Privacy at Microsoft

A woman standing at a desk in an office, logging in to her laptop.

Microsoft believes privacy is a fundamental human right. We are committed to providing you with products, information, and controls that allow you to choose how data is collected and used.

Protecting your data is our highest priority

When you use Microsoft business cloud services, you are entrusting us with your most valuable asset—your data. You trust its privacy will be protected and that it will only be used in a way that’s consistent with your expectations.

Our time-tested approach to privacy is grounded in our commitment to give you control over the collection, use, and distribution of your customer data. We are transparent about the specific policies, operational practices, and technologies that help ensure the privacy of your data in Microsoft business cloud services.


Privacy considerations in the cloud

Our commitment to GDPR

As part of our ongoing commitment to privacy, we made a number of investments and improvements to our data handling practices to support GDPR and the privacy rights of individuals.

Learn more

Built-in privacy

The Security Development Lifecycle (SDL) and Privacy Statement provide additional detail on our development process and transparent approach to keeping your data private.


Microsoft Security Development Lifecycle (SDL): privacy requirements are defined and integrated in the SDL, the software development process that helps developers build more secure products and services. The SDL helps address data protection and privacy requirements including effective privacy reviews of each release of a Microsoft product or service.


Microsoft Online Services Privacy Statement puts our commitment in writing and details Microsoft data protection policies and practices in clear, straightforward language.

Microsoft contractual commitments back our privacy best practices

Microsoft makes broad contractual commitments to business in our Online Services Terms. Microsoft will use customer data only to provide the services agreed upon, and for purposes compatible with providing those services. We do not use customer data or derive information from it for advertising.

Furthermore, we will not disclose customer data hosted in Microsoft business services to a government agency unless required by law. If law enforcement demands customer data, we will attempt to redirect the agency to request that data directly from the customer. If we are compelled to disclose customer data to law enforcement, we promptly notify the customer and provide a copy of the demand, unless legally prohibited from doing so.

In addition, we make specific, contractual, privacy-related commitments:

ISO/IEC 27018:2014 EU Model Clauses

The My Number Act (Japanese and English) was enacted in 2013, and took effect in January 2016. It assigns a unique number—My Number is also called the Social Benefits and Tax Number—to every resident of Japan, whether Japanese or foreign. The Personal Information Protection Commission has issued guidelines and Q&A (in Japanese) to ensure that companies properly handle and adequately protect My Number data as required by law.

While the responsibility and ownership of personal data is with our customers, per the Online Services Terms, Microsoft contractually commits that Azure, Dynamics 365, Intune, and Office 365 in-scope cloud services have implemented technical and organizational security safeguards to help our customers protect individuals’ privacy. These safeguards are based on established industry standards, such as ISO and Service Organization Controls (SOC).

Furthermore, Microsoft does not have standing access to My Number data stored in these in-scope cloud services, so companies do not need to supervise handling of data by Microsoft (as outlined in Q3-12). Nonetheless, companies are required to take appropriate safety measures to protect My Number data stored in the cloud (Q3-13).

In accordance with the Argentine National Constitution, the Argentina Personal Data Protection Act 25,326 aims to protect personal information recorded in data files, registers, banks, and elsewhere to help protect the privacy of individuals, and also provide a right of access to the information that may be recorded about them. In a data transfer agreement, we contractually commit that Azure, Dynamics 365, Intune, and Office 365 in-scope services have implemented the applicable technical and organizational security measures stated in Regulation 11/2006 of the Argentine Data Protection Authority. Moreover, we make important commitments regarding notifications, auditing of our facilities, and use of subcontractors.



Canadian privacy laws—such as the Privacy Act, Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA), Alberta Personal Information Protection Act (PIPA), and British Columbia Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act (BC FIPPA)—aim to protect the privacy of individuals, and give them the right to access information gathered about them. The laws require organizations to take reasonable steps to safeguard information in their custody or control, and cover personal information that is held and processed by governments and private organizations in data files, registers, and elsewhere.

Ultimately, the responsibility and ownership of personal data lies with our business customers, per the Online Services Terms. However, Microsoft contractually commits that Azure and Intune in-scope services have implemented security safeguards to help them protect the privacy of individuals, based on established industry standards such as ISO/IEC 27001 and the SOC framework. We have assessed our practices in risk, security, and incident management; access control; data integrity protection; and other areas relative to the recommendations from the Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada, and have determined that the in-scope services are capable of meeting those recommendations.

Our primary privacy principles


We will put you in control of your privacy with easy-to-use tools and clear choices.


We will be transparent about data collection and use so you can make informed decisions.


We protect your data with strong security and encryption. To learn more, visit Microsoft Security.

Strong legal protections

We will respect your local privacy laws and fight for legal protection of your privacy as a right.

No content-based targeting

We will not use your email, chat, files, or other personal content to target ads to you.

Benefit to you

When we do collect data, we will use it to benefit you and to make your experiences better.

How Microsoft manages data

You own your data

Customer data is only used to provide agreed upon services and if you leave the data is removed.

Where your data is located

Need to maintain data in a specific location, such as the EU? Rely on our network of datacenters.

Who has access to data

Access your own data at any time for any reason knowing it’s protected from inappropriate access.

Government requests

See the report we publish twice a year on the number of legal demands we receive for customer data.

Our approach to reporting

Make informed choices about our products and services, and evaluate our CSR commitments.

Protecting your privacy

Read how Microsoft won a court case to protect email from search warrants.

We offer a policy roadmap—a set of 78 recommendations in 15 policy categories—as the foundation for a regulatory environment that leads to a trusted, responsible, and inclusive cloud.

Additional privacy resources

Privacy at Microsoft

Microsoft Online Services Privacy Statement

Online Services Terms

Protecting data and privacy in the cloud

GDPR Overview

Ask your cloud provider about compliance