We also use web beacons to help deliver cookies and compile analytics. These include web beacons from third-party service providers.
You have a variety of tools to control cookies and similar technologies, including:
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 set cookies.
Identifies unique browsers visiting Microsoft websites. 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, ZIP code, age, gender, language and occupation, if known, based on your Microsoft account profile.
Appears on co-branded websites where Microsoft is partnering with an advertiser. This cookie identifies the advertiser so the right ad is selected.
Records your decision not to receive behaviorally targeted ads delivered by Microsoft.
In addition to the cookies set when you visit our websites or use Skype software, third parties may also set cookies when you visit Microsoft websites. 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 or software contain 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
Our web pages may contain electronic images known as web beacons - sometimes called single-pixel gifs - that are used to help deliver cookies on our websites, 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 and to enable us to recognize you and understand your activity on our websites as a result of these actions. This allows us to gauge the effectiveness of certain communications and the effectiveness of our marketing campaigns and to improve our communications and your online experience.
We sometimes work with other companies that advertise on Skype or other Microsoft websites to place web beacons on their websites or in their advertisements to let us develop statistics on how often clicking on an advertisement on a site results in a purchase or other action on the advertiser's website.
Through Skype’s affiliate program qualified third-party websites (“affiliates”) can receive payment for referring users to Skype.com that complete certain actions, such as the purchase of Skype Credit. If you arrive on Skype.com from an affiliate website, the affiliate will set a cookie on your computer which is used to qualify them for compensation. Should you then complete an action on Skype.com that could result in a payment to an affiliate, Skype will communicate to our affiliate program network partner through a tracking tag, or pixel that the event was successfully completed. The tracking tag (or pixel) will include information that identifies the affiliate website that referred you to Skype.com, which is available from the cookie set by the affiliate.
Cookies set by affiliates are not within Skype’s control and for more information please visit our affiliate program network partner Commission Junction’s site at: http://www.cj.com/privacy.
Finally, our websites may contain web beacons from third parties to help us compile aggregated statistics regarding the effectiveness of our promotional campaigns or other website 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 services, however, we prohibit third parties from using web beacons on our websites 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.
Other Similar Technologies
In addition to standard cookies and web beacons, our websites and software 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.
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:
Look to the privacy statement or other documentation to learn how to block cookies in other browsers.
Please be aware that if you choose to block cookies, you may not be able to sign in or use features of Skype websites, software and products 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:
Look to the privacy statement or other documentation to learn how to delete cookies in other browsers.
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.
- Skype Software Controls to Block Skype Cookies
In the Skype for Windows desktop software, Skype software browser cookies can be disabled by accessing the File menu from your Skype software toolbar, choosing the Privacy option and un-checking the ‘Accept Skype browser cookies’ box.
- 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 websites (or the third-party content on those websites) may continue to engage in activities you might view as tracking even though you have expressed this preference, depending on the websites’ 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 websites, Internet Explorer will limit the information these third-party websites 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.
Additionally, in some versions of the Skype software that offer targeted ads, you may opt-out of Microsoft targeted ads displayed in the software by visiting the privacy options in the software or account settings menu. If you opt-out, you will still receive advertisements based on your country of residence, language preference, and IP address location, but other targeting information will not be used.
In some instances, Microsoft Advertising may facilitate the placement of advertisements in Skype software by other online advertising networks. In some cases, these third parties may also place cookies on your device and may collect information about your online activities across websites or online services.
If you have opted-out of targeted ads in the Skype software as outlined above, Skype will not pass any of your profile information to such advertising providers with the ad request. However, because third parties may place cookies on your computer that facilitate their own targeting, the Skype opt-out mechanism described above may not prevent ad targeting by these third parties. These third parties may offer you a way to opt out of ad targeting based on their cookies. Learn more about these third parties and how to manage your preferences with them in the Microsoft Advertising Privacy Statement. Many of them are also members of the Network Advertising Initiativeor the Digital Advertising Alliance, which each provide a simple way to opt out of ad targeting from participating companies.
- Third-Party Analytics Controls
Skype collects many kinds of information in order to operate effectively and provide you the best products and experiences we can.
We collect information when you register, sign in, and use our websites and products. 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 the Skype software on your computer or other device.
Skype collects many kinds of information in order to operate effectively and provide you the best products and experiences we can. Some of this information you provide directly to us. Some of it we collect when you interact with our websites, software, products and marketing communications. 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.
What we collect:
How we collect:We use a number of methods and technologies to gather information about how you use our websites, software and products, such as:
Skype uses the information we collect to operate, improve and personalize Skype and other Microsoft software, products, and features. For example, information that you provide as part of your Skype profile may be included in the search directory to enable other users of Skype (or products that interact with Skype, such as Skype for Business) to search for you and connect with you. Information collected through Skype may be combined with information collected through other Microsoft products and services to give you a more consistent and personalized experience in your interactions across Microsoft products and services. We may also supplement this with information from other companies. For example, we use services from other companies to help us derive a general geographic area based on your IP address in order to customize certain features or offers 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, letting you know when you need to take action to keep your account active, or to organize and carry out marketing or promotional operations/offers, contests, games and similar events.
We provide many of our products, software and features free of charge because they are supported by advertising. The information we collect may be used to help improve the advertisements you see by making them more relevant to you.
We will share your personal information with third parties with your consent. For example, we share your content with third parties when you tell us to do so, such as when you send a message to a contact using Skype.
We may share or disclose personal information with other Microsoft controlled subsidiaries and affiliates; and, as necessary, with partners (e.g. telecom carriers, Wi-Fi access services providers, distributors of Skype software and/or Skype products, third party banking organizations or other providers of payment services) and with vendors or agents working on our behalf. For example, companies we've hired to provide customer service support or assist in protecting and securing our systems and products may need access to personal information in order to provide those functions. In such cases, these companies must abide by our data privacy requirements and are not allowed to use the information for any other purpose. We may also transfer your data to Microsoft Corporation, who may use it for purposes consistent with those described in this privacy statement. Moreover, we may disclose personal information as part of a corporate transaction such as a merger or sale of our assets.
We may access, disclose and preserve your personal information, including your private content (such as the content of your instant messages, stored video messages, voicemails or file transfers), when we have a good faith belief that doing so is necessary to:
If you are a member of the Skype Manager, detailed information about the activity on your Skype account including traffic data and details of your purchases and downloads may be accessed by your Skype Manager Administrator if you have agreed to such access. You can withdraw your consent at any time by changing the settings on your account page on www.skype.com. If you provide personal information including your name and job title to be included in the Skype Manager directory, you acknowledge that such information may be viewed by other members of the Skype Manager.
You have the right to view and, where relevant, edit your personal information. Some of your information may be viewed or edited online. To help prevent others from viewing your personal information, you first will be required to sign in.
To contact us regarding access to your information in relation to Skype software or products, please submit a support request to the customer support team.
You have the right to access and, where relevant, to edit your personal information. To help prevent others from viewing your personal information, you first will be required to sign in. Some of your information, for example, your Skype user profile, may be viewed or edited online by signing into your account page on www.skype.com or from the Skype menu in the Skype software.
Microsoft account - If you wish to update the profile information on your Microsoft account, change your password, add security information, view the unique ID associated with your credentials or close your account, you can do so by visiting Microsoft account services.
To contact us regarding access to your information in relation to Skype software or products, please submit a support request to the customer support team. We will respond to requests to view, correct, complete or remove your personal information within 30 days and upon verification of your identity.
We will take reasonable steps to accommodate requests to delete personal information unless it is required to be retained by law or for lawful business purposes. However, please note that your details may still appear in the search directory for a short period of time following your request.
Skype is not intended for or designed to attract users under the age of 13 and we do not intentionally or knowingly collect personal information on our websites from anyone under the age of 13 (or older in some jurisdictions). We encourage parents to be involved in the online activities of their children to ensure that no information is collected from a child without parental permission.
When a Microsoft account has been established for a child under the age of 13 through the applicable parental consent mechanism for that account, the child may have access to communication products like Skype and may be able to communicate freely with other users of all ages. Parents can manage the Microsoft Account permissions by visiting their own account, and clicking on "Parental Permissions".
Ads shown in the Skype software and advertising for Skype on third party websites are delivered by Microsoft Advertising or other carefully selected ad serving partners. When we display online advertisements to you, we will place one or more cookies in order to recognize your device when we display an ad to you. We may use non-personally identifiable information that you have provided to Skype, such as the age, gender, language and country of residence in your Skype profile as well as information about your relationship with and use of Skype’s websites, software, and products, such as the destination of your calls, in order to provide advertisements likely to be of greater interest to you and to help us measure and improve the performance of our advertising campaigns and offers. These ads may also be targeted based on other information Microsoft Advertising collects outside of Skype’s websites and software. For instance, Microsoft Advertising may utilize the same browser cookies set by Microsoft websites to enhance targeting within Skype software.
Additionally, ads shown to you that are delivered by Microsoft Advertising on other web properties may be targeted based on non-personally identifiable Skype profile information (including profile information from linked Microsoft accounts), such as age, gender, country of residence, and language preference, as well as other information Microsoft Advertising collects outside of Skype’s websites and software. Over time, we may gather information from the websites and software where we serve ads and use the information to help provide more relevant ads. You may opt-out of Microsoft targeted ads in your Skype software. The opt-out mechanisms vary depending on which Skype software you use. Full details are provided below.
Skype websites and some Skype software may display third-party advertisements provided by Microsoft Advertising and its ad serving partners. When we show online advertisements to you, we may place one or more cookies on your computer in order to recognize your device each time we display an ad to you. Because Microsoft Advertising serves advertisements on Microsoft websites as well as those of our advertising and publisher partners, we are able to compile information over time about the types of pages, content and ads you, or others who are using your computer, visited or viewed. We use that information, along with non-personally identifiable information you have provided to Skype (including de-identified data from your linked Microsoft account profiles), such as age, gender, country of residence, and language preference, as well as information about your relationship with and use of Skype’s websites, software, and products, such as the destination of your calls, in order to select the ads we show you and to help us measure and improve the performance of our advertising campaigns and offers. For example, it helps us try to ensure that you do not see the same advertisements repeatedly. It also helps us select and display targeted advertisements that we believe may be of interest to you.
If you sign-in to Skype using a Microsoft account or a Skype account that you have linked to a Microsoft account, you may opt-out of receiving targeted ads from Microsoft Advertising by visiting 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.
We may contact you with messages about your use of our websites, software and products. We also may notify you of claims related to your use of our products, including without limitation, claims of violation of third party rights, via email, SMS, or the Skype software you are using. We may also send you alerts by email or SMS to notify you when someone has tried to contact you.
We may also provide you with news and other promotional material related to Skype and/or other Microsoft products. You can opt-out of the receipt of further news or promotional (a) emails by clicking the ‘unsubscribe’ link on the email that you receive or (b) SMS by following the instructions on the SMS that you receive. You can also change your notification settings for both e-mail and SMS at any time on your account page on www.skype.com.
If you have a Microsoft account, 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 other Microsoft websites or services by visiting and signing into Microsoft's Promotional Communications Manager allows you to update contact information, manage Microsoft-wide contact preferences, opt out of subscriptions, and choose whether to share your contact information with Microsoft partners.
These choices do not apply to the display of online advertising: please refer to the section "Display of Advertising (Opt-out)" for more information. 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 relevant services.
When you use a location-based service or feature, available cell tower data, Wi-Fi data and Global Position System (GPS) data may be sent to Skype and Microsoft. Skype and Microsoft use location information to provide the services you request, personalize your experience and improve Microsoft and Skype products and services. For example, Skype may contain features that are based on the Bing Maps service or other third party map services that allow you to share your current location on a map or to search for items on a map, such as nearby Wi-Fi access points. When you request to plot your location on a map or to search for nearby Wi-Fi access points, your request is provided to Bing Maps and/or the third party map service for processing.
When you use a Skype feature to plot your location using the Bing Maps service, Bing will collect those requests and location-related information related to the requests may be used for calculating payments to Bing’s data vendors as part of operating the service. For more information on how Bing collects and uses information, click here.
To learn more about how third party mapping services collect and use information, see the privacy statements for those services. Depending on the device you are using, Skype may use third party services to provide mapping services. For example, Skype may use Google maps on certain devices—you can learn more about the information that Google collects through its mapping services at http://www.google.com/privacy.html.
You have control of when location information is sent to Skype and Microsoft or made available to others. Refer to the documentation that came with your device for information about how to turn off location features.
Payment Data is the information that you provide when you make online purchases. This may include your payment instrument number (e.g., credit card, PayPal), your name and billing address, and the security code associated with your payment instrument (e.g., the CSV, CVV). This section provides additional information regarding the collection and use of your payment information.
Payment Data is used to complete your transaction, as well as for the detection and prevention of fraud. In support of these uses, Microsoft and Skype may share your Payment Data with banks and other entities that process payment transactions or other financial services, and for fraud prevention and credit risk reduction.
When you provide Payment Data while logged in with your Microsoft or Skype account we will store that data to help you complete future transactions.
You may update or remove the payment instrument information associated with your Microsoft account by logging in at https://commerce.microsoft.com or with your Skype account by logging in at https://account.skype.com. After you close your account or remove a payment instrument, however, Microsoft and Skype will retain your payment instrument data for as long as reasonably necessary to complete your existing transaction, to comply with legal and reporting requirements, and for the detection and prevention of fraud.
Microsoft account (formerly known as Windows Live ID and Microsoft Passport) is a service that allows you to sign into Microsoft products (including Skype), websites and services, as well as those of select Microsoft partners.
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 visit the Windows Services Privacy Statement.
Learn more about:
Below you will find additional privacy information that you may find important. On this page:
Third party links and plug-ins
Our websites and software may also include links to third-party websites whose privacy practices may differ from those of Skype. If you submit personal information to any of those websites, your information is governed by the privacy statements on those websites. We encourage you to review the privacy statement of any site you visit.
If you use any plug-ins or third party applications together with the Skype software or use any third party applications or products that incorporate or embed the Skype software, the provider of such applications may obtain access to certain personal information about you. Skype does not and cannot control how the provider of applications may use any personal information in connection with such applications. We encourage you to review the privacy statement or other terms applicable to the use of such applications.
How we protect the Security of Personal Information
Skype 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.
We may use automated scanning within instant messages and SMS to (a) identify suspected spam, (b) identify URLs that have been previously flagged as spam, fraud, or phishing links, and (c) as part of our effort to protect the Skype and Microsoft software, our products or our customers. In limited instances, we may capture and manually review instant messages or SMS in connection with these efforts. We may, in our sole discretion, block or prevent delivery of suspected spam and remove suspicious links or content from messages.
Storing and processing personal information
Information that is collected by or sent to Skype and/or Microsoft and its affiliates and may be stored and processed in the United States or any other country in which Microsoft or its affiliates, subsidiaries, or service providers maintain facilities. In this regard, or for purposes of sharing or disclosing data in accordance with this privacy statement, Skype reserves the right to transfer information outside of your country. By using Skype software, Skype websites or Skype products you consent to any such transfer of information outside of your country. 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 www.export.gov/safeharbor/.
Changes to this privacy statement
We may occasionally update this privacy statement to reflect changes in our software and/or products and customer feedback. When we post changes to this privacy statement at skype.com/go/privacy, we will update the "last revised" date at the top of the privacy statement. If there are material changes to this privacy statement or in how we will use your personal information, we will notify you either by prominently posting a notice of such changes prior to implementing the change or by directly sending you a notification. You agree that your continued use of Skype websites, software or products after such notice shall constitute your acceptance of the privacy statement. We encourage you to periodically review this privacy statement to be informed of how Skype is collecting, using, and protecting your information.
How to contact us
To contact us in relation to Skype software or products, please submit a support request to customer support team.
Skype Software S.à.r.l / Skype Communications S.à.r.l. 23-29 Rives de Clausen L-2165 Luxembourg Luxembourg
For members of Skype Manager in the United States only:
Skype Inc. 3210 Porter Drive Palo Alto, California 94304, USA
To contact Microsoft Corporation:
To find the Microsoft subsidiary in your country or region, see http://www.microsoft.com/worldwide/.
If you do not want to use third party notification services to receive notification of incoming Skype calls and messages, you can disable this in your notification settings in the Skype application settings or in the notification settings found in your device settings.
Privacy at Microsoft
Controlling your online privacy
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