Microsoft Privacy and Ads

To start with this article we will explain you how and why data is collected and used. The purpose of it is to make sure that you have the information you need to make the choices across Microsoft products and services.

Below you will find Microsoft six key privacy principles:

  • Control: You will have the control of your privacy with easy-to-use tools.
  • Transparency: they are committed to be transparent about data collection and use, it allows you to make informed decisions.
  • Security: they will protect you data through strong security and encryption.
  • Strong legal protections: by respecting your local privacy laws.
  • No content-based targeting: they will not use your email, chat, files or other personal content to target ads to you.
  • Benefits to you: once your data is collected, they will use it to benefit you and to improve your experiences.

So, which is the Microsoft’s approach to privacy? They follow these principles and will continue to shape the way they build their products and services. If you are from an enterprise or business customers, you should check out the Microsoft Trust Center, there you will find out how they protect your data in the Microsoft Cloud.

In the following sections you will find controls that you can do and information so you can make the right decisions. Microsoft is constantly working to improve, they ask you to contact them if you find something in their products and services that doesn’t work.

What kinds of data does Microsoft collect?

Microsoft collects data to help you do more. It means that the data they collect to operate and improve our software, services, and devices makes it possible to provide you with personalized experiences. Some categories of data collected:

  • Web browsing and online searches: by using your and others people search history. So to speed up web browsing, Microsoft web browsers usually use browsing history to predict where you want to go.
  • In your Windows privacy settings, you can choose whether your browsing history is collected via the Feedback and Diagnostics Setting.
  • Places you go: Microsoft use the locations you provide or the ones detected using technologies like GPS or IP addresses, it helps them to give you directions to the places you want to go or show you relevant information to where you are.
    Detecting location can also help in your protection. An example could be the mail that you receive if you usually sign in from EEUU and you suddenly so it from London, they check that it’s really you.
    To turn on or off location services go to Settings > Privacy > Location.
  • Data that helps us assist you: it helps you to avoid traffic, to remember anniversaries, what’s on your calendar, etc. When you are far away from the keyboard, you can use your speech and handwriting patterns to help translate what you say or write into documents and text messages.

Data Microsoft uses to show more interesting ads

As we all know, some of Microsoft’s services are supported by advertising. So to make advertising more interesting for you Microsoft use data like your location, Bing web searches, Microsoft or advertiser web pages you view, demographics, and things you’ve liked.

Here we want to clarify that Microsoft do not use what you say in email, chat, video calls or voice mail, or your documents, photos or other personal files to target ads to you.

You can also use advertising controls online, this way you will still see ads but they may not be interesting to you. So let’s find out how do use these controls:

  • On Windows 10 devices, select Start > Settings > Privacy , then you can choose if you want to let apps use advertising ID to make ads more interesting to you based on your app activity.
  • On Windows 8.1 devices, select Settings > Change PC Settings > Privacy. After this you can turn off the setting Let apps use my advertising ID for experiences across apps.
  • On Windows Mobile devices, go to Settings > Privacy > Advertising ID, and then turn off the setting for Let apps use my advertising ID for experiences across apps.

Microsoft shows personalized ads in so that customers can more easily find products and services they have expressed an interest in. It also helps advertisers to more easily reach customers who have already expressed an interest in their products.

Finally, your online activity helps Microsoft show you ads that might be more interesting to you. Anyway, you can turn off this setting even if the browser will show you ads that might not be relevant for you.

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