Privacy Statement for the 2007 Microsoft Office system

Last updated: February 2007. View the privacy statement highlights

In order to understand the data collection and use practices relevant for a particular Office program or service, you should read both this Privacy Statement for the 2007 Microsoft Office system and any applicable supplement.

General

At Microsoft, we're working hard to protect your privacy, while delivering products that bring you the performance, power, and convenience that you want in your personal computing. This privacy statement explains many of the data collection and use practices of the 2007 Microsoft Office system. Please read the information below and also any supplemental information listed to the right for additional details about particular 2007 Office release programs and services that you may use. This is not intended to be an exhaustive list. It does not apply to other online or offline Microsoft sites, products, or services.

As with all Microsoft Office System products, the 2007 Office release is designed to allow you to quickly assemble, display, and share your data with other people. Microsoft is committed to helping protect the privacy of your data and helping ensure that you have full control over how your data is used and distributed.

Except as otherwise described in this statement, personal information that you save in the 2007 Office release is not sent to Microsoft, and information that is sent to Microsoft is not shared outside of Microsoft and its controlled subsidiaries and affiliates without your permission.

Supplements

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Collection and Use of Your Personal Information

When we need information that personally identifies you or allows us to contact you, we will explicitly ask you for it. The personal information that we collect from you will be used by Microsoft and its controlled subsidiaries and affiliates to provide the service(s) or carry out the transaction(s) that you requested or authorized, and may also be used to request additional information on feedback that you provide about the product or service that you are using; to provide critical updates and notifications regarding the software; to improve the product or service, for example, bug and survey form inquiries, or to provide you with advance notice of events or to tell you about new product releases.

Some personal information you enter may be included in the 2007 Office release documents in the form of metadata. This metadata is used by Office programs to help you collaborate with others on your documents. Instructions for removing metadata from your documents can be found in the supplementary information about specific Office programs.

Except as described in this statement, personal information you provide will not be transferred to third parties without your consent. We occasionally hire other companies to provide limited services on our behalf, such as handling the processing and delivery of mailings or providing customer support. We will only provide those companies with the personal information they need to deliver the service. They are required to maintain the confidentiality of that information and are prohibited from using that information for any other purpose.

Personal information that is collected by Microsoft as part of providing you with these features may be stored and processed in the United States or any other country/region in which Microsoft or its affiliates, subsidiaries, or agents maintain facilities. By using this program, you consent to any such transfer of information outside 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.

Microsoft may access and/or disclose 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 and its family of Websites; or (c) act in urgent circumstances to protect the personal safety of Microsoft employees, users of Microsoft products or services, or members of the public.

Collection and Use of Information About Your Computer

The 2007 Office release includes several features that access the Internet to provide you with additional information or the ability to share data with other people. These features are available any time you have an active connection to the Internet. Each of these features will be explained in more detail later in this statement.

Any time the 2007 Office release contacts a Microsoft server, your IP address is sent along with the request. Your language, operating system version, browser information, Office client version, and country/region preference may also be included with the request ("standard computer information"). We collect this information help provide you with the services that you requested.

After the 2007 Office release has been installed, future Internet requests from that computer may contain information that includes the name of your software product and the version number. This information is used by Web sites to give you materials that are compatible with the 2007 Office release. This information does not contain personally identifiable information.

From time to time, Microsoft may change some of the Web addresses (URLs) of the Web services that it provides. To ensure uninterrupted service, Microsoft may download a file to your system containing the new Web addresses that the 2007 Office release needs to access to allow you to use Web services.

When you first select a feature that requires the software to connect to a Web service, the software will send a request to download an XML file, along with the name of your program, the locale and language you have selected, and the version of the program that you have. Based on that information, Microsoft will send to your client an XML file that contains a list of URLs for the Microsoft Office Web services.

Cookies

Some 2007 Office release features use cookies. The features that do so are described in detail later in the statement.

A cookie is a small text file that is placed on your hard disk by a Web server. Microsoft does not use cookies to run programs on your computer. Cookies are uniquely assigned to you and can only be read by a Web server in the domain that issued the cookie to you.

One of the primary purposes of cookies is to provide a convenience feature to save you time. For example, a cookie used by the 2007 Office release helps Office to remember Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services sites that you have previously visited. This simplifies the process of finding the site again and delivering relevant content.

Whenever the 2007 Office release contacts a Microsoft server, it can potentially save or access cookies. These cookies include a flag to indicate whether you have any Microsoft Office System products installed on your system and the language and locale that you have selected for your Internet preferences, which may be separate from the language and locale that you have selected for your programs. We also use cookies to assist in collecting information about which pages our customers visit within Microsoft Office Online. This site visitation data is identified only by a unique ID number, and it is never linked with personal information unless you consent as described elsewhere in the privacy statement.

You have the ability to accept or decline cookies by changing your Internet options in Windows Internet Explorer. (In Internet Explorer, on the Tools menu, click Internet Options, and then click the Privacy tab.) Microsoft Office will abide by the privacy settings you select in Internet Explorer and will not download cookies if you have chosen not to allow cookies to be downloaded. Those features, described later in this statement, that use cookies may not work correctly with this setting in place. Cookies previously saved to your hard disk may still be read by the 2007 Office release unless you use the Internet options in Internet Explorer to remove previously saved cookies.

Microsoft Office Activation

Activation is aimed at reducing software piracy as well as helping to ensure that Microsoft customers are receiving the software quality that they expect. Activation means that a specific Product Key becomes associated with the hardware it is installed on. The Microsoft Software License Terms for the 2007 Office release state that the number of times your Product Key can be used for activation. Once you have used the Product Key for the specified number of times on the same or different computers, that Product Key can no longer be used for activation on other computers. Activation does not require any personal information.

Activation is mandatory. After the grace period expires, you must activate the software to be able to continue using it.

During activation, the product ID, information about the manufacturer of your hardware, and a non-unique hardware identification are sent to Microsoft. The product ID is generated from the Product Key used to install the software and a generic code representing the version and language of Office being activated. The non-unique hardware identification represents the configuration of your PC at the time of activation. The hardware identification does not include any personal information or any information about other software or data that may be on your PC. It cannot be used to determine the specific make or model of your PC. The hardware identification is used solely for the purpose of activation. Your copy of Office can detect and accept changes to your PC configuration. Minor upgrades do not require re-activation. If you uninstall the 2007 Office release, you may be required to activate your product again.

None of the information collected will be used to personally identify you and none of this information is shared with partners outside Microsoft. The information is used only to confirm that you have a licensed copy of the software.

For more information about Activation, see Activate Microsoft Office programs.

Microsoft Office Activation Assistant

The Microsoft Office Activation Assistant allows you to retrieve a trial key that lets you try available 2007 Office release programs for 60 days. After 60 days you can choose to activate Office with a purchased product key, or obtain additional information on other purchasing options by clicking the Activate and or Buy Microsoft Office tab in the Office Activation Assistant. You need to be connected to the Internet to retrieve the trial key. In the Office Activation Assistant, when you click the Click here to request your trial activation key online link, a transaction ID, IP address, and your browser's regional and language settings will be sent to a third-party service. The service will automatically display a trial key in the Office Activation Assistant. Once you receive the trial key you can click the Recommended button in the Office Activation Assistant to have a copy of your trial key sent to you by e-mail for your records, get free Microsoft Office tips and tricks, and access free online training and assistance. After receiving the trial key, you can click the Now, click here to launch Microsoft Office and enter your trial key shortcut to Microsoft Office and complete the setup and activation process to start using the trial version of Microsoft Office. For more information, visit the 2007 Microsoft Office system PC trial site.

Search for Help

When you are connected to the Internet, if you choose to search Help, templates, clip art, media, or shapes for a particular word or phrase, the 2007 Office release can use that word or phrase to search Microsoft Office Online. This allows you to have access to a large and dynamic set of content, including the very latest revisions of that content. If Microsoft Office Online Help is enabled, certain features such as templates will automatically download the latest Help information relevant to the feature.

When you choose to search for a phrase, the 2007 Office release will send that phrase to Microsoft Office Online, along with other information, such as the program currently in use, what part of the software you were using when you asked the question, and the search scope that you have requested. If you are using a document template, the 2007 Office release will also send the ID for that template, which uniquely identifies the template but not your individual document. Microsoft uses this information to return the records that you have requested. We also use this information to help improve our products.

If you want to enable or disable online Help, see the following: Get Help, templates, and additional online content in the Help window.

Windows Live ID Authentication

Some features of the 2007 Office release may require Windows Live ID to provide sign-in and registration services. To sign in by using Windows Live ID, you will be asked to type your e-mail address and a password. This same Passport sign-in allows you to access many other Passport-participating sites and services. If you create a Passport at this site, you are simultaneously registering with the 2007 Office release and opening a Windows Live ID account. All of the registration information that you provide will be stored by the Microsoft Office online service, and some or all of that information also will be stored by Windows Live ID in your Windows Live ID profile. To learn more about the Windows Live ID service, the information stored in the Windows Live ID profile, and how Windows Live ID uses and helps to protect your personal information, read the Windows Live ID privacy statement.

Customer Experience Improvement Program

You have the option of joining our Customer Experience Improvement Program to improve the quality, reliability, and performance of Microsoft software and services.

If you join, Microsoft will collect anonymous information about your hardware configuration and how you use our software and services to identify trends and usage patterns. The feature does not collect your name, address, or any other contact information.

For more information and a complete privacy statement for the Customer Experience Improvement Program, visit the Customer Experience Improvement Program Web site. To participate in the Customer Experience Improvement Program, see the following: Participate in the Customer Experience Improvement Program.

Help Improve Proofing Tools

The Help Improve Proofing Tools feature collects data about your use of the Proofing Tools and sends it to Microsoft. If you choose to participate through the Customer Experience Improvement Program, then your proofing actions, such as additions to the custom dictionary, will be stored on your computer and sent to Microsoft three times in the first six months after you install 2007 Office release. After about 6 months the feature stops sending data to Microsoft and deletes the data collection file containing your proofing actions from your computer.

Although this feature does not intentionally collect personal information, some of the content that may be sent may include items that were marked as spelling or grammar errors, such as proper names and account numbers. However any numbers such as account numbers, street addresses, and phone numbers are converted to zeroes when the data is collected. Microsoft uses this information solely to improve our products, not to identify users. If you are concerned that a report may contain personal or confidential information, do not send the report.

Before any data is sent to Microsoft, a dialog box will appear to ask your permission. At that time, you can delete some or all of the entries before the information is sent. You may also choose not to send any data to Microsoft.

Office Diagnostics

You have the option of periodically downloading a small file to your computer that enables Microsoft to provide you with help if you are receiving an usually high number of error messages. When available, new Help information about the error messages will also be automatically downloaded. This feature does not collect your name, address, or any other contact information except the IP address used to send you the file. To enable or disable Office Diagnostics, see the following: Diagnose and repair crashing Office programs by using Office Diagnostics.

Microsoft Error Reporting

The Microsoft Error Reporting tool allows users to report error messages to Microsoft by using the Internet. When an error messages appears, users with an Internet connection can immediately report the message to Microsoft. If the error report indicates that one or more third-party products were involved in causing the problem, Microsoft may send the report to those third parties. Software or hardware developers employed by Microsoft or one of its partners will analyze the fault data and try to identify and correct the problem. Although the tool does not intentionally collect personally identifiable information, it is possible that such information may be captured in memory or in the data collected from open files. Microsoft will not use this information to identify users. For more information about the Microsoft Error Reporting tool, including a full privacy statement, see the Microsoft Error Reporting Privacy Statement.

Microsoft Update

The Microsoft Update Service allows you to receive security and important updates for Microsoft Windows and other Microsoft products, including the 2007 Office release. To learn how you can sign up to get updates from Microsoft Update, see Keep your computer updated by using Microsoft Update.

When you visit the Microsoft Update web site or receive updates automatically, Microsoft collects standard computer information with each visit, so that you receive the updates that work best with your computer. The information is also used to generate aggregate statistics about how the Microsoft Update web site is used and which systems need support, so that the service can be improved. For more information about Microsoft Update service, including a full privacy statement, see the Microsoft Update FAQ on Microsoft Update.

Security

Microsoft is committed to helping protect 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.

Changes to the privacy statement

Microsoft may occasionally update this privacy statement. The "last updated" date at the top of the privacy statement will be updated with every revision. The revised privacy statement will be included with a future service pack of the 2007 Office release. We encourage you to periodically review this privacy statement to be informed of how Microsoft is protecting your information.

How to contact us

Microsoft welcomes your comments regarding this privacy statement. If you have questions about this statement or believe that we have not adhered to it, contact us using our Web form at Contact Us: Privacy Feedback.

Microsoft Office Privacy, Microsoft Corporation, One Microsoft Way, Redmond, WA 98052 USA

To find the Microsoft subsidiary in your country or region, see http://www.microsoft.com/worldwide/.

 
 
Applies to:
Access 2007, Excel 2007, InfoPath 2007, OneNote 2007, Outlook 2007, PowerPoint 2007, Project 2007, Publisher 2007, SharePoint Designer 2007, Visio 2007, Word 2007