Microsoft Developer Services Privacy Statement

Last updated: October 2013

Microsoft is committed to protecting your privacy. This privacy statement applies to the data collected through Microsoft Developer Services (the “Services”); it does not apply to other online or offline Microsoft sites, products, or services.

Customer Data

We will use Customer Data (as defined in your agreement(s) with Microsoft) only to provide you the Services. This may include troubleshooting aimed at preventing, detecting or repairing problems affecting the operation of the Services. It may also include the improvement of features that involve the detection of, and protection against, emerging and evolving threats to users (such as malware or spam).

Team Members

You may invite others to use the Services (“Team Members”). When Team Members are invited to use the Services, they will be required to accept the applicable Service agreement(s) in order to access and use the Services. This Privacy Statement applies to all who access the Services, including Team Members. You may share information, including Customer Data, with the Team Members. Inviting Team Members is solely at your discretion. You are solely responsible for managing Team Members’ access to Customer Data.

Account Data

Account Data is the contact information you provide as part of signing-up or administrating the Services. For example, Account Data includes name, address, phone, whether collected at sign-up or later during administration of the Services.

We may contact you to provide information for billing and important updates about the Services, including information about security or other technical issues regarding the Services. We may also contact you regarding a third-party inquiry we receive regarding use of the Services. You will not be able to unsubscribe from these communications, as they are considered an essential part of the Services.

With your permission, we may occasionally send you product surveys or promotional mailings to inform you of other products or services available from Microsoft and its affiliates. You can opt-out from receiving newsletters or promotional e-mail anytime by following the steps as described in the respective newsletter or promotional e-mail.

Sharing Your Information

In addition to any sharing by Microsoft set forth in your agreement(s) with Microsoft, or in this Privacy Statement, Microsoft may share or disclose your information:

    • With your permission or with permission from your Team Members.
    • With other Microsoft controlled subsidiaries and affiliates, or as part of a corporate transaction such as a merger or sale of assets.
    • With vendors or agents. Specifically, we may share it with companies we've hired to provide services on our behalf. When we share information with these other companies to provide services for us, they are not allowed to use it for any other purpose and must keep it confidential.
    • To comply with the law. We will not disclose Customer Data to a third party (including law enforcement, other government entity or civil litigant) except as you direct or required by law. Should a third party contact us with a demand for Customer Data, we will attempt to redirect the third party to request it directly from you. As part of that, we may provide your basic contact information to the third party. If compelled to disclose Customer Data to a third party, we will use commercially reasonable efforts to notify you in advance of a disclosure unless legally prohibited from doing so.
    • To protect the rights or property of Microsoft or our customers, including the enforcement of our agreements or policies governing your use of the services.
    • 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.

Please note the Services may include links to third-party services whose privacy practices may differ from those of Microsoft. Your use of such services, and any information you provide to a third party, is governed by their privacy statements. We encourage you to review these third-party privacy statements.

Security

Microsoft is committed to helping protect the security of your information. We use a variety of security technologies and procedures to help protect your information from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure. For example, we store the information you provide on computer systems with limited access, which are located in controlled facilities.

Other Information

Data Location

Except as otherwise specified in this privacy statement, data may be stored and processed in the United States or any other country where Microsoft or its affiliates, subsidiaries or service providers maintain facilities. Microsoft abides by the U.S.-EU Safe Harbor Framework and the U.S.-Swiss Safe Harbor Framework as set forth by the U.S. Department of Commerce regarding the collection, use, and retention of data from the European Economic Area, and Switzerland. To learn more about the Safe Harbor program, and to view our certification, please visit http://www.export.gov/safeharbor/.

Usage Data and Analytics

We may use aggregated statistical data, trends and usage information derived from your use of the Services for the purpose of providing, operating, maintaining or improving the Services as well as any Microsoft products and services.

Authentication Services

In order to access the Services, you or your end users may be required to sign in using a Microsoft Account. Use of Microsoft Account is subject to the privacy statement set forth at http://www.microsoft.com/privacystatement/en-us/core/default.aspx?componentid=pspMicrosoftAccountModule&View=description.

Changes to this Privacy Statement

We will occasionally update our privacy statements to reflect customer feedback and changes in our Services. When we post changes to a statement, we will revise the "last updated" date at the top of the statement. If there are material changes to the statement or in how Microsoft will use your personal information, we will notify you either by posting a notice of such changes before they take effect or by directly sending you a notification. We encourage you to periodically review the privacy statements for the products and services you use to learn how Microsoft is protecting your information.

How to Contact Us

Microsoft welcomes your comments. If you believe that Microsoft is not adhering to its privacy or security commitments, please contact us at vspriv@microsoft.com.

Visual Studio Privacy
Microsoft Corporation
Microsoft Way
Redmond, Washington, 98052-6399 USA

Cookies

Most Microsoft web sites use "cookies," which are small text files placed on a device’s hard disk by a web server. We may use cookies for:

  • Storing your Preferences and Settings. When a user enters a city or postal code to get local news or weather information on a Microsoft site, we may store that city or postal code in a cookie. This can save time by eliminating the need to repeatedly enter the same information.
  • Sign-in, Authentication, and Fraud Detection. When a user signs in to a site or service using a Microsoft or organizational account, we store the user’s unique ID number and sign-in time, in an encrypted cookie on the user’s hard disk. This cookie allows the user to move from page to page at the site without having to sign in again on each page. When the user signs out, these cookies are deleted from the user’s computer. We also use cookies to improve the sign-in experience. For example, a user’s email address may be stored in a cookie that will remain on his or her computer after sign out. This cookie allows the user’s email address to be pre-populated, so that the user will only need to type the password at the next sign in. Users who do not want this information to be stored can select the appropriate radio button on the sign-in page.
  • Site Analytics. We may use cookies to count the number of unique visitors to a web page or service or to develop other aggregate statistics about the operations of our sites and services. These analytics help us operate and improve the performance and usability of these sites and services.
  • Advertising. Most of the online advertisements on Microsoft sites are displayed by Microsoft Advertising. When we display online advertisements to you, we will place one or more persistent cookies on your computer in order to recognize your computer each time we display an ad to you. Because we serve advertisements on our own websites as well as those of our advertising and publisher partners, we are able to compile information over time about the types of pages, content and ads you, or others who are using your computer, visited or viewed. This information is used for many purposes, for example, it helps us try to ensure that you do not see the same advertisements over and over again. We also use this information to help select and display targeted advertisements that we believe may be of interest to you.

Some of the cookies we commonly use are listed in the following chart. This list is not exhaustive, but it is intended to illustrate some of the reasons we set cookies. If you visit one of our web sites, the site may set some or all of the following cookies:

In addition to the cookies Microsoft may set when you users visit our web sites, third parties may also set certain cookies on your hard drive when users you visit Microsoft sites. In some cases, that is because we have hired the third party to provide certain services on our behalf, such as site analytics.

How to Control Cookies

Browser Controls to Block Cookies. Most web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can usually modify your browser setting to block cookies.

For example, in Internet Explorer 9, you may block cookies by taking the following steps:

  1. Click "Tools" and then select "Internet Options"
  2. Click the "Privacy" tab at the top of the window
  3. Move the slider up or down to select the types of cookies you wish to block

Instructions for blocking cookies in other browsers are available at http://www.allaboutcookies.org/manage-cookies/.

Please be aware that users who choose to block cookies may not be able to sign in or use other interactive features of Microsoft sites and services that depend on cookies.

Browser Controls to Delete Cookies. If you accept cookies, you can delete them later.

For example, in Internet Explorer 9, you may delete cookies by taking the following steps:

  1. Click "Tools" and then select "Internet Options"
  2. On the "General" tab, under "Browsing History," click the "Delete" button
  3. On the pop-up, select the box next to “Cookies”
  4. Click the "Delete" button

Instructions for deleting cookies in other browsers are available at http://www.allaboutcookies.org/manage-cookies/.

Please be aware that 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.

Browser Controls for “Do Not Track” and Tracking Protection. Some newer browsers have incorporated “Do Not Track” features. Most of these features, when turned on, send a signal or preference to the web sites you visit indicating that you do not wish to be tracked. Those sites may continue to engage in activities you might view as tracking even though you have expressed this preference, depending on the sites’ privacy practices.

Internet Explorer 9 and later has a feature called Tracking Protection that helps prevent the web sites you go to from automatically sending details about your visit to third-party content providers. When you add a Tracking Protection List, Internet Explorer will block third-party content, including cookies, from any site that is listed as a site to be blocked. By limiting calls to these sites, Internet Explorer will limit the information these third-party sites can collect about you. And when you have a Tracking Protection List enabled, Internet Explorer will send a Do Not Track signal or preference to the web sites you visit. For more information about Tracking Protection Lists and how to find them, please see the Internet Explorer privacy statement or Internet Explorer Help.

Our Use of Web Beacons

Microsoft web pages may contain electronic images known as web beacons - sometimes called single-pixel gifs - that may be used for fraud detection, to help deliver cookies on our sites, let us count users who have visited those pages and deliver co-branded services. We may include web beacons in our promotional email messages or newsletters to determine whether messages have been opened and acted upon.

Finally, Microsoft sites may contain web beacons from third parties to help us compile aggregated statistics. These web beacons may allow the third parties to set or read a cookie on your computer. We prohibit third parties from using web beacons on our sites to collect or access your personal information. Nevertheless, users may be able to opt out from data collection or use by these third-party analytics companies by clicking the links for each of the following analytics providers: