This privacy statement applies to Microsoft Advertising. It does not apply to other Microsoft products and services that do not link to the Microsoft Advertising Privacy Statement.
Microsoft Advertising offers a range of advertising services to advertisers, ad agencies and website publishers. As part of those services, we may display ads on our own sites and the sites of our advertising partners. Some of the ads we display may be targeted based on your online behavior, as described below. To opt-out of personalized advertising from Microsoft Advertising, click here.
You can manage and delete cookies through most web browsers, including Microsoft Internet Explorer. For more information, click “Learn More” below.
Microsoft Advertising uses "cookies," small text files placed on your hard drive that can be read by a web server in the domain from where the cookie originated. Microsoft Advertising may place one or more persistent cookies on your device in order to recognize your device. Because we serve advertisements on our own web sites as well as those of our advertising and publisher partners, we are able to compile information over time about the types of pages you visit on Microsoft and other sites, as well as content and ads that you, or others who are using your computer, visited or viewed. This information is used for many purposes; for example, it helps us try to ensure that you do not see the same advertisements over and over again. We also use this information to help select and display targeted advertisements that we believe may be of interest to you.
Please see below for more information about cookies and how to control them.
The cookies we use contain text that often consists of a string of numbers and letters that uniquely identifies your computer. Here is an example of a unique ID number stored in a cookie that Microsoft might place on your device when you visit one of our web sites: E3732CA7E319442F97EA48A170C99801
Some of the cookies we commonly use are listed in the following chart. This list is not exhaustive, but it is intended to illustrate some of the reasons we set cookies. If you visit one of our web sites, the site may set some or all of the following cookies:
Identifies unique browsers to Microsoft sites. It is used for advertising, site analytics and other operational purposes. .
Contains the ANID, a unique identifier derived from a user’s Microsoft account, which is used to help identify which ads a user may like. It is also used to preserve a user’s choice to opt out of personalized ads from Microsoft wherever they use their Microsoft account.
Contains an encrypted version of the user’s country, Postal code, age, gender, language and occupation. This data is optionally provided by the user during the creation of their Microsoft account.
Appears on co-branded sites where Microsoft is partnering with an advertiser, this cookie identifies the advertiser so the right ad is selected.
Provides information about ads that a user clicked, including the time, advertiser, and placement.
Indicates if the user has chosen not to receive behaviorally targeted ads delivered by Microsoft.
In addition to the cookies Microsoft may place, third party advertisers or ad networks may also place cookies on your device when you visit Microsoft sites. Because your browser connects to those third parties’ web servers to retrieve that content, those third parties are able to place and read their own cookies on your device and may collect information about your online activities across websites or online services.
How to Control Cookies
For example, in Internet Explorer 11, you may block cookies by taking the following steps:
Instructions for blocking cookies in other browsers are available at each browser’s privacy statement.
Please be aware that if you choose to block cookies, you may not be able to sign in or use other interactive features of Microsoft sites and services that depend on cookies, and some advertising preferences that are dependent on cookies may not be able to be respected.
For example, in Internet Explorer 11, you may delete cookies by taking the following steps:
Instructions for deleting cookies in other browsers are available at each browser’s privacy statement.
Our Use of Web Beacons
Microsoft web pages may contain electronic images known as web beacons - sometimes called single-pixel gifs - that may be used to help deliver cookies on our sites, let us count users who have visited those pages and deliver co-branded services. We may also work with other companies that advertise on Microsoft sites to place web beacons on their sites or in their advertisements to let 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. Cookie controls described above are also effective for cookies set through the use of web beacons.
Our Use of the Windows Advertising ID
Windows 8.1 and above provides developers with an advertising ID for advertising and other purposes. Windows offers controls for the advertising ID as part of operating system settings. Windows app developers, including Microsoft’s own applications, may provide this advertising ID to our advertising platform for use in the ad serving process.
When we display advertisements to you, we use information collected when you visit our sites and services, and those of our advertising partners, to provide you with the most relevant advertising experience.
When you receive or interact with advertisements on our sites and services or those of our advertising partners, we collect information about your computer and your browsing activity.
Microsoft Advertising also may use information collected from other Microsoft sites and services and our partners.
Lastly, Microsoft Advertising uses a number of methods and technologies to gather information about how you use our sites and services, including cookies, web beacons and web logging.
What data we collect and use:
When you receive or interact with advertisements on our sites, services, or applications, or those of our advertising partners, we may collect the following information such as:
Microsoft Advertising may also use the following information collected from other Microsoft sites and services or our partners:
We do not use what you say in email, chat, video calls or voice mail, to target advertising to you. We do not use your documents, photos or other personal files to target advertising to you. Information collected through one Microsoft service may be combined with information collected through other Microsoft services to give you a more consistent and personalized experience in your interactions with us.
How we collect
Some of the information that we collect and use you provide directly to us. Some of it we get by observing how you interact with our products, services, and the advertisements that you receive. Some of it is available from other sources, such as our advertising partners, that we may combine with the data we collect directly.
Microsoft Advertising uses a number of methods and technologies to gather information about how you use our sites and services, such as:
Web beacons (also called action tags or clear gifs) may be placed on our sites and in the advertisements we deliver, and we may provide our beacons to our advertising partners to place on their own Web sites. Our beacons allow us to place or read our cookies and gather information about your subsequent visit, purchase or other activity on our sites and on the advertisers’ Web sites. Microsoft and our advertising partners may use this information to determine the effectiveness of the advertisements and to show you ads based on your previous interactions with the site where the beacon is placed.
As noted above, Microsoft Advertising also uses data collected from other Microsoft sites and services. For more information about how your information is collected on these sites and services, visit their specific privacy statements by selecting the “Other Microsoft Products” listed on the top of the Microsoft Advertising statement, and then choose the specific service you are interested in.
Information Collected by Other Companies
Advertisers may sometimes include their own Web beacons (or those of their other advertising partners) within their advertisements, in order to set and read their own cookies. If you visit a web site that uses Microsoft Advertising services or click through an ad to the web site of one of our advertising partners, those other companies may be collecting additional information about your visit. These companies may also allow other companies (such as other ad networks or web analytics services) to collect information on their sites through mechanisms such as web beacons.
Microsoft does not control the data collection and use practices of these other companies. You should read the privacy notices of the sites you visit in order to determine what companies may be collecting information on those sites. You can choose to opt-out of receiving behaviorally targeted ads from many of these other advertising companies by visiting Your privacy and Microsoft personalized ads.
Microsoft Advertising may use some or all of the information noted in the Collecting Your Information section to deliver ads on our sites and the sites of advertising partners, to provide the most relevant advertising to you, and to improve and monitor our advertising services and quality, and that of our advertising partners.
We have designed our systems to select ads based only on data that does not personally and directly identify you. For example, we store page views, clicks and search terms used for ad targeting separately from contact information you may have provided or other data that directly identifies you (such as your name, e-mail address, etc.). We have also built in technological and process safeguards designed to help prevent the unauthorized correlation of this data.
We use collected information for operational purposes such as those listed below:
We use many different factors and types of collected information to select which advertisements to show you in the following ways:
Occasionally, Microsoft uses a service provider to match your Microsoft cookie ID and account data with an data an advertiser may have about you, (such as your recent purchases from them). This is done so that the advertiser can reach you with an ad they feel may be relevant to you. However, the service provider we use acts as a trusted third party and does not allow any personal information that Microsoft or the advertiser has about you to change hands, and we serve these ads using a unique identifier that is never associated with your personally identifiable information.
In addition to general interest categories such as sports and travel used for OBA ads noted above, Microsoft also personalizes ads on some health-related segments; however we limit those segments to those that are not considered highly sensitive. The health-related segments that we currently use include:
Children and Advertising: Microsoft Advertising does not deliver Online Behavioral Advertising (OBA), as described above, to children known to Microsoft to be under the age of 13 years based on the birthdate entered when they created their Microsoft account.
Retention: For Online Behavioral Advertising (OBA), as defined above, we will not retain the data collected and used for more than 13 months, unless we obtain your consent to a longer retention period.
Except as described in this privacy statement, we won’t disclose your personal information to a third party without your consent.
In some cases, we may share with advertisers the information we have collected on their sites or ads,or certain aggregated information, such as the number of users that we have assigned to general interest categories or segments.We may also share non-personally identifiable information (such as cookie identifiers) directly with service providers in order to permit them to provide services on our behalf or to partner with us in selecting and serving ads for our advertising partners.
Please see Other Important Privacy Information for details about when we may disclose information, including with Microsoft affiliates and vendors; when required by law or to respond to legal process; to combat fraud or protect our interest; or to protect lives.
In some cases, we may share with advertisers the information we have collected on their sites or certain aggregated information, such as the number of users that we have assigned to general interest categories or segments. We may also share non-personally identifiable information (such as cookie identifiers) directly with service providers in order to permit them to provide services on our behalf or to partner with us in selecting and serving ads for our advertising partners.
Click here for more information on sharing or disclosing personal information:
You can provide input into the kinds of ads you see or opt-out of personalized Advertising from Microsoft Advertising in the following ways:
If you choose to opt-out of behaviorally targeted advertising, it does not mean that you will stop getting ads or see fewer ads; however, if you do opt out, the ads that you receive will no longer be behaviorally targeted and may be less relevant to your interests. In addition, opting out does not stop information from going to our servers, but it does stop our creation or updating of profiles that might be used for behavioral advertising. If you opt back in to behaviorally targeted advertising, the ads you initially see may not be as relevant as they were before you turned it off because we may have removed older information from your profile.
To learn how to access and manage your personal information for other Microsoft services, please click here .
You can provide input into the kinds of ads you see or opt-out of personalized Advertisingfrom Microsoft Advertising in the following ways:
You can also choose to opt-out of receiving behaviorally targeted ads from Microsoft and other advertising companies by visiting the following sites:
We also partner with third-party ad companies to help provide some of our advertising services, and in some cases they may place cookies on your computer or device. These companies include, but are not limited to: Yahoo!, 24/7 Real Media, Advertising.com, and AppNexus. These third-party companies may offer you a way to opt out of behavioral ad targeting based on their cookies. You may find more information by clicking on the company names above and following the links to the web sites of each company.
Internet Explorer (version 9 and up) have a feature called Tracking Protection that helps prevent the web sites you go to from automatically sending details about your visit to third-party content providers. When you add a Tracking Protection List, Internet Explorer will block third-party content, including cookies, from any site that is listed as a site to be blocked. By limiting calls to these sites, Internet Explorer will limit the information these third-party sites can collect about you. For more information about Tracking Protection Lists and Do Not Track, please see the Internet Explorer privacy statement or Internet Explorer Help.
Learn more about
Below you will find additional privacy information you may (or may not) find important. Much of this describes common practices that we want you to know about but don’t think it’s necessary to highlight in every one of our privacy statements. And some of this is just stating the obvious (for example, we will disclose information when the law requires it), but our lawyers make us say it anyway. Please keep in mind that this information is not a complete description of our practices – this is all in addition to the other, more specific information contained in the privacy statements for each Microsoft product and service you use.
On this page:
Industry Best Practices and Industry Commitments
Microsoft is an active member of the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI) and adheres to the NAI Code of Conduct. We also follow the industry privacy standards for online advertising.
Sharing or Disclosing Personal Information
In addition to any sharing described in the privacy statement for the product or service you are using, Microsoft may share or disclose personal information:
We also may share or disclose personal information, including the content of your communications:
Please note that our sites may include links to third-party sites whose privacy practices may differ from those of Microsoft. If you submit personal information to any of those sites, your information is governed by the privacy statements on those sites. We encourage you to review the privacy statement of any site you visit.
Protecting the Security of Personal Information
Microsoft is committed to protecting the security of your personal information. We use a variety of security technologies and procedures to help protect your personal information from unauthorized access, use or disclosure. For example, we store the personal information you provide on computer systems that have limited access and are in controlled facilities. When we transmit highly confidential information (such as a credit card number or password) over the Internet, we protect it through the use of encryption, such as the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protocol.
If a password is used to help protect your accounts and personal information, it is your responsibility to keep your password confidential. Do not share it. If you are sharing a computer, you should always log out before leaving a site or service to protect access to your information from subsequent users.
Where Information is Stored and Processed
Personal information collected on Microsoft sites and services may be stored and processed in the United States or any other country where Microsoft or its affiliates, subsidiaries or service providers maintain facilities. Microsoft abides by the safe harbor framework as set forth by the U.S. Department of Commerce regarding the collection, use and retention of data from the European Union, the European Economic Area and Switzerland. To learn more about the Safe Harbor framework and to view Microsoft’s certification, please visit www.export.gov/safeharbor/.
As part of Microsoft’s participation in the Safe Harbor program, we use TRUSTe, an independent third party, to resolve disputes you have with us in connection with our policies and practices. You can contact TRUSTe at http://www.truste.com/about-TRUSTe/contact-us, or provide feedback on Microsoft at https://feedback-form.truste.com/watchdog/request.
Microsoft may retain your personal information for a variety of reasons, such as to comply with our legal obligations, resolve disputes, enforce our agreements, and as long as necessary to provide services. To learn how to access your personal information, visit Accessing Your Information.
Changes to Our Privacy Statements
We will occasionally update our privacy statements to reflect customer feedback and changes in our services. When we post changes to a statement, we will revise the "last updated" date at the top of the statement. If there are material changes to the statement or in how Microsoft will use your personal information, we will notify you either by prominently posting a notice of such changes before they take effect or by directly sending you a notification. We encourage you to periodically review the privacy statements for the products and services you use to learn how Microsoft is protecting your information.
How to Contact Us
If you have a technical or general support question, please visit http://support.microsoft.com/ to learn more about Microsoft Support offerings.
If you have a Microsoft account password question, please visit Live Help.
For general Microsoft privacy issues, please contact us by using our Web form.
Microsoft Privacy, Microsoft Corporation, One Microsoft Way, Redmond, Washington 98052 USA * 425-882-8080.
To find the Microsoft subsidiary in your country or region, see http://www.microsoft.com/worldwide/.
Privacy at Microsoft
Controlling your online privacy
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FTC Privacy Initiatives