MSN Privacy Statement
(last updated: March, 2005)
Collection of your Personal InformationIn order to sign in to MSN services, you will be asked to enter an e-mail address and password, which we refer to as your MSN credentials. If you access our services via a mobile phone, your credentials will consist of your telephone number and a PIN. As part of creating your MSN credentials, you may also be requested to provide an alternate e-mail address, and questions and secret answers, which we use to verify your identity and assist in resetting your password. Some services may require added security, and in these cases, you may be asked to create an additional security key. Finally, a unique ID number will be assigned to your MSN credentials which will be used to identify your credentials and associated information. If you have an e-mail address that has been provided by MSN (e.g. those ending in msn.com, hotmail.com, or webtv.net) that e-mail address and the associated password are your MSN credentials. You may also use any other Microsoft Passport Network credentials to sign into most MSN services. At some MSN sites, Microsoft collects personal information, such as your e-mail address, name, home or work address or telephone number. We may also collect demographic information, such as your ZIP code, age, gender, preferences, interests and favorites. Information collected on MSN may be combined with information obtained from other Microsoft services and other companies. If you choose to sign up for a paid subscription service (such as MSN Internet Access or MSN Extra Storage), we will collect information, such as your credit card number and billing address, that is used to create a Microsoft billing account. Some MSN services, such as MSN Groups, request that you create a social nickname, which is the name you will be known by to others in those public places. You may select a different social nickname at any time. You can also choose to create an optional public profile, containing information about yourself - such as your hobbies and interests. Any information you choose to enter in your public profile will be visible to other users of Microsoft sites and services; and when you interact with other users (for example, sending an MSN Hotmail message to another MSN e-mail account), a link to your public profile may be displayed. Please keep in mind that if you disclose personal information through MSN Groups, or other public online forums, this information may be collected and used by others. We caution you against providing personal information to strangers online, which they may use for illegal or harmful purposes. We may collect information about your visit, including the pages you view, the links you click and other actions taken in connection with MSN sites and services. We also collect certain standard information that your browser sends to every website you visit, such as your IP address, browser type and language, access times and referring Web site addresses. Some MSN services may be co-branded and offered in conjunction with another company. If you register for or use such services, both Microsoft and the other company may receive information collected in conjunction with the co-branded services.
Use of your Personal InformationMicrosoft collects and uses your personal information to operate MSN and deliver the services you have requested. These services may include the display of customized content and advertising based upon the information we have collected. In order to provide services in conjunction with other Microsoft products or services, personal information collected on MSN may be accessed and used by other Microsoft services as necessary to provide such services. Any use of such information within Microsoft will remain subject to the limitations of this privacy statement. We also use your personal information to communicate with you. We may send certain mandatory service communications such as welcome letters, billing reminders, information on technical service issues, and security announcements. Some MSN services, including MSN Internet Access and MSN Hotmail, may send periodic member letters that are considered part of the service. We may also occasionally send you product surveys or promotional mailings to inform you of other products or services available from Microsoft and its affiliates. Microsoft does not sell, rent or lease its MSN customer lists to third parties. We may, from time to time, contact you on behalf of external business partners about a particular offering that may be of interest to you. In those cases, your personal information (e-mail, name, address, telephone number) is not transferred to the third party. We do not use or disclose sensitive personal information, such as race, religion, or political affiliations, without your explicit consent. We occasionally hire other companies to provide limited services on our behalf, such as handling the processing and delivery of mailings, providing customer support, processing transactions, or performing statistical analysis of our services. We will only provide those companies the personal information they need to deliver the service. They are required to maintain the confidentiality of your information and are prohibited from using that information for any other purpose. Microsoft may access and/or disclose your personal information if required to do so by law or in the good faith belief that such action is necessary to: (a) conform to the edicts of the law or comply with legal process served on Microsoft or the site; (b) protect and defend the rights or property of Microsoft, including its MSN family of Web sites; or (c) act in urgent circumstances to protect the personal safety of users of MSN services or members of the public. Personal information collected on this site may be stored and processed in the United States or any other country in which Microsoft or its affiliates, subsidiaries or agents maintain facilities, and by using this site, you consent to any such transfer of information outside of your country. 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.
Using Your MSN Credentials at Sites on the Passport NetworkYour MSN credentials (e-mail address and password) are part of the Microsoft Passport Network, which means you can also use your MSN credentials to sign into sites and services outside of MSN that are part of the Passport Network. When you use your MSN credentials to sign into a site on the Passport Network, that sign-in will be temporarily logged for the purpose of ensuring the efficiency and security of the Passport Network. This information in the logs is identified only by your account's unique ID number, and it is not linked with personal information unless you call to request assistance. Certain information will be shared with sites and services that you choose to sign-in to on the Passport Network. The unique ID number associated with your MSN credential is shared with the site or service when you sign-in, so it can determine whether you are the same person from one sign-in session to the next. The following "operational" information will be shared with sites when you sign in: the version number assigned to your account (a new number is assigned each time you change your sign-in information); whether your e-mail address has been confirmed; and whether your account has been deactivated. Additionally, certain sites and services on the Passport Network require your e-mail address in order to provide you with their services. In those cases, your e-mail address will be provided when you sign in to those services. Your password is not shared as part of sign-in, however, the site where you created your credentials may have limited access to credential information in order to help you reset your password or provide other support services. Please note that sites and services on the Passport Network can use or share your e-mail address or other personal information that you provide to them as described in their privacy statements. However they can only share your unique ID number with third parties in order to fulfill a service or transaction you may have requested. All sites or services on the Passport Network are required to have a posted privacy statement, but we do not control or monitor the privacy practices of sites on the Passport Network, and the privacy practices of those sites 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.More information about the Microsoft Passport Network is available at http://www.passport.net.
Control of your Personal InformationWe offer you choices for the collection, use and sharing of your personal information. You may go to the MSN Communications Preferences page to make choices about the use of your personal information. You may choose not to receive marketing material from MSN or on behalf of external third party business partners. You may also stop the delivery of future promotional e-mail from MSN by following the specific instructions in the e-mail you receive. You may subscribe and unsubscribe to MSN Newsletters by going to newsletters.msn.com. In addition, each MSN newsletter you receive will have instructions on how to unsubscribe prominently mentioned in it. These communications choices do not apply to mandatory service communications that are considered part of certain MSN services, which you may receive periodically unless you cancel the service. You may have the ability to view or edit your personal information
- If you wish to update your MSN profile information, change your password, view the unique ID associated with your credentials, or close certain MSN accounts, please visit MSN Account Services at http://accountservices.msn.com.
- If you have a billing account you can add to or update the information through the Account Update area located at https://billing.microsoft.com.
- If you have created a public profile on MSN, you may also edit or delete information in your public profile by going to http://members.msn.com/edit.msnw.
- If you buy MSN Keyword advertising, you can review and edit your personal information at http://adcenter.msn.com/.
Security of your Personal InformationMicrosoft 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 with limited access, which are located 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.
Collection and Use of Children's Personal InformationMSN offers a special MSN Kids area that is specifically designed for children at http://kids.msn.com/. MSN Kids has a special privacy statement that informs children and parents about the MSN Kids area, describes the additional privacy protections provided in this area, and provides children with tips on how to protect themselves online. The rest of MSN is intended for users of all ages. Children may visit these general audience areas of MSN and provide personal information, which will be collected, used and disclosed as described is this Privacy Statement. When we collect age information and users identify themselves as under 13, we will obtain consent from parents for the collection, use and sharing of their children's personal information on MSN as described in this Privacy Statement. If we change this MSN Privacy Statement in a way that expands the collection, use or disclosure of children's personal information to which a parent has previously consented, the parent will be notified and we will be required to obtain the parent's additional consent. Parents can change or revoke the consent choices previously made, and review, edit or request the deletion of their children's personal information, by visiting Account Services, and clicking on “Permission for kids.” Please note that if you grant consent for your child to use MSN services, this will include such general audience communication services as MSN Groups, MSN Messenger, and MSN Hotmail, and your child will be able to communicate with, and disclose personal information to, other users of all ages. We encourage you to talk with your children about communicating with strangers and disclosing personal information online. You and your child can visit MSN's Stay Safe Online site for additional information about using the Internet safely. If you have an MSN Premium, or MSN Plus account, you can choose to set up MSN Parental Controls for the other users of that account. Further information is included below.
Use of Web BeaconsMSN Web pages may contain electronic images known as Web beacons - sometimes called single-pixel gifs - that allow MSN to count users who have visited those pages and to deliver co-branded services. MSN may include Web beacons in promotional e-mail messages or MSN Newsletters in order to determine whether messages have been opened and acted upon. MSN may also place Web beacons from third parties on our site in order to compile aggregated statistics and to help determine the effectiveness of our joint promotional or advertising campaigns. MSN prohibits Web beacons on our site from being used by third parties to access your personal information. Finally, MSN may work with other companies that advertise on MSN to place Web beacons on their sites in order to allow us to develop statistics on how often clicking on an advertisement on MSN results in a purchase or other action on the advertiser’s site.
Use of Third Party Ad NetworksThe majority of the online banner advertisements you see on MSN Web pages are displayed by MSN. However, MSN allows other companies, called third-party ad servers or ad networks, to display advertisements on MSN Web pages. Some of these ad networks may place a persistent cookie on your computer in order to recognize your computer each time they send you an online advertisement. In this way, ad networks may compile information about where you, or others who are using your computer, saw their advertisements and determine which ads are clicked on. This information allows an ad network to deliver targeted advertisements that they believe will be of most interest to you. Microsoft does not have access to the cookies that may be placed by the third-party ad servers or ad networks. MSN maintains relationships with a number of the third-party ad networks currently operating such as: Ad4Ever; AdCentric Online; Ad Dynamix; AdSolution; Avenue A; BlueStreak; BridgeTrack; DoubleClick; efluxa; Enliven; Flycast; i33; ediaplex; PlanetActive; Pointroll; Profero; Qksrv; RealMedia; RedAgency; TangoZebra; TargetGraph; TrackStar; Travelworm; Unicast. Those ad networks that use persistent cookies may offer you a way to opt out of ad targeting. You may find more information at the Web site of either the individual ad network or the Network Advertising Initiative.
Controlling “Spam” or Unsolicited E-mailMicrosoft is concerned about controlling unsolicited commercial e-mail, or "spam." Microsoft has a strict policy prohibiting the use of a Hotmail or other MSN e-mail account to send spam. To read more about this policy, go to http://privacy.msn.com/en-ie/default.aspx/Anti-spam/. Microsoft will not sell, lease or rent its e-mail subscriber lists to third parties. While Microsoft continues to actively review and implement new technology, such as expanded filtering features, there is no currently available technology that will totally prevent the sending and receiving of unsolicited e-mail. Using tools such as the Inbox Protector and being cautious about the sharing of your e-mail address while online will help reduce the amount of unsolicited e-mail you receive. For more information on how to best use Hotmail's tools, please select “help” from within Hotmail or contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
TRUSTe CertificationMicrosoft is a member of the TRUSTe Privacy Program. TRUSTe is an independent, non-profit organization whose mission is to build trust and confidence in the Internet by promoting the use of fair information practices. Because we want to demonstrate our commitment to your privacy, we have agreed to disclose our information practices and have our privacy practices reviewed for compliance by TRUSTe. The TRUSTe program covers only information that is collected through this Web site, and does not cover information that may be collected through software downloaded from the site.
Enforcement of this Privacy StatementIf you have questions regarding this statement, you should first contact MSN Privacy by clicking here. If you do not receive acknowledgement of your inquiry or your inquiry has not been satisfactorily addressed, you should then contact TRUSTe at www.truste.org/consumers/watchdog_complaint.php. TRUSTe will serve as a liaison with Microsoft to resolve your concerns.
Changes to this StatementWe will occasionally update this Privacy Statement to reflect changes in our services and customer feedback. When we posts changes to this Statement, you will see the word "updated" next to the MSN Privacy Statement link on the front page of MSN. If there are material changes to this Statement or in how Microsoft will use your personal information, we will prominently post such changes prior to implementing the change. We encourage you to periodically review this Statement to be informed of how Microsoft is protecting your information.
Contact InformationMicrosoft welcomes your comments regarding this Privacy Statement. If you have questions about this Statement or believe that we have not adhered to it, please contact MSN Privacy by using our Web form. MSN Privacy
One Microsoft Way
Redmond, Washington 98052
Click here to send e-mail. Top
Supplementary Information for Particular MSN Sites and ServicesPlease click in the links below to view additional information about particular MSN sites and services. Please note that this additional information is intended to supplement and be read in conjunction with the general provisions of the MSN Privacy Statement above.
|MSN Premium/ MSN Plus/MSN 9 Dial-Up||MSN Search and Toolbar||MSN Messenger|
|MSN Mobile||MSN Money||MSN Direct|
|MSN Personal Domains||MSN Games|
MSN Premium/ MSN Plus/ MSN 9 Dial-UpThrough MSN registration, you will create MSN credentials (e-mail address and password) for each user, which will be used for signing into the service. When you sign into MSN Premium/ MSN Plus or MSN 9 Dial-Up, you will also be signed into to MSN sites you visit or services you use. MSN will automatically check the version of MSN Premium/ MSN Plus or MSN Dial-Up and components you are using (including your browser version) every time you sign into the service in order to optimize performance. MSN may also provide upgrades to such software that will be automatically installed on your computer. MSN Parental Controls
MSN Premium/ MSN Plus and MSN 9 Dial-Up account managers can choose to set up MSN Parental Controls for the people who use that account. The account manager is the person who subscribes to MSN. Because it is typically a parent or guardian enabling this feature for a child, the terms "parent" and "child" will be used to describe this feature. E-mail notification: When a parent configures Parental Controls for a child, the child will receive an e-mail message describing the service and notifying him or her that Parental Controls have been set for the account. Online activity report: Parents can choose to enable online reporting for a child who has Parental Controls set for his or her account. If this feature is enabled, information about how a child uses the Internet will be stored temporarily on the child's computer. This information is periodically sent to the parent by e-mail from the child's account and is then deleted from the child's computer. Contact lists: Parents may also choose to control the list of people that a child can correspond with using MSN Mail or MSN Messenger. The list of contacts specified for the child is stored on MSN servers so that the child will be protected whenever and wherever he or she uses MSN Mail or Messenger. The list of contacts can be edited by the parent or can be deleted by deleting the child's account. Task requests: A child may request permission to complete a task that a parent has blocked. For example, the child can request access to a blocked Web site or for the ability to exchange e-mail messages with a new friend. MSN stores this automated request for a brief period, allowing the parent to review, allow, or deny the request from any computer using MSN Premium/ MSN Plus or MSN 9 Dial-Up.
MSN Customer Experience Improvement Program
The MSN Customer Experience Improvement Program is an optional service in which you can choose to participate. If you choose to participate, you allow Microsoft to collect anonymous information about how you use Microsoft software and services, as well as some information about your computer. MSN performs this service to help us identify trends and usage patterns and improve Microsoft software and services. The Customer Experience Improvement Program can be turned on or off at any time in MSN Premium/ MSN Plus Software on the Privacy settings page. This trend and usage information includes anonymous information about how you use the software. For example, this may include whether you clicked on a particular button or menu item, how many e-mail messages you sent with pictures, or whether the dashboard is turned on or off. Please note your decision to participate in the Customer Experience Improvement Program does not affect the collection of anonymous performance information about the MSN software and service that Microsoft collects as an essential part of providing you and all MSN customers a reliable, quality service. This performance information may include, for example, how many times you attempt to sign in or how long it takes on average to open the home page. All of this information is anonymous and does not include any personal information Critical Performance Errors
You may occasionally see a message informing you of a critical performance error in MSN Premium/ MSN Plus. This message will ask you to send data to MSN. If you agree, MSN Software will automatically collect and send the data needed to help MSN determine what caused the error. Before you choose to send your data to MSN, you have the opportunity to review that data. If you choose to send the data, in some cases your personal information may also be sent to MSN. This personal information is deleted before Microsoft reviews the error data you send. Import Wizard
MSN Premium/ MSN Plus offers you the chance to import some information from your computer such as your Favorites from Internet Explorer, your e-mail messages from Outlook Express and your Address Book from Outlook Express, for use in MSN. This data is imported only at your request and for the sole purpose of giving you access to it from MSN.
MSN Premium/ MSN Plus give you access to some of your MSN settings and information even when you sign in to MSN on different computers ("roaming").
- Address Book and Calendar: When you input calendar and address book data into MSN Premium/ MSN Plus, this information will be stored by the MSN Address Book and Calendar service to enable roaming and your ability to share your calendar data with other users. See below for more information on this service.
- Favorites: MSN Plus/ MSN premium collect and store your favorite Web page addresses (URLs) in your Favorites list. Your Favorites list is available to you anywhere you sign in to MSN account.
- Sign-in picture: Your sign-in picture will show anywhere you sign in to your MSN account. If you communicate using MSN Messenger, people on your contact list who are also running MSN Premium/ MSN Plus will be able to see your sign-in picture when you are online.
- Parental Controls: MSN stores parental control settings so that they will be enforced anywhere a child signs in to MSN Premium; MSN Plus, even if the child uses a different computer.
MSN Search and ToolbarEach time you use MSN Search, including the MSN Toolbar, cookies may be placed on your machine and MSN may collect your Internet IP address, the time and date of your search terms, and your browser configuration. MSN may use this information to customize your search results. If you choose the “Near Me” Search feature, MSN will attempt to derive your approximate location based on your IP address, and will use that information to display search results tailored to your geographic location. You can change your default location by clicking on the “Settings” link on the search page, and your location, along with other search settings, will be stored in a cookie on your machine. While you have MSN Toolbar installed, please note that new versions of the MSN Toolbar will automatically be installed on your computer. This keeps your Toolbar up-to-date and lets you take advantage of new features as soon as they are available. If you choose to install and use Desktop Search, you can search for e-mail, documents and other files located on your computer directly from the Toolbar. No information about the files on your computer will be sent to Microsoft as part of this process. Instead, Desktop Search will index the content of you computer and store the index file on your computer. You can customize Desktop Search to index only specified folders on your computer. Desktop search will not store copies of e-mail or documents after they are deleted. The MSN Toolbar also includes an optional feature that can automatically fill out forms on Web sites with information such as your address, passwords, and credit card information so that you do not have to repeatedly type the same information or remember multiple passwords. This information is encrypted and saved on your computer; it is not sent to Microsoft. The Toolbar will prompt you to create a single “form fill password.” You must enter the form fill password every time you wish to automatically enter a stored credit card number and the first time each browser session you wish to automatically enter a stored password. Toolbar users will be given a choice to participate in CEIP, Microsoft's Customer Experience Improvement Program. If you participate, the MSN Toolbar may track how you use the toolbar, the websites you visit, and your actions while reviewing MSN Search results, all on an anonymous basis. Such actions may include which results are visited and how much time is spent on a particular search results page. None of this activity is traced back to you personally, even if you are signed into your Passport, and is used solely to improve the MSN Search experience for all MSN users. Top
MSN Calendar and Address BookThe MSN Calendar and Address Book stores contact information you enter there about yourself and others including calendar appointments, e-mail address, first and last name, nickname, home address, work address, phone number, and birthdate. You may view, edit, and share that information with your friends and acquaintances. There are two ways your calendar data may be viewed by others: For 1-to-1 calendar sharing, with side by side appointment views, both you and your friend must be a subscriber to an MSN service.In this case, your calendar is shared only with specific contacts, those contacts must authenticate with a Microsoft Passport and you must give permission to those contacts to view your calendar. For public calendar access, any person with access to the Internet may view your calendar if you decide to "publish" your calendar to msn.com/calendar. Top
MSN MessengerWhen you sign up for the .NET Messenger Service ("Service") through the MSN Messenger software, MSN requests your Passport Member Name (e-mail address), a "friendly" name that you choose, a phone number (optional), and the list of "contacts" with whom you can send and receive instant messages and similar information about those "contacts." Your list of "contacts" and their information may also be available to you from other MSN services. Only authorized MSN customer service representatives may access this information, upon your request, to assist you in using the Service. Go to Tools Options in MSN Messenger to change your friendly name, phone number, or any other information. MSN Messenger offers an optional service, called the Customer Experience Improvement Program, designed to help improve the technical quality of Microsoft products and services. If you choose to participate, you allow us to collect anonymous information about how you use our software and services, as well as some information about your computer. All of this information is anonymous and does not include any personal information. For example, this program collects information about the performance of the Service, the time it takes you to sign-in, error messages that you might encounter as you use the Service, whether each message reaches the recipient, and what type of Internet connection you use. Your participation in the Customer Experience Improvement Program is completely voluntary. To join:
- Click the Tools menu on the MSN Messenger main window.
- Click Options, and then click the General tab.
- Select the check box labeled "Allow Microsoft to collect anonymous information."
MSN MobileWhen you sign up for MSN Mobile for your mobile phone or pager, MSN requests your Passport Member Name, time zone, mobile e-mail address (usually email@example.com), carrier name, post code, your phone or pager member ID, your phone or pager's gateway server name, and your mobile alert preferences. MSN uses this information to operate the MSN Mobile service and provide customer support to users when they need help. If you signed up for MSN Mobile at a co-branded site, your carrier will also have your personal information. You may visit the mobile.msn.com website at any time to edit or change your personal information. Top
As part of providing MSN Money customers with a central location for managing personal finances, MSN may request that you furnish personal information such as your e-mail address, name and physical address along with financial data such as account balances, account numbers, credit card balances, and stock and bond portfolio information. MSN uses this information to provide you with online bill-paying services, portfolio tracking, and other requested financial services.Top
MSN Personal Domains
To fulfill your domain name request, MSN uses several accredited Registrars to register your selected domain name(s). We ask you to supply registrant and administrative contact information such as name, address, telephone number, and e-mail address. To view or modify this data, go to http://domains.msn.com/settings, and sign in as the primary account holder. Then click on the "Domain Information" link.
As required by the Internet's governing organization (ICANN), the Registrar used to register your domain name will make this contact information available in a public registry. To review the data in this registry, you can visit http://www.geektools.com/whois.php.Top
The MSN Direct is a specialized wireless service that delivers personalized information through the FM subcarrier radio network to enabled watches. All information sent over the network is encrypted for security and each watch has a unique ID to ensure that only your watch can display the content intended specifically for you - such as your calendar or messages.
Watches with MSN Direct are one-way information receiving devices. They do not broadcast any information, such as your location, that could be received by MSN or others. There are, however, two ways in which MSN Direct may collect information about your general location.
When you sign up for the service on the MSN Direct website, we will collect an activation code that will be displayed on your watch. This code will identify the radio tower from which your watch is receiving a signal. This information indicates which metropolitan area you were in at time of sign-up.
You can also provide, at the MSN Direct website, information about where you live and where you commute. This location data allows us to send you relevant information for your locale, such as traffic updates. In addition, you can also provide your travel locations so that personalized information can be temporarily re-routed to broadcast towers near you when you are away from home.Top