(last updated August 2010)
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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.
Windows Live ID (formerly known as Microsoft Passport) is a service that allows you to use a single e-mail address and password, referred to as credentials, to sign into most Microsoft sites and services, as well as those of select Microsoft partners.
You can register for credentials (e-mail and password) at a site or service that uses Windows Live ID, or at the Windows Live ID Website. If you have an e-mail address that has been provided by MSN or Windows Live (e.g. those ending in live.com, msn.com, hotmail.com, or webtv.net) that e-mail address and the associated password are your credentials. If you do not wish to use a real e-mail address for your user name, you may go to the Windows Live ID Website and register "limited account" credentials containing a user name ending in @passport.com.
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 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 64-bit unique ID number will be assigned to your credentials which will be used to identify your credentials and associated information.
For Windows Live ID enabled software that is installed on your computer, a random unique ID will be assigned to your computer and included as part of your credentials. This unique ID will be sent to Microsoft whenever you log into any Windows Live ID service. Microsoft uses this unique ID to help improve Windows Live ID authentication and help to protect you from spam and malicious account usage.
When you use your credentials to sign into a site or service, that sign-in information will be temporarily logged by the Windows Live ID service for the purpose of ensuring the efficiency and security of the service. Microsoft will assign a unique ID number to your credentials, which will be used to identify your credentials and associated information on Microsoft's systems. This information in Microsoft's logs is identified by this unique ID number, and it is not linked with personal information in the logs unless you call to request assistance or as required by law.
If you have provided an e-mail address (i.e. your credentials are not a "limited account"), Microsoft uses your e-mail address to send you certain mandatory service communications. For example, a welcome e-mail message when you first register informing you about the service, telling you how to manage your credentials. You will receive a separate e-mail to which you must respond in order to confirm that you are the owner of the e-mail address associated with those credentials. This process is designed to verify the validity of the e-mail address and to help prevent e-mail addresses from being used without permission of their owners. If you need to reset your password and cannot access your primary e-mail account, Microsoft may send password reset e-mail to your alternate e-mail address. Limited accounts cannot have their passwords reset.
Certain information will be shared with sites and services that you choose to sign into using your Windows Live ID. The unique ID number associated with your credential is encrypted and sent to 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 that use the Windows Live ID service 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.
If you received your account from a company, organization or individual that also provided you with an e-mail address (for example, your ISP, employer or school), your account may belong to a "sponsored domain." If the e-mail services are co-branded, both service providers may be treated as a sponsor. In a sponsored domain, the sponsor has a unique role with respect to the credentials created in that domain. In order to permit the sponsor to provide support for credentials, the sponsor may have limited access to your Windows Live ID in order to reset the password or manage the credentials.
Please note that sites and services that use the Windows Live ID service 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 that use the Windows Live ID service are required to have a posted privacy statement, but we do not control or monitor the privacy practices of those sites, and their privacy practices 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.
You can access your personal information by going to Account Services. You can change your user name if your Windows Live ID does not belong to a sponsored domain. You can always change your password, alternate e-mail address, and question and secret answer. You may also close your Windows Live ID by going to Account Services and clicking Settings, and then “Close your account.” If your account is in a "sponsored domain" as described above, there may be a special process for closing your account. Please note that if you are an MSN or Windows Live user, if you go to Account Services on the Windows Live ID Web site, you may be redirected to Account Services for those sites.
If you attempt to register for a Windows Live ID and find that someone else has already created credentials with your e-mail address as the user name, you have the option of contacting us and requesting that the credentials using your e-mail address be forced to change so that you may use your e-mail address when creating your credentials.
More information about Windows Live ID is available at http://www.passport.net.