(last updated June 2011)
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Note that this page is a supplement to the Microsoft Online Privacy Statement. In order to understand the data collection and use practices relevant for a particular site or service, you should read both the Microsoft Online Privacy Statement and any applicable supplement.
|The Information We Collect and Use|
|Sharing Information with other companies|
|Information collected by other companies|
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 targeted advertising from Microsoft Advertising, click here.
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. The information we collect includes, but may not be limited to, your computer’s or device’s IP address, our cookie IDs, browser type and language, operating system, website URLs, the specific ad posted on the site, and the date and time of delivery. If you click on the advertisement, we will also collect and store that action. 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. The cookies we use for delivering advertisements have an expiry date of no more than 2 years.
We may also place Web beacons (also called action tags or clear gifs) 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. We may also include Web beacons in promotional e-mail messages or newsletters in order to determine whether messages have been opened and acted upon. 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.
We use many different factors and types of information to select which advertisements to show you. For example, we may target some of the ads we display according to certain general interest categories or segments that we have inferred based on:
the pages you view and links you click when using Microsoft’s and its advertising partners’ Web sites and services,
the search terms you enter when using Microsoft’s Internet search services, such as Bing,
characteristics of the contacts you most frequently interact with through Microsoft’s communications or social networking services, such as Messenger,
demographic or interest data, including any you may have provided when creating a Windows Live ID (e.g. age, ZIP or postal code, gender),
a general geographic location derived from your IP address, and/or
demographic or interest data acquired from other companies (such as the population or other characteristics of the area where you live).
We may also display ads according to the Interest Categories you select or modify via our tool at choice.live.com (described below).
However, we 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.). Further, we have built in technological and process safeguards designed to prevent the unauthorized correlation of this data.
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.
Advertisers may sometimes include their own Web beacons (or those of their other advertising partners) within their display 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 personalized ads from many of these other advertising companies by visiting the Network Advertising Initiative or the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) Consumer Choice Page, which each provide a simple way to opt-out of ad targeting from participating companies.
You may opt-out of targeted ads from Microsoft Advertising by visiting our opt-out page. When you opt-out, your selection will be stored in a cookie that is specific to your computer and 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 Windows Live ID. It will then apply on any computer or device, such as your smart phone, on which you sign in with your Windows Live ID, and will continue to apply until someone signs in with a different Windows Live ID 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.
Note that even if you choose not to receive personalized advertising, Microsoft will continue to collect the same information as you browse the web and use our online services. However, this information and any information collected from you in the past won’t be used for displaying personalized ads.
As an alternative to opting out, you can choose to influence the ads you see by selecting your interests. The more you select interests, the more likely you will see ads over time reflecting your selections. Viewing and changing your interests requires you to sign in with a Windows Live ID.
As noted above, you can also choose to opt-out of receiving personalized ads from advertising companies other than Microsoft by visiting the Network Advertising Initiative or the Digital Advertising Alliance (DAA) Consumer Choice Page, which each provide a simple way to opt-out of ad targeting from participating companies.
Finally, while most Web browsers automatically accept cookies, you can modify your browser setting to decline cookies. Declining cookies can prevent cookie-based ad targeting but may also disable any advertising preferences that are 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.
Microsoft Advertising also provides advertising services for addressable and interactive television, including audience measurement and media placement services and technologies.
For audience measurement, we collect viewership data from set-top boxes. Specifically, we will collect a series of tuner events, defined as a channel change followed by a dwell of a specific period of time on the new channel. Currently, our services only collect viewership data from cable and broadcast network viewership. Future plans may include the collection of video on demand and digital video recorder data as well.
As part of the data collection process, Microsoft will remove from the viewership data all information (e.g. set-top box MAC address) that could be used to associate the viewership data with an individual subscriber or household, and will not associate this data with any personally identifiable information (such as your name, address or account number). Microsoft may (either directly or through a third-party) associate the viewership data with third-party provided demographic and other categorization data. However, Microsoft will only associate this third-party provided demographic and categorization data with the viewership data at an aggregate level that does not allow the direct or indirect determination of the viewing behavior of an individual or household.
The Services use the collected viewership data to identify television advertising placement opportunities that meet advertiser target-audience objectives and then broadcast advertising to the applicable target audiences. Microsoft optimizes television ad placement by matching audience concentrations with particular shows and ads. Once optimized placements are identified based upon audience concentrations, ads are broadcast to all viewers either within an ad zone or on a nationwide basis. Microsoft does not currently use the viewership data to target television advertising at the individual or household level.
Microsoft provides its TV partners with technology that allows their subscribers to opt-out of viewership data collection. However, it is up to each TV Partner to provide this opt-out option to its subscribers and a subscriber must contact them directly with any opt-out request or opt-out related questions.
Additionally, your interactions with an enhanced TV advertisement or overlay application may be recorded. Some interactive applications may allow you to enter personal information (e.g. your name, email address, phone number, etc.) through the use of your TV remote. Microsoft will only collect this information when you actively and knowingly enter it, and will only pass this information to the third party that is clearly identified as the party that will receive such information. Microsoft will not provide your personal information to any third parties for whom you have not affirmatively requested it to do so or use your personal information for any purpose other than the fulfillment of your request. Microsoft will not store your personal information except to the extent necessary for the provision of your information to the third-party as requested by you.
Note that this Supplement covers advertising services provided by Microsoft Advertising, including those under the Atlas brand, and incorporates the previously-separate Atlas Solutions Privacy Statement.