiry. When you contact us, such as for customer support, phone conversations or chat sessions with our representatives may be monitored and recorded.
    • Bot usage data. Interactions with third party bots and skills available through Microsoft products like Cortana.
  • Interests and favorites. Data about your interests and favorites, such as the sports teams you follow, the programming languages you prefer, the stocks you track, or cities you add to track things like weather or traffic. In addition to those you explicitly provide, your interests and favorites can also be inferred or derived from other data we collect.
  • Content consumption data. Information about media content (e.g., TV, video, music, audio, text books, apps, and games) you access through our products.
  • Searches and commands. Search queries and commands when you use Microsoft products with search or related productivity functionality.
  • Voice data. Your voice data, such as the search queries or commands you speak, which may include background sounds.
  • Text, inking, and typing data. Text, inking, and typing data and related information. For example, when we collect inking data, we collect information about the placement of your inking instrument on your device.
  • Images. Images and related information, such as picture metadata. For example, we collect the image you provide when you use a Bing image-enabled service.
  • Contacts and relationships. Data about your contacts and relationships if you use a product to share information with others, manage contacts, communicate with others, or improve your productivity.
  • Social data. Information about your relationships and interactions between you, other people, and organizations, such as types of engagement (e.g., likes, dislikes, events, etc.) related to people and organizations.
  • Location data. Data about your device’s location, which can be either precise or imprecise. For example, we collect location data using Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS) (e.g., GPS) and data about nearby cell towers and Wi-Fi hotspots. Location can also be inferred from a device’s IP address or data in your account profile that indicates where it is located with less precision, such as at a city or postal code level.
  • Other input. Other inputs provided when you use our products. For example, data such as the buttons you press on an Xbox wireless controller using Xbox Live, skeletal tracking data when you use Kinect, and other sensor data, like the number of steps you take, when you use devices that have applicable sensors. And, if you use Spend, at your direction, we also collect financial transaction data from your credit card issuer to provide the service. If you attend an in-store event, we collect the data you provide to us when registering for or during the event and if you enter into a prize promotion, we collect the data you input into the entry form.

Content. Content of your files and communications you input, upload, receive, create, and control. For example, if you transmit a file using Skype to another Skype user, we need to collect the content of that file to display it to you and the other user. If you receive an email using Outlook.com, we need to collect the content of that email 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. Other content we collect when providing products to you include:

  • Communications, including audio, video, text (typed, inked, dictated, or otherwise), in a message, email, call, meeting request, or chat.
  • Photos, images, songs, movies, software, and other media or documents you store, retrieve, or otherwise process with our cloud.

Video or recordings. Recordings of events and activities at Microsoft buildings, retail spaces, and other locations. If you enter Microsoft Store locations or other facilities, or attend a Microsoft event that is recorded, we may process your image and voice data.

Feedback and ratings. Information you provide to us and the content of messages you send to us, such as feedback, survey data, and product reviews you write.

Product-specific sections below describe data collection practices applicable to use of those products.


Microsoft uses the data we collect to provide you with rich, interactive experiences. In particular, we use data to:

  • Provide our products, which includes updating, securing, and troubleshooting, as well as providing support. It also includes sharing data, when it is required to provide the service or carry out the transactions you request.
  • Improve and develop our products.
  • Personalize our products and make recommendations.
  • Advertise and market to you, which includes sending promotional communications, targeting advertising, and presenting you with relevant offers.

We also use the data to operate our business, which includes analyzing our performance, meeting our legal obligations, developing our workforce, and doing research.

In carrying out these purposes, we combine data we collect from different contexts (for example, from your use of two Microsoft products) or obtain from third parties to give you a more seamless, consistent, and personalized experience, to make informed business decisions, and for other legitimate purposes.

Our processing of personal data for these purposes includes both automated and manual (human) methods of processing. Our automated methods often are related to and supported by our manual methods. For example, our automated methods include artificial intelligence (AI), which we think of as a set of technologies that enable computers to perceive, learn, reason, and assist in decision-making to solve problems in ways that are similar to what people do. To build, train, and improve the accuracy of our automated methods of processing (including AI), we manually review some of the predictions and inferences produced by the automated methods against the underlying data from which the predictions and inferences were made. For example, we manually review short snippets of a small sampling of voice data we have taken steps to de-identify to improve our speech services, such as recognition and translation.


We share your personal data with your consent or to complete any transaction or provide any product you have requested or authorized. We also share data with Microsoft-controlled affiliates and subsidiaries; with vendors working on our behalf; when required by law or to respond to legal process; to protect our customers; to protect lives; to maintain the security of our products; and to protect the rights and property of Microsoft and its customers.


You can also make choices about the collection and use of your data by Microsoft. You can control your personal data that Microsoft has obtained, and exercise your data protection rights, by contacting Microsoft or using various tools we provide. In some cases, your ability to access or control your personal data will be limited, as required or permitted by applicable law. How you can access or control your personal data will also depend on which products you use. For example, you can:

  • Control the use of your data for interest-based advertising from Microsoft by visiting our opt-out page.
  • Choose whether you wish to receive promotional emails, SMS messages, telephone calls, and postal mail from Microsoft.
  • Access and clear some of your data through the Microsoft privacy dashboard.

Not all personal data processed by Microsoft can be accessed or controlled via the tools above. If you want to access or control personal data processed by Microsoft that is not available via the tools above or directly through the Microsoft products you use, you can always contact Microsoft at the address in the How to contact us section or by using our web form.

We provide aggregate metrics about user requests to exercise their data protection rights via the Microsoft Privacy Report.


Cookies are small text files placed on your device to store data that can be recalled by a web server in the domain that placed the cookie. We use cookies and similar technologies for storing and honoring your preferences and settings, enabling you to sign in, providing interest-based advertising, combating fraud, analyzing how our products perform, and fulfilling other legitimate purposes. Microsoft apps use additional identifiers, such as the advertising ID in Windows described in the Advertising ID section of this privacy statement, for similar purposes.

We also use “web beacons” to help deliver cookies and gather usage and performance data. Our websites may include web beacons, cookies, or similar technologies from third-party service providers.

You have a variety of tools to control the data collected by cookies, web beacons, and similar technologies. For example, you can use controls in your internet browser to limit how the websites you visit are able to use cookies and to withdraw your consent by clearing or blocking cookies.


If you use a Microsoft product with an account provided by an organization you are affiliated with, such as your work or school account, that organization can:

  • Control and administer your Microsoft product and product account, including controlling privacy-related settings of the product or product account.
  • Access and process your data, including the interaction data, diagnostic data, and the contents of your communications and files associated with your Microsoft product and product accounts.

If you lose access to your work or school account (in event of change of employment, for example), you may lose access to products and the content associated with those products, including those you acquired on your own behalf, if you used your work or school account to sign in to such products.

Many Microsoft products are intended for use by organizations, such as schools and businesses. Please see the Enterprise and developer products section of this privacy statement. If your organization provides you with access to Microsoft products, your use of the Microsoft products is subject to your organization’s policies, if any. You should direct your privacy inquiries, including any requests to exercise your data protection rights, to your organization’s administrator. When you use social features in Microsoft products, other users in your network may see some of your activity. To learn more about the social features and other functionality, please review documentation or help content specific to the Microsoft product. Microsoft is not responsible for the privacy or security practices of our customers, which may differ from those set forth in this privacy statement.

When you use a Microsoft product provided by your organization, Microsoft’s processing of your personal data in connection with that product is governed by a contract between Microsoft and your organization. Microsoft processes your personal data to provide the product to your organization and you, and for Microsoft’s legitimate business operations related to providing the product as described in the Enterprise and developer products section. As mentioned above, if you have questions about Microsoft’s processing of your personal data in connection with providing products to your organization, please contact your organization. If you have questions about Microsoft’s legitimate business operations in connection with providing products to your organization as provided in the standard Microsoft Online Services Terms (OST), please contact Microsoft as described in the How to contact us section. For more information on our legitimate business operations, please see the Enterprise and developer products section.

For Microsoft products provided by your K-12 school, including Microsoft 365 Education, Microsoft will:

  • not collect or use student personal data beyond that needed for authorized educational or school purposes;
  • not sell or rent student personal data;
  • not use or share student personal data for advertising or similar commercial purposes, such as behavioral targeting of advertisements to students;
  • not build a personal profile of a student, other than for supporting authorized educational or school purposes or as authorized by the parent, guardian, or student of appropriate age; and
  • require that our vendors with whom student personal data is shared to deliver the educational service, if any, are obligated to implement these same commitments for student personal data.

With a Microsoft account, you can sign in to Microsoft products, as well as those of select Microsoft partners. Personal data associated with your Microsoft account includes credentials, name and contact data, payment data, device and usage data, your contacts, information about your activities, and your interests and favorites. Signing in to your Microsoft account enables personalization and consistent experiences across products and devices, permits you to use cloud data storage, allows you to make payments using payment instruments stored in your Microsoft account, and enables other features.

There are three types of Microsoft account:

  • When you create your own Microsoft account tied to your personal email address, we refer to that account as a personal Microsoft account.
  • When you or your organization (such as an employer or your school) create your Microsoft account tied to your email address provided by that organization, we refer to that account as a work or school account.
  • When you or your service provider (such as a cable or internet service provider) create your Microsoft account tied to your email address with your service provider’s domain, we refer to that account as a third-party account.

If you sign into a service offered by a third party with your Microsoft account, you will share with that third party the account data required by that service.


Below you will find additional privacy information, such as how we secure your data, where we process your data, and how long we retain your data. You can find more information on Microsoft and our commitment to protecting your privacy at Microsoft Privacy.

Product-specific details:

Enterprise and Developer Products are Microsoft products and related software offered to and designed primarily for use by organizations and developers. They include:

  • Cloud services, referred to as Online Services in the Microsoft Online Services Terms (OST), such as Microsoft 365 and Office 365, Microsoft Azure, Microsoft Dynamics365, and Microsoft Intune for which an organization (our customer) contracts with Microsoft for the services (“Enterprise Online Services”).
  • Other enterprise and developer cloud-based services, such as PlayFab Services and tools such as Cortana Skills Kit.
  • Server, developer, and hybrid cloud platform products, such as Windows Server, SQL Server, Visual Studio, System Center, Azure Stack and open source software like Bot Framework solutions (“Enterprise and Developer Software”).
  • Appliances and hardware used for storage infrastructure, such as StorSimple (“Enterprise Appliances”).
  • Professional services referred to in the OST that are available with Enterprise Online Services, such as onboarding services, data migration services, data science services, or services to supplement existing features in the Enterprise Online Services.

In the event of a conflict between this Microsoft privacy statement and the terms of any agreement(s) between a customer and Microsoft for Enterprise and Developer Products, the terms of those agreement(s) will control.

You can also learn more about our Enterprise and Developer Products’ features and settings, including choices that impact your privacy or your end users’ privacy, in product documentation.

If any of the terms below are not defined in this Privacy Statement or the OST, they have the definitions below.

General. When a customer tries, purchases, uses, or subscribes to Enterprise and Developer Products, or obtains support for or professional services with such products, Microsoft receives data from you and collects and generates data to provide the service (including improving, securing, and updating the service), conduct our legitimate business operations, and communicate with the customer. For example:

  • When a customer engages with a Microsoft sales representative, we collect the customer’s name and contact data, along with information about the customer’s organization, to support that engagement.
  • When a customer interacts with a Microsoft support professional, we collect device and usage data or error reports to diagnose and resolve problems.
  • When a customer pays for products, we collect contact and payment data to process the payment.
  • When Microsoft sends communications to a customer, we use data to personalize the content of the communication.
  • When a customer engages with Microsoft for professional services, we collect the name and contact data of the customer’s designated point of contact and use information provided by the customer to perform the services that the customer has requested.

The Enterprise and Developer Products enable you to purchase, subscribe to, or use other products and online services from Microsoft or third parties with different privacy practices, and those other products and online services are governed by their respective privacy statements and policies.


Productivity and communications products are applications, software, and services you can use to create, store, and share documents, as well as communicate with others.


Search and artificial intelligence products connect you with information and intelligently sense, process, and act on information—learning and adapting over time.


Windows is a personalized computing environment that enables you to seamlessly roam and access services, preferences, and content across your computing devices from phones to tablets to the Surface Hub. Rather than residing as a static software program on your device, key components of Windows are cloud-based, and both cloud and local elements of Windows are updated regularly, providing you with the latest improvements and features. In order to provide this computing experience, we collect data about you, your device, and the way you use Windows. And because Windows is personal to you, we give you choices about the personal data we collect and how we use it. Note that if your Windows device is managed by your organization (such as your employer or school), your organization may use centralized management tools provided by Microsoft or others to access and process your data and to control device settings (including privacy settings), device policies, software updates, data collection by us or the organization, or other aspects of your device. Additionally, your organization may use management tools provided by Microsoft or others to access and process your data from that device, including your interaction data, diagnostic data, and the contents of your communications and files. For more information about data collection and privacy in Windows, see Windows 10 and your online services. Earlier versions of Windows (including Windows Vista, Windows 7, Windows 8, and Windows 8.1) are subject to their own privacy statements.


Entertainment and Related Services power rich experiences and enable you to access a variety of content, applications and games.

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