Last updated: February 2014 - Microsoft is committed to protecting your privacy. This privacy statement applies to the data collected by Microsoft through the Spectrum Observatory site (the "Site"); it does not apply to other online or offline Microsoft sites, products, or services.
Collection of Your Information
We will ask you when we need information that personally identifies you or allows us to contact you.
We may collect information about your visit to the Site. For example, we may use Web site analytics tools to retrieve information from your browser, including the site you came from, the search engine(s) and the keywords you used to find our Site, the pages you view within the Site, your browser add-ons, and your browser's width and height. Additionally, we collect certain standard information that your browser sends to every Web site you visit, such as your IP address, browser type and language, access times and referring Web site addresses.
In order to offer you a more consistent and personalized experience in your interactions with Microsoft, information collected through one Microsoft service may be combined with information obtained through other Microsoft services. We may also supplement the information we collect with information obtained from other companies. For example, we may use services from other companies that enable us to derive a general geographic area based on your IP address in order to customize certain services to your geographic area.
Use of Your Information
The information collected on this Site will be used to operate the Site and to provide the service(s) or carry out the transaction(s) you have requested or authorized. Information collected during a session may also be used to personalize your advertising experience during that session.
In support of these uses, Microsoft may use your information to provide you with more effective customer service, improve the Site and any related Microsoft products or services, perform statistical analysis, and make the Site easier to use by eliminating the need for you to repeatedly enter the same information or by customizing the Site to your particular preferences or interests.
We may use your information to provide you with important information about the product or service that you are using, including critical updates and notifications. Additionally, with your permission, we may send you information about other Microsoft products and services, and/or share your personal information with Microsoft partners so they may send you information about their products and services.
Microsoft occasionally hires other companies to provide limited services on our behalf, such as Web site hosting, packaging, mailing, and delivering prizes, answering customer questions about products and services, and sending information about our products, special offers, and other new services. We will only provide those companies the personal information they need to deliver the service. They are required to maintain the confidentiality of the information and are prohibited from using that information for any other purpose. We may access or disclose information about you, including the content of your communications, in order to: (a) comply with the law or respond to lawful requests or legal process; (b) protect the rights or property of Microsoft or our customers, including the enforcement of our agreements or policies governing your use of the services; or (c) act on a good faith belief that such access or disclosure is necessary to protect the personal safety of Microsoft employees, customers or the public. We may also disclose personal information as part of a corporate transaction such as a merger or sale of assets.
Information that is collected on the Site 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. 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.
Control of Your Information
Except as otherwise described in this statement, personal information you provide on the Site will not be shared outside of Microsoft and its controlled subsidiaries and affiliates without your permission.
Please be aware that this privacy statement and any choices you make on the Site will not necessarily apply to personal information you may have provided to Microsoft in the context of other, separately operated, Microsoft products or services.
Security of Your Information
At Microsoft, we take the security of your personal information very seriously. 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 servers with limited access that are located in controlled facilities. Additionally, if we transmit sensitive personal information (such as a credit card number) over the Internet, we protect it through the use of encryption, such as the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protocol.
Use of Web Beacons
Pages on this Site may contain electronic images known as Web beacons - sometimes called single-pixel gifs - that may be used to assist in delivering cookies, to allow us to count users who have visited those pages, and to deliver co-branded services. We may also include Web beacons in promotional e-mail messages or our newsletters in order to determine whether messages have been opened and acted upon.
Microsoft may also employ Web beacons from third parties in order to help us compile aggregated statistics and determine the effectiveness of our promotional campaigns or other operations of our sites. We prohibit Web beacons on our sites from being used by third parties to collect or access your personal information. We may work with other companies that advertise on our sites to place Web beacons on their sites in order to allow us to 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.
Display of Advertising
Many of the Web sites and online services we offer, as well as those of our partners, are supported by advertising. Through our ad delivery platform, we may display ads on our own sites and the sites of our advertising partners.
When we display online advertisements to you, we will place a persistent cookie on your computer in order to recognize your computer each time we display an ad to you. Because we may serve advertisements on many different Web sites, we are able to compile information over time about where you, or others who are using your computer, saw and/or clicked on the advertisements we display. We use this information to make predictions about your characteristics, interests, or preferences, and to display targeted advertisements that we believe may be of interest to you. We may also associate this information with your subsequent visit, purchase, or other activity on participating advertisers' Web sites in order to determine the effectiveness of the advertisements.
While we may use some of the information we collect in order to personalize the ads we show you, we designed our systems to select ads based only on data that does not personally and directly identify you. For example, we may select the ads we display according to certain general interest categories or segments that we have inferred based on (a) demographic or interest data, including any you may have provided when creating an account (e.g. age, zip or postal code, and gender), demographic or interest data acquired from other companies, and a general geographic location derived from your IP address; (b) the pages you view and links you click when using Microsoft’s and its advertising partners’ Web sites and services; and (c) the search terms you enter when using Microsoft’s Internet search services, such as Live Search.
As we serve ads, we take a number of steps designed to protect your privacy. For example, we store page views, clicks, and search terms used for ad personalization separately from your contact information or other data that directly identifies you (such as your name, e-mail address, etc.). Further, we have built in administrative, technical, and physical safeguards designed to prevent the unauthorized correlation of this data. We also give you the ability to opt-out of personalized ads. For more information or to use the opt-out feature, you may visit our opt-out page. We also provide third party ad delivery through our Atlas subsidiary, and you may read the Atlas privacy statement at http://atlassolutions.com/privacy-policy. Although the majority of the online advertisements on Microsoft sites are displayed by Microsoft, we also allow third-party ad-serving companies, including other ad networks, to display advertisements on our sites. These companies currently include, but are not limited to: 24/7 Real Media, Advertising.com, Bidclix, BlueStreak, Burst Media, DoubleClick, EuroClick, Eyeblaster, EyeWonder, Falk, Interpolls, Kanoodle, Mediaplex, Pointroll, TangoZebra, Yahoo! Publisher Network, and Zedo.
These companies may offer you a way to opt out of 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. Some of these companies are members of the Network Advertising Initiative, which offers a single location to opt out of ad targeting from member companies.
Changes to this Privacy Statement
We may occasionally update this privacy statement. When we do, we will also revise the "last updated" date at the top of the privacy statement. For material changes to this privacy statement, we will notify you either by placing a prominent notice on the home page of our Web site or by directly sending you a notification. We encourage you to periodically review this privacy statement to stay informed about how we are helping to protect the personal information we collect.
Microsoft 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 us.
Technology Policy Group
One Microsoft Way
Redmond, WA 98052-6399 USA