Your Services Agreement and Privacy Statement made clearer

As part of our effort to improve your experience across our consumer services, we’re updating the Microsoft Services Agreement and the Microsoft Privacy Statement. We want to take this opportunity to notify you about these updates.

The Microsoft Services Agreement will cover most of Microsoft’s consumer online services, including Xbox Live, Bing, MSN, Skype, OneDrive, Outlook.com and Microsoft account. You can see the full list here. The Microsoft Privacy Statement also covers most of Microsoft’s consumer products and services.

The updates will take effect on August 1, 2015. If you continue to use our services after August 1, 2015, you agree to the updated terms. If you do not agree, you can choose to discontinue use of the services and close your Microsoft account before August 1st. If you are an Xbox Live subscriber, you will be prompted soon to accept the terms when you log in to Xbox Live on your Xbox One, Xbox 360, or at Xbox.com. If you are a parent or guardian, you are responsible for your child or teenager’s use of Microsoft services, including purchases.

Here are the highlights:

Simplicity

Many of our customers use more than one Microsoft service, and have agreed to many sets of terms and privacy policies. To make it easier to use multiple services, we’ve brought together these documents into a single agreement and a consolidated privacy statement that cover most of our consumer services.

Privacy

Our longstanding commitment to privacy has not changed. We remain committed to protecting your data, being clear about how we use it, and putting you in control. For example, we do not use the contents of your email, chat, video calls, documents, photos, or voicemail to target advertising to you. And as you’ll see when you read the Microsoft Privacy Statement, we offer a range of tools that enable you to make decisions about what data we collect. Additionally, we have launched a new privacy dashboard that makes it easier for you to make choices about how we use your data.

Transparency

We are using straightforward language so our terms of use and Microsoft Privacy Statement are easier to understand. In addition, we’ve put key privacy information all in one place, so you no longer have to cross-reference several documents to understand the big picture. While this consolidation eliminates redundancies and simplifies the structure of the information, we continue to provide service-specific details to allow you to make informed choices about how you use our services. We’ve also added some additional privacy information about new features and functionality we’ll soon roll out, like those you’ll see on Windows 10.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Microsoft Services Agreement?

It's the terms of use, or the agreement between you and Microsoft (or one of its affiliates) that describes your rights to use Microsoft’s consumer online services. You can see a full list of the services and websites covered here.

What is the Microsoft Privacy Statement?

The Microsoft Privacy Statement explains what personal data we collect from you and how we use and protect it.

What services are not covered by the Microsoft Services Agreement and the Microsoft Privacy Statement?

The Microsoft Services Agreement and the Microsoft Privacy Statement do not apply to products and services dedicated to business customers, like Office 365 for business, education, or government customers, Azure, Yammer, or Skype for Business. For commitments regarding security, privacy and compliance as well as related information that apply to Office 365 for business, please visit the Office 365 Trust Center at http://trust.office365.com.

GroupMe is not covered by the Microsoft Services Agreement or the Microsoft Privacy Statement; they are instead covered by the GroupMe Terms of Service and Privacy Policy.

While Microsoft Health and HealthVault are covered by the Microsoft Services Agreement, they are not covered by the Microsoft Privacy Statement. Instead, they have separate privacy terms — the Microsoft Health Privacy Statement and the HealthVault Account Privacy Statement.

What are the changes Microsoft is making to the Microsoft Services Agreement?

To see all of the changes, we recommend that you read the full Microsoft Services Agreement, but here are a few highlights:

The biggest change is how the terms are presented. Previously, there were many sets of terms of use that often repeated the same information. The new Microsoft Services Agreement consolidates all these terms into a single place and removes the repetition. Services that have unique terms still have the ability to include those in a service-specific section of the Microsoft Services Agreement.

The new Microsoft Services Agreement also includes updates to our practices. For example, we’ve added detail that when you close your Microsoft account, we keep your account in a “suspended” state, just in case you change your mind. We’ve also lengthened the time period that you have to log into your Microsoft account before we deem it to be inactive, from one year to five years (though Outlook.com and OneDrive remain at one year). Customers who want to close their account can still do so at any point.

The arbitration clause for United States residents is now shorter and simpler.

What are the changes Microsoft is making to the Microsoft Privacy Statement?

We encourage you to read the full Microsoft Privacy Statement, so that you’re clear on what data we’re collecting and how we’re handling it.

The biggest change is in how we present the information. Previously, we had many privacy statements that often repeated the same information. The new Microsoft Privacy Statement consolidates all that information in a single place, and cuts out the repetition. We’ve re-written some portions to eliminate ambiguities and more clearly describe our practices. To be sure we didn’t lose any important details, we’ve added service-specific sections to the core Microsoft Privacy Statement, so that users who want more information about how we handle data in a particular service can find that information quickly and easily.

The new Microsoft Privacy Statement also includes some updates relevant to our practices to account for new services, features and functions. For example, with the upcoming launch of Windows 10, we’ve added a detailed section explaining how Microsoft collects and uses data in that service.

Are parents still responsible for their kids' activity and purchases?

Yes. Section 4(a)(iii) of the Microsoft Services Agreement states that parents are responsible for Microsoft account, Skype account and Services usage by their minor children, including any subscription fees and purchases. Some of our services do require payment, such as applications and games available through our Windows, Xbox or Office app stores, ad-free Outlook.com, OneDrive extra storage, or an Office 365 consumer subscription. Microsoft Family offers parents solutions for understanding how their children use their devices and setting boundaries. For more information on Microsoft Family, please visit the Family Safety Dashboard.

When do these terms take effect?

The Microsoft Services Agreement and Microsoft Privacy Statement take effect on August 1, 2015. Until that time, your current terms remain in effect.

How do I accept these terms?

By using or accessing the services after August 1, 2015 you agree to the updated terms. If you do not agree, you can choose to discontinue use of the services and close your Microsoft account before August 1st.

If you are an Xbox Live subscriber, you will be prompted soon to accept the terms when you log in to Xbox Live on your Xbox One, Xbox 360, or at Xbox.com.

Why did I receive two email notifications about this update?

If you received two email notifications—like an Xbox or Skype notification, as well as a more general email from Microsoft—then it’s likely that you’re using more than one email address to use Microsoft consumer services. You can link your Skype ID and Microsoft account to streamline communications like this in the future, but you cannot merge separate Microsoft accounts. To manage the aliases affiliated with your Microsoft account, visit account.microsoft.com.

Does Microsoft share my information with anyone?

Yes, we do share your information in certain cases. We’ve detailed when we share data in the Microsoft Privacy Statement. Broadly, we share your personal data with your consent or as necessary to complete any transaction or provide any service 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 services; and to protect the rights or property of Microsoft.