Microsoft collects data from you, through our interactions with you and through our products. You provide some of this data directly, and we get some of it by collecting data about your interactions, use, and experiences with our products. The data we collect depends on the context of your interactions with Microsoft and the choices you make, including your privacy settings and the products and features you use. We also obtain data about you from third parties.
If you represent an organization, such as a business or school, that utilizes Enterprise and Developer Products from Microsoft, please see the Enterprise and developer products section of this privacy statement to learn how we process your data. If you are an end user of a Microsoft product or a Microsoft account provided by your organization, please see the Products provided by your organization and the Microsoft account sections for more information.
You have choices when it comes to the technology you use and the data you share. When we ask you to provide personal data, you can decline. Many of our products require some personal data to provide you with a service. If you choose not to provide data required to provide you with a product or feature, you cannot use that product or feature. Likewise, where we need to collect personal data by law or to enter into or carry out a contract with you, and you do not provide the data, we will not be able to enter into the contract; or if this relates to an existing product you’re using, we may have to suspend or cancel it. We will notify you if this is the case at the time. Where providing the data is optional, and you choose not to share personal data, features like personalization that use such data will not work for you.
How we use personal data
Microsoft uses the data we collect to provide you with rich, interactive experiences. In particular, we use data to:
Provide our products, which includes updating, securing, and troubleshooting, as well as providing support. It also includes sharing data, when it is required to provide the service or carry out the transactions you request.
Improve and develop our products.
Personalize our products and make recommendations.
Advertise and market to you, which includes sending promotional communications, targeting advertising, and presenting you with relevant offers.
We also use the data to operate our business, which includes analyzing our performance, meeting our legal obligations, developing our workforce, and doing research.
In carrying out these purposes, we combine data we collect from different contexts (for example, from your use of two Microsoft products) or obtain from third parties to give you a more seamless, consistent, and personalized experience, to make informed business decisions, and for other legitimate purposes.
Our processing of personal data for these purposes includes both automated and manual (human) methods of processing. Our automated methods often are related to and supported by our manual methods. For example, our automated methods include artificial intelligence (AI), which we think of as a set of technologies that enable computers to perceive, learn, reason, and assist in decision-making to solve problems in ways that are similar to what people do. To build, train, and improve the accuracy of our automated methods of processing (including AI), we manually review some of the predictions and inferences produced by the automated methods against the underlying data from which the predictions and inferences were made. For example, we manually review short snippets of voice data that we have taken steps to de-identify to improve our speech recognition technologies. This manual review may be conducted by Microsoft employees or vendors who are working on Microsoft’s behalf.