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Windows Media Player for Windows XP Privacy Statement

Note The following Privacy Statement applies to the types of information collected or used by Microsoft® Windows Media® Player.

Microsoft is committed to protecting your right to privacy as a consumer. Windows Media Player at no time requests from you any "Personally Identifiable Information" (information that personally identifies you, such as your name, address, and phone number). However, there are occasions when unique machine-identifying information is transmitted across the Internet. The purpose of this document is to fully expose the identifiable information, explain how it is used, and provide a clear mechanism for disabling it.
What Personally Identifiable Information Does Windows Media Player for Windows XP Gather?
Windows Media Player for Windows XP collects no Personally Identifiable Information from you. Windows Media Player for Windows XP does not require nor accept any personal data when downloading or when using one of its many features.

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What Information Does Windows Media Player Send Across the Internet?
To provide you with all of the services of Windows Media Player for Windows XP, Microsoft has tightly integrated Internet capabilities. It is through this integration that Windows Media Player transmits information that pertains to you and your connection. The following sections describe the information that is transmitted and how it is used.

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Communication with Streaming Media Servers
One of the primary functions of Windows Media Player is to stream audio and video to your computer. To provide this service, it is necessary for Windows Media Player to communicate directly with a media server. These servers are typically operated by non-Microsoft content providers, and are not under Microsoft's control.

The following section describes the communication that takes place between your computer and the server.

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Logging
Logging occurs when information is sent from the Player to a streaming media server. Logging informs the server of various pieces of information so that services can be improved. The information includes such details as: connection time, Internet protocol (IP) address of the computer that connected to the server, Player version, Player identification (ID) number, date, protocol, and so on. Most information is neither unique, nor traceable to your machine.

The exception to the rule is the IP address and the Player ID number, both of which are used by the server to identify your connection. The IP address is necessary in order to establish the connection to the Windows Media Server and is known by the server when you connect.

The Player ID is constructed from a Globally Unique Identifier (GUID). The ID is generated by the Windows Media Player setup program, via standard operating system functions, and it is stored by Windows Media Player for logging.

When connecting to a streaming server, the Player ID is used to uniquely identify your connection. This ID does not contain any Personally Identifiable Information. Nevertheless, it can be turned off in Windows Media Player for Windows XP.

When you receive streaming media over the Internet, Windows Media Player sends a unique identifier to the server that is delivering the stream. The unique identifier aids the server in identifying your computer and differentiating it from other computers that may be receiving streaming media. An administrator can review the logs on a server to correlate logged information from the same Player over multiple sessions.

To prevent a server from uniquely identifying your computer:
  1. On the Tools menu, click Options.
  2. On the Player tab, clear the Allow Internet sites to uniquely identify your Player check box.
An anonymous GUID is sent to streaming servers when the Allow Internet sites to uniquely identify your Player check box is cleared. Part of the anonymous GUID is common to all Players that are not uniquely identified. Another part of the GUID is unique for that connection to the server, but changes each time a connection to the server is established.

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Audio CD and Music File Information
When playing or copying an audio CD, Windows Media Player attempts to locate information associated with that CD, such as the artist name, title, and track names. This information is added to the overall list of information that is kept in the Media Library. To obtain this information, Windows Media Player sends a unique CD identification number to WindowsMedia.com. No personally identifiable information is obtained or stored during this transaction.

To prevent the Player from searching for audio CD and music file information:
  1. On the File menu, click Work Offline.

    Note If you choose to work offline, you will not be able to access any information on the Internet. The Radio Tuner feature will not work because it relies on a connection to the Internet to obtain streaming media.
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DVD Information
When playing a DVD, Windows Media Player attempts to locate information associated with that DVD, such as the DVD name, title names, chapter names, director name, and release date. This information is added to the overall list of information that is kept in the Media Library. To obtain this information, Windows Media Player sends a unique DVD identification number to WindowsMedia.com. No personally identifiable information is obtained or stored during this transaction.

To prevent the Player from searching for DVD information:
  1. On the File menu, click Work Offline.

    Note If you choose to work offline, you will not be able to access any information on the Internet. The Radio Tuner feature will not work because it relies on a connection to the Internet to obtain streaming media.
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License ID
To secure music or video from piracy, companies that sell audio and video files that can be downloaded from the Internet will often attach a license that restricts playback of those files. If you purchase files that require a license to play them, that license will be provided at the time of purchase. The license is a file that contains a non-traceable ID. This file is downloaded to your computer and must remain on your computer for as long as you want to be able to play the audio or video file. You can avoid this transaction (or make sure that you don't accidentally pick up a license) by not purchasing licensed files and by clearing the Acquire licenses automatically check box.

To clear the Acquire licenses automatically check box:
  1. On the Tools menu, click Options.
  2. On the Player tab, clear the Acquire licenses automatically check box.

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Get Names and Update Names
When using the Get Names wizard, or the Update Names feature to obtain information such as the artist name, title, and track name, Windows Media Player sends a unique CD identification number to WindowsMedia.com. The information that is obtained is stored on your computer.

If you enter or edit information such as an artist name, a title, and track name using the Get Names wizard, WindowsMedia.com may store that information so that other users are able to retrieve it.

No personally identifiable information about you is obtained or stored during these transactions.

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Media Library
The Media Library lists your collection of audio and video, as well as links to audio and video. This information can be accessed by other software on your computer and on the Internet. You may want to leave Media Library accessible if you want other software or Internet sites to automatically add information to your Media Library. If you do not want other software or Internet sites to be able to see your Media Library lists or to write information to your Media Library list, you can turn off the access. There are three possible settings for access: no access, read only, and full access.

To disallow access to your Media Library:

  1. On the Tools menu, click Options.
  2. Click the Media Library tab.
  3. In both the Access rights of other applications and Access rights of Internet sites areas, click No access.



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Cookies
Windows Media Player uses the Internet as a networking and information source. When accessing the Internet, cookies may be downloaded to your computer. A cookie is a small piece of information that enables applications to understand information about your computer. A cookie is not a piece of code.

To prevent cookies from being stored on your computer:
  1. In Internet Explorer, on the Tools menu, click Internet Options, and then click the Privacy tab.
  2. Move the slider up to Block All Cookies. On this setting, Web sites will not be able to store cookies on your computer.

    Note Changing the security level may affect the speed at which your computer interacts with Web sites that expect to put cookies on your computer.
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Security Upgrade (Individualization)
Some companies provide licensed audio and video files that may require you to upgrade your security components in the Windows Rights system. If you choose to upgrade your security, Windows Media Player will connect to an Internet site operated by Microsoft and will send a unique identifier along with a Windows Media Player security file. This unique identifier does not contain any personal information about you and is not used to personally identify you or track your activities.

Microsoft will then replace the security file with a customized version of the file that contains your unique identifier. This information is used to help Microsoft prevent security breaches that could affect you.

To avoid the security upgrade:
  1. When you are presented with the Individualization dialog box, click Cancel.
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Restore Service
Microsoft has worked with partners (such as record labels, hand-held computer manufacturers, video labels, and many others) to develop a service that enables you to move and restore digital media licenses (for legitimate purposes only) between your computers, not your computer and your friend's computer. This service allows for a limited number of license transactions. When you restore your licenses, you are sending information to Microsoft that uniquely identifies your computer for internal tracking purposes.

Microsoft stores your unique identifier information in a database and keeps track of the number of times you attempt to restore your licenses. Microsoft does not share this information with any other parties, either internal or external to Microsoft.

To avoid the restore service:
  1. Do not click Restore Now in the License Management dialog box. The License Management dialog box is displayed by clicking License Management on the Tools menu.
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WindowsMedia.com
WindowsMedia.com is tightly integrated into Windows Media Player. The Media Guide and the Radio Tuner are Web pages provided courtesy of WindowsMedia.com. All the CD audio data, DVD data, radio presets, and the information in the Windows Media Information pane, come directly from WindowsMedia.com.

A cookie will be sent to WindowsMedia.com whenever Windows Media Player communicates with the WindowsMedia.com service (for example, when you select the Media Guide or when the Player requests supplemental CD or DVD information). The cookie contains a unique identifier that allows WindowsMedia.com to personalize your WindowsMedia.com experience. This identifier is not the same as the Player ID described in the Logging section. If you do not wish this identifier and cookie to be passed to WindowsMedia.com, you must disable cookies in your browser (see the Cookies section for more information).

WindowsMedia.com, a member of the MSN® family, is concerned about your privacy. For further information, please see the WindowsMedia.com Privacy Statement.

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