Revision History - Online Advertising Privacy Statement
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This document has been archived since it now redirects to Microsoft's Privacy Statement, which is already available on Paranoid Paul.
Some terms related to "Interests Categories" have been removed.
"Industry Best Practices and Industry Commitments" section updated (under "Other Important Privacy Information"); Contact information updated.
Changes related to cookies and data that is collected and used.
Update concerning opting out of ads using a shared browser + updates in the Industry Best Practices and Industry Commitments section.
Added "...may collect information about your online activities across websites or online services" under the Cookies & Similar Technologies section. Terms concerning the Do Not Track browser setting in the "Your Choices" section have also been modified.
Major revision + new layout.
A term concerning using your private email content to advertise to you has been removed!
Terms changed concerning the types of information that can be used for showing you ads.
This is the initial version that ParanoidPaul captured. It is not necessarily the first version of the document.
Microsoft Online Advertising Privacy Statement

	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. Cookies & Similar Technologies

	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 the text stored in a cookie that Microsoft might place on your hard disk when you visit one of our web sites: E3732CA7E319442F97EA48A170C99801 

	We may use cookies for: 

	 TRACKING YOUR ONLINE ACTIVITY TO PROVIDE RELEVANT ADVERTISING:  Microsoft Advertising uses cookies to capture your online activity and identify your interests so that we can provide advertising that is most relevant to you.   
	 STORING YOUR PREFERENCES AND SETTINGS. If you opt-out of behavioral advertising, we store your opt-out preference using a cookie that is placed on your machine.   
	 SIGN-IN AND AUTHENTICATION. When you sign in to a site or service using your Microsoft account, we store your unique ID number, and the time you signed in, in an encrypted cookie on your hard disk. This cookie allows you to move from page to page at the site without having to sign in again on each page. 
	 AD ANALYTICS AND REPORTING. We may use cookies to count the number of unique visitors to a web page or service or to develop other aggregate statistics about the operations of our sites and services. These analytics help us operate and improve the performance of these sites and services. 

	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, ZIP 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 hard drive 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 hard drive. 


	 BROWSER CONTROLS TO BLOCK COOKIES. Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can usually modify your browser setting to block first or third-party cookies. For example, in Internet Explorer 10, you may block cookies by taking the following steps: 

	 Click “Tools” and then select “Internet Options” 
	 Click the “Privacy” tab at the top of the window 
	 Move the slider up or down to select the types of cookies you wish to block Instructions for blocking cookies in other browsers are available (in English) at

	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. 
	 BROWSER CONTROLS TO DELETE COOKIES. If you accept cookies, you can delete them later. 

	For example, in Internet Explorer 10 , you may delete cookies by taking the following steps: 

	 Click “Tools” and then select “Internet Options” 
	 On the “General” tab, under “Browsing History,” click the “Delete” button 
	 On the pop-up, select the box next to “Cookies” 
	 Click the “Delete” button 

	Instructions for deleting cookies in other browsers are available (in English) at

	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 may need to be recreated.


	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.


	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. Collecting Your Information

	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, services, or applications, or those of our advertising partners, we may collect the following information such as: 

	 Your computer or device IP Address. 
	 Microsoft cookie IDs or Ad Identifiers. 
	 Computer, browser or device information including browser type, language, operating system, and URLs. 
	 Information about the specific ads posted on the site and the date and time of delivery. 
	 Information about the pages you view and the ads you click on. 
	 The approximate location. 

	Microsoft Advertising may also use the following information collected from other Microsoft sites and services or our partners:

	 Search terms you enter and search results you click when using Bing Search 
	 Pages you view and links you click when using Microsoft’s and its advertising partners’ Web sites and services 
	 Demographic data that you have provided using Microsoft account, such as gender, profession and the city you live in. 
	 Interest Categories you select or modify using our Personal Data Dashboard   
	 General demographic, interest data we have acquired from other companies (such as the average income for the zip code in which you live). 
	 Information that we purchase from data aggregators such as Blue Kai or Experian that provide us information about your general interests (such as retailers that you frequently purchase from). 

	Microsoft does not use content within your private email to target advertising. 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.  


	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: 

	 When we display online advertisements to you, we will place one or more persistent cookies on your computer or device in order to recognize your computer or device each time we display an ad to you.  Similarly, when you log into your Microsoft account, we will place a cookie that contains a unique identifier that is derived from your Microsoft account. This Microsoft account cookie remains persistent over time and across devices when you sign into your Microsoft account. To learn more about cookies, please visit the cookie section of this statement. 

	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.  	 Web logging, which enables us to collect the standard information your browser sends to every web site you visit - such as your IP address, browser type and language, and the site you came from - as well as the pages you visit and the links you click while using our sites and services.  
	 Data purchases from aggregators are facilitated by the use of technologies such as cookie mapping that do not involve the use of personally identifiable information. 

	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.


	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.Using Your Information

	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:

	 Billing and reporting for our ad partners 
	 Auditing and fraud prevention 
	 Frequency capping to minimize the frequency in which you are presented a specific ad over time 
	 To improve our products and services 


	We use many different factors and types of collected information to select which advertisements to show you in the following ways: 

	 CONTEXTUAL ADVERTISING uses the content of the page you are currently visiting to select ads for that page. Examples of contextual advertising include a car ad appearing on an automotive site, a search ad appearing in response to a related search query, or an ad about a local restaurant that we select based on your current general location. 
	 ONLINE BEHAVIORAL ADVERTISING (OBA) is another type of ad targeting, in which we use data that we have collected over time from your visits across sites (as noted in the Collecting your Information section) to provide you with more relevant advertisements. Examples of OBA include a travel ad being shown on a general news site, because your cookie IDs were associated with a travel category based on your previous visits to a travel site. Another example might include an ad for sports tickets being shown to you on a gardening site, because your cookie IDs were associated with a sports fan category based on your previous Bing searches for football tickets.You can opt out of Online Behavioral Advertising by visiting Your privacy and Microsoft personalized ads.

	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: 

	 Allergy Researchers 
	 Cholesterol Researchers 
	 Cold and Flu Researchers 
	 Diabetes Researchers 
	 Headache / Migraine Researchers 
	 Healthy Eating Enthusiasts 
	 Healthy Heart Researchers 
	 Oral Health 
	 Osteoporosis Researchers 
	 Sleep Researchers 
	 Vision And Eye Care Researchers 

	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.Sharing Your Information

	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 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: 

	 Within Microsoft affiliates and subsidiaries 
	 As part of a merger or sale of a business 
	 With vendors and agents of Microsoft 
	 When required by law or to respond to legal process or lawful requests, including from law enforcement or other government agencies 
	 When required to combat fraud or protect our interests 
	 To protect life and safety 

Your Choices

	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 choose to influence the ads you see by selecting your interests in the Personal Data Dashboard. This requires you to sign in using your Microsoft account. The more interests you select, the more likely you will see ads over time reflecting your selections. 
	 You can opt-out of receiving personalized ads from Microsoft Advertising by visiting Your privacy and Microsoft personalized ads. When you opt-out, your selection will be stored in a cookie that is specific to the web browser you are using. The opt-out cookie has an expiration date of 5 years. If you delete the cookies on your computer, you will need to opt-out again.  
	 You can also link your opt-out choice with your Microsoft account. It will then apply on any computer or device where you use your Microsoft account, and will continue to apply until someone signs in with a different Microsoft account on that computer or device. This setting never expires. If you delete the cookies on your computer or device, you will need to sign in again for the settings to apply. 

	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.

	You can also choose to opt-out of receiving behaviorally targeted ads from Microsoft and other advertising companies by visiting the following sites: 

	 In the US: 

	 US Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) Consumer Choice Page
	 Network Advertising Initiative (NAI) Opt-Out Page

	 In Europe: 

	 Visit Your Online Choices Page

	 In Canada: 

	 English: Ad Choices: Digital Advertising Alliance of Canada (DAAC)
	 French: Choix de Pub: l’Alliance de la publicité numérique du Canada (DAAC)

	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,, 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. 


	 DECLINING COOKIES USING THE BROWSER: As described in the cookie section above, while most Web browsers automatically accept cookies, you can modify your browser setting to decline cookies. Declining cookies can prevent cookie-based behavioral ad targeting but may also disable any website functionality that is dependent on cookies. Similarly, most Web browsers allow you to delete cookies, but if you choose to delete cookies, any settings and preferences controlled by those cookies, including advertising preferences, will be deleted and may 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 web sites 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. Microsoft does not currently respond to the DNT signal but work is underway to enable that capability in the future. 

	Internet Explorer 9 and 10 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. And when you have a Tracking Protection List enabled, Internet Explorer will send a Do Not Track signal or preference to the web sites you visit. Additionally, in Internet Explorer 10 you may switch DNT “off” or “on” independently, if you’d like.  For more information, please see the Internet Explorer privacy statement.Other Important Privacy Information

	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.   


	 Industry Best Practices and Industry Commitments 
	 Sharing or Disclosing Personal Information 
	 Protecting the Security of Personal Information 
	 Where Information is Stored and Processed 
	 Changes to Our Privacy Statements   
	 How to Contact Us 


	Microsoft Advertising follows leading industry best practices in the markets where we operate.  Specifically, we follow the Network Advertising Initiative (NAI) Principles and the Self-Regulatory Principles of Online Behavioral Advertising and the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) Self-Regulatory Program for Online Behavioral Advertising. In Europe, we follow the IAB Europe Framework for Online Behavioral Advertising available here. Click here for more information on our Industry participation.



	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:

	 With other Microsoft controlled subsidiaries and affiliates. 
	 As part of a corporate transaction such as a merger or sale of assets. 
	 With vendors or agents.  Specifically, we may share it with companies we’ve hired to provide services on our behalf.  When we share information with these other companies to provide services for us, they are not allowed to use it for any other purpose and must keep it confidential. 

	We also may share or disclose personal information, including the content of your communications:

	 To comply with the law or respond to legal process or lawful requests, including from law enforcement and government agencies. 
	 To protect the rights or property of Microsoft or our customers, including enforcing the terms governing your use of the services. 
	 To act on a good faith belief that access or disclosure is necessary to protect the personal safety of Microsoft employees, customers or the public. 

	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.  


	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.


	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

	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, or provide feedback on Microsoft at

	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.  


	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.



	If you have a technical or general support question, please visit 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 Updated: 
October 2013

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