Microsoft Research is one of the largest, most respected computer science research organizations in the world. More than 850 Ph.D. researchers push the boundaries of computing in over 55 areas of study in twelve locations around the globe, and help shape the computing experience of millions of people worldwide through advances that enhance virtually every Microsoft product and service.
This privacy statement applies to the research.microsoft.com website and other Microsoft Research websites or applications that specifically point to the statement. It does not apply to other online or offline Microsoft sites, applications, products, or services. Please read the summaries below and click on "Learn More" for more details on a particular topic.
Microsoft collects many kinds of information in order to operate effectively and provide you the best products, services and experiences we can.
We collect information when you register, sign in and use our sites and services. We also may get information from other companies.
We collect this information in a variety of ways, including from web forms, technologies like cookies, web logging and software on your computer or other device.
Microsoft collects many kinds of information in order to operate effectively and provide you the best products, services and experiences we can. Some of this information you provide directly to us. Some of it we get by observing how you interact with our products and services. Some of it is available from other sources that we may combine with the data we collect directly. Regardless of the source, we believe it's important to treat that information with care and to help you maintain your privacy.
Some Microsoft Research applications use application analytics tools to gather data about application performance and the features you use, such as which buttons you press and how often, the quantity of data processed, and how long you use the application. We also collect information about how each application is set up and performing. This data is not stored with any information that personally identifies you or allows us to contact you. Typically, application analytics are enabled by default.
What we collect:
How we collect:
We use a number of methods and technologies to gather information about how you use our sites, applications, and services, such as:
Microsoft uses the information we collect to operate, improve and personalize the products and services we offer.
We also may use the information to communicate with you, for example, informing you about your account and security updates.
And we may use the information to help make the ads you see on our ad-supported services more relevant.
Microsoft uses the information we collect to operate, improve and personalize the products and services we offer. 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. We may also supplement this with information from other companies. For example, we may use services from other companies to help us derive a general geographic area based on your IP address in order to customize certain services to your geographic area.
We also may use the information to communicate with you, for example, informing you when a subscription is ending, letting you know when security updates are available or letting you know when you need to take action to keep your account active.
Microsoft provides many of our sites and services free of charge because they are supported by advertising. In order to make these services widely available, the information we collect may be used to help improve the advertisements you see by making them more relevant to you.
Except as described in this privacy statement, we won’t disclose your personal information to a third party without your consent. We may share anonymized and/or aggregate information with other collaborators for research purposes.
We may also disclose personal information, under circumstances described herein, including with Microsoft affiliates or vendors, when required by law or to respond to legal process; to combat fraud or protect our interest; or to protect lives.
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 may also 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.
Some Microsoft services give you the ability to view or edit your personal information online. To help prevent others from viewing your personal information, you first will be required to sign in. How you can access your personal information will depend on which sites or services you have used.
Some Microsoft services give you the ability to view or edit your personal information online. To help prevent others from viewing your personal information, you first will be required to sign in. How you can access your personal information will depend on which sites or services you have used.
Microsoft Connect - If you are a registered user of Microsoft Connect, you can access and edit your personal information by clicking Manage Your Connect Profile at the Microsoft Connect web site.
If you cannot access personal data collected by Microsoft sites or services via the links above, these sites and services may provide you with other ways to access to your data. You can contact Microsoft by using the web form. We will respond to requests to access or delete your personal information within 30 days.
If you receive promotional email messages from us and would like to stop getting them in the future, you can do so by following the directions in that message.
Depending on the respective service, you may also have the option of proactively making choices about the receipt of promotional email, telephone calls, and postal mail from particular Microsoft sites or services by visiting and signing into the following pages:
These choices do not apply to the display of online advertising: please refer to the section "Display of Advertising (Opt-out)" for information on this matter. Nor do they apply to the receipt of mandatory service communications that are considered part of certain Microsoft services, which you may receive periodically unless you cancel the service.
Microsoft account is a service that lets you sign in to Microsoft products, web sites and services, as well as those of select Microsoft partners. When you create a Microsoft account, we ask you to provide certain information. When you sign in to a site or service using your Microsoft account, we collect certain information in order to verify your identity on behalf of the site or service, to protect you from malicious account usage and to protect the efficiency and security of the Microsoft account service. We also send some of this information to sites and services that you sign in to with your Microsoft account.
We use demographic information – gender, country, age and postal code but not your name or contact information – from your Microsoft account to provide personalized ads to you. You may opt out of receiving targeted ads from Microsoft Advertising by visiting our opt-out page.
To view additional details about Microsoft account, including how to create and use a Microsoft account, how to edit account information, and how we collect and use information relating to a Microsoft account, please click on Learn More.
Microsoft account (formerly known as Windows Live ID and Microsoft Passport) is a service that allows you to sign in to Microsoft products, web sites and services, as well as those of select Microsoft partners.
Creating a Microsoft account
You can create a Microsoft account here by providing an email address, a password and other security information, such as an alternate email address and a phone number. We will use your security information for security purposes only - for instance, to verify your identity or to reset your password if you cannot access your Microsoft account. Some services may require added security, and in those cases, you may be asked to provide additional information. The email address and password that you use to sign up for your Microsoft account are your "credentials" that you will use to authenticate with our network. We assign a unique ID number to your credentials to identify your credentials and associated information.
You can use an email address provided by Microsoft (such as those ending in outlook.com, live.com, hotmail.com or msn.com) or an email address provided by a third party (such as those ending in gmail.com or yahoo.com) when signing up for your Microsoft account. You must use an email address that you own on an email service that you have access to.
When you create a Microsoft account, we will also ask you to provide the following demographic information: gender, country, birthdate and postal code. We may use birthdate to verify that children obtain appropriate consent from a parent or guardian to use a Microsoft account, as required by local law. We use this demographic information for market research. This demographic information also is used by our online advertising systems to provide you with personalized advertisements about products and services you might find useful, but our advertising systems do not receive or use any information that can personally and directly identify you (such as your name, email address or phone number). If you prefer not to receive personalized ads, you may register your preference with your Microsoft account by visiting our opt-out page so that whenever you sign in to web sites or services with your Microsoft account, our advertising systems will not serve you personalized ads. For more information about how Microsoft uses information for advertising, please see the Microsoft Advertising Privacy Statement.
Upon creating a Microsoft account using an email address provided by a third party, we will send you an email asking you to verify that you are the owner of the email address associated with your Microsoft account. This is designed to verify the validity of the email address and help prevent email addresses from being used without the permission of their owners.
We will use the email address you used to create your Microsoft account to send you communications relating to your use of Microsoft products and services and to the security of your account. We may also send you promotional emails about Microsoft products and services as permitted by local law. For information about managing your receipt of promotional communications, please visit Communications.
Signing into software, sites or services with your Microsoft account
When you sign in to a site or service using your Microsoft account, we collect certain information in order to verify your identity on behalf of the site or service, to protect you from malicious account usage and to protect the efficiency and security of the Microsoft account service. For instance, when you sign in, the Microsoft account service receives your credentials and logs your sign-in name and other information, such as the unique number assigned to your credentials, your IP address, your operating system and web browser version and a time and date. If you use a Microsoft account to sign in to a device or software that is installed on a device, a random unique ID is assigned to the device; this random unique ID will be sent as part of your credentials to the Microsoft account service when you sign in to a site or service with your Microsoft account and will be used to help protect your account. The Microsoft account service sends the following limited verification information to the site or service that you have signed in to: the unique ID number assigned to your credentials that permits the site or service to determine whether you are the same person from one sign-in session to the next; the version number assigned to your account (a new number is assigned each time you change your sign-in information); whether your email address has been confirmed; and whether your account has been deactivated.
When you sign in to Windows with a Microsoft account, Windows will send standard computer information to Microsoft as well as your device’s manufacturer, model name and version. We may use this to personalize certain communications to you, such as emails intended to help you get started with your device. If you sign in to your Windows 8.1 device with your Microsoft account, Windows uses your Microsoft account information to sign you in to Microsoft applications, web sites and services. To learn more about signing in to Windows with a Microsoft account, please see the Windows 8.1 Privacy Statement.
Some third-party sites and services that permit you to sign in with your Microsoft account require your email address in order to provide you with their services. In those cases, when you sign in, Microsoft will provide your email address but not your password to the site or service. If you created your Microsoft account credentials with the site or service, it may have limited access to information associated with your credentials and profile as noted during account creation.
Please note that sites and services that permit you to sign in with your Microsoft account can use or share your email address or other personal information that you provide to them as described in their privacy statements. They can share the unique ID number the Microsoft account service provides them only in order to fulfill a service or transaction that you may have requested. All sites or services that use the Microsoft account are required to have a posted privacy statement, but we do not control or monitor the privacy practices of those sites, and their privacy practices will vary. You should carefully review the privacy statement for each site you sign in to in order to determine how each site or service will use the information it collects.
Connecting your Microsoft account to your social network accounts
You may connect your Microsoft account to your account on a social network such as Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn in order to access information from that social network in your Microsoft account. For example, connecting your Microsoft account to your social network account lets you see status updates or messages from people you have friended or are following on the social network in your Outlook.com inbox; include them in your Microsoft account address book; and view their birthdays in your Microsoft account calendar. If you choose to connect your Microsoft account to your account on a social network, we will cache certain information about your social network account on our servers so that we can display updated information from your social network account.
You can see a list of the social networks that offer accounts to which you can connect your Microsoft account, as well as the social network accounts that you’ve actually connected to your Microsoft account, by signing in and going to profile.live.com/services. You can disconnect a social network account from your Microsoft account at any time at profile.live.com/services. If you disconnect a social network account, we will no longer cache information from that account.
Microsoft is not responsible for content originating from non-Microsoft services or for information you share with or send to those services. If you use a third-party service, its use of your information is subject to its privacy practices. You should carefully review the privacy statement for each social network account you connect to your Microsoft account to determine how it will use the information it collects.
Accessing your personal information and closing your account
You can access the personal information in your Microsoft account by going to the Microsoft account summary page. You can change your username if your Microsoft account does not belong to a managed domain. And you can change your password, alternate email address and phone number. You may also close your Microsoft account by going to account and then "Close your account." If your Microsoft account is within a managed domain, there may be a special process for closing your Microsoft account. Please note that if you are an Outlook.com user or have a billing account with Microsoft, if you go to account, you may be redirected to your account page for those services.
If you use an email address provided by Microsoft (such as those ending in outlook.com, live.com, hotmail.com or msn.com) when signing up for your Microsoft account, that email address will be unique to you for as long as your Microsoft account is active. If you or Microsoft close your Microsoft account as provided in the Microsoft Services Agreement, that email address or username (but not the Microsoft account itself) may be recycled into our system and assigned to another user. More information about Microsoft account is available at the Microsoft account web site.
We also use web beacons to help deliver cookies and compile analytics. These may include web beacons from third-party service providers.
You have a variety of tools to control cookies and similar technologies, including:
How to Control Cookies and Similar Technologies
Microsoft provides browser controls to help you manage cookies. You can also accept cookies but opt out of their use to behaviorally target advertisements. For instance, Microsoft’s advertising preference and opt-out controls are available at http://choice.live.com/advertisementchoice/.
Browser Controls to Block Cookies.
Most web browsers automatically accept cookies but allow you to modify your browser setting to block cookies. For example, in Internet Explorer 11, you can 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 any advertising preferences that are dependent on cookies may be lost.
Browser Controls to Delete Cookies.
If you accept cookies, you can delete them later. For example, in Internet Explorer 11, you can delete cookies by taking the following steps:
Instructions for deleting cookies in other browsers are available at each browser’s privacy statement.
Please be aware that if you choose to delete cookies, any settings and preferences controlled by those cookies, including advertising preferences, will be deleted and will need to be recreated.
Browser Controls for “Do Not Track” and Tracking Protection.
Some newer browsers have incorporated “Do Not Track” features. Most of these features, when turned on, send a signal or preference to the websites you visit indicating that you do not wish to be tracked. Those sites (or the third-party content on those sites) may continue to engage in activities you might view as tracking even though you have expressed this preference, depending on the sites’ privacy practices. Because there is not yet a common understanding of how to interpret the DNT signal, Microsoft does not currently respond to the browser DNT signals on its own websites or online services, or on third-party websites or online services where Microsoft provides advertisements, content or is otherwise able to collect information. We continue to work with the online industry to define a common understanding of how to treat DNT signals. In the meantime, users may continue to opt out of targeted ads from Microsoft as set forth below.
Internet Explorer (versions 9 and up) have a feature called Tracking Protection that helps prevent the websites 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.
Advertising Opt-Out Controls.
Individual advertising companies may also offer their own opt-out capabilities plus more advanced advertising choices. For instance, Microsoft’s advertising preference and opt-out controls are available at http://choice.live.com/advertisementchoice/. Please note that opting out 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. 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.
Third-Party Analytics Controls.
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 browsers visiting Microsoft sites. It is used for advertising, site analytics and other operational purposes.
Contains the ANID, a unique identifier used to help identify which ads a customer may like. It is also used to preserve your choice to opt out of behaviorally targeted ads from Microsoft, if you have chosen to associate the opt-out with your Microsoft account.
Contains a country code as determined by reverse IP address lookup.
Microsoft account authentication
Authentication cookies (e.g., RPSTAuth, MSNRPSAuth, KievRPSAuth) used 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 behaviorally targeted ads delivered by Microsoft.
In addition to the cookies Microsoft may set 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.
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, count users who have visited those pages and deliver co-branded services. Sometimes we include web beacons in our promotional email messages or newsletters to determine whether messages have been opened and acted upon.
We sometimes 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.
Finally, Microsoft sites may contain web beacons from third parties to help us compile aggregated statistics regarding the effectiveness of our promotional campaigns or other web site operations. These web beacons may allow the third parties to set or read a cookie on your computer. These companies may collect information about your online activities across websites or online servers, however, we prohibit third parties from using web beacons on our sites to collect or access information that directly identifies you (such as your name or email address). You may be able to opt out from data collection or use by these third-party analytics companies as described under “Third-Party Analytics Controls” above.
Other Similar Technologies
In addition to standard cookies and web beacons, websites can use other technologies to store and read data files on your computer. This may be 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 online activity. These technologies include Local Shared Objects (or "Flash cookies"), HTML5 Local Storage and Silverlight Application Storage.
Local Shared Objects or "Flash cookies." Websites 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 when using Windows, go to the Control Panel and select Flash Player. For other operating systems, learn more at http://www.macromedia.com/support/documentation/en/flashplayer/help/settings_manager.html.
Silverlight Application Storage. Websites or applications that use Microsoft Silverlight technology can store data on your device using Silverlight Application Storage. To learn how to manage or block such storage, visit the Silverlight Privacy Statement.
When a Microsoft site or service collects age information, it will block users under 13 or obtain consent from a parent or guardian before their child can use it.
When consent is granted, the child's account is treated much like any other account, including being able to communicate with other users.
Parents can change or revoke consent as described in this privacy statement.
When a Microsoft site or service collects age information, it will either block users under 13 or will ask them to provide consent from a parent or guardian before they can use it. We will not knowingly ask children under 13 to provide more information than is necessary to provide the service.
When consent is granted, the child's account is treated much like any other account. The child may have access to communication services like e-mail, instant messaging and online message boards and may be able to communicate freely with other users of all ages.
Parents can change or revoke the consent choices previously made, and review, edit or request the deletion of their children's personal information. For example, in their Microsoft account, parents can visit their account, and click on "Parental Permissions".
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:
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 U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Framework and the U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Framework as set forth by the U.S. Department of Commerce regarding the collection, use, and retention of data from the European Economic Area, and Switzerland. To learn more about the Safe Harbor program, and to view our certification, please visit http://www.export.gov/safeharbor/.
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
Microsoft Privacy, Microsoft Corporation, One Microsoft Way, Redmond, Washington 98052 USA
Microsoft Research publishes applications that assist with behavioral and other research. This module describes the data collection and use practices of Microsoft Research software and services (“Research Applications”) created for Windows 8, Windows Phone, Office, Visual Studio Gallery, Facebook, iOS, and Android.
Research Applications may utilize various capabilities that are provided with your device, including: Location Services, Internet Explorer Mobile, Maps, Microsoft Account, People, Pictures & Camera, Search, Speech, and Zune Music & Video.
If a Research Application will use your personal data, you will be prompted to agree to such use. For information about specific Microsoft features, and your choices for sharing data, please see the appropriate privacy statement: Office 2013 Privacy Statement, Windows 8 Privacy Statement, Windows Phone 7 Privacy Statement, Windows Phone 8 Privacy Statement. For information specific to 3rd parties, please see the Facebook Privacy Statement, Apple Privacy Statement, and the Google Privacy Statement. For information specific to Microsoft HealthVault applications, please see HealthVault Privacy Statement, HealthVault Message Center Privacy Statement and HealthVault Connection Center Privacy Statement.
Blink (updated March 14, 2014)
Blink Cliplets (updated March 14, 2014)
Climatology (updated July 11, 2014) Coming Soon
Face Mask, Face Swap, Face Touch (updated February 24, 2014)
In Application Human Intelligence Tasks (IAHIT) (updated September 26, 2014)
JoinR (updated September 26, 2014)
Journeys & Notes (updated October 15, 2014)
Microsoft Cloud Offloaded GPS Experimental Kit (updated February 24, 2014)
Microsoft Research Project Doubloon Dash and Project Waterloo (updated February 24, 2014)
Q-Play (updated February 24, 2014)
Sketch Match (updated February 24, 2014)
Time of My Life (updated February 24, 2014)
WindUp (updated June 18, 2014)
Xim (updated October 23, 2014)
Privacy at Microsoft
Controlling your online privacy
Security at Home