Visual Studio 2010 Privacy Statement

Published: July 2011

At Microsoft, we’re working hard to protect your privacy, while delivering software that brings you the performance, power and convenience you desire in your personal computing. This privacy statement explains many of the data collection and use practices of Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 (“Visual Studio”).

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 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) you have 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 important notifications regarding the software; to improve the product or service, for example bug and survey form inquiries; to provide you with advance notice of events; or to tell you about new product releases.

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 packaging, sending and delivering purchases and other mailings, answering customer questions about products or services, processing event registration, or performing statistical analysis of our services. We will only provide those companies the personal information they need to deliver the service, and they are prohibited from using that information for any other purpose.

Information that is collected by or sent to Microsoft may be stored and processed in the United States or any other country in which Microsoft or its affiliates, subsidiaries or service providers maintain facilities. 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 Economic Area and Switzerland.

Microsoft may access or disclose information about you, including the content of your communications, in order to: (a) comply with the law or respond to lawful requests or legal process; (b) protect the rights or property of Microsoft or our customers, including the enforcement of our agreements or policies governing your use of the services; or (c) 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. We may also disclose personal information as part of a corporate transaction such as a merger or sale of assets.

Collection and Use of Information about Your Computer

Visual Studio contains features that communicate with services on the Internet. When these features are used, they send certain standard information from your computer (“standard computer information”) to Microsoft. Standard computer information typically includes information such as your IP address, operating system version, browser version, your hardware ID which indicates the device manufacturer, device name, and version and your regional and language settings. This information is generally not personally identifiable and is similar to the information your browser sends to each website you visit.

The privacy details for each Visual Studio feature listed below will disclose what additional information is collected and how it is used.

Security of Your Information

Microsoft is committed to protecting 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 servers with limited access that are located in controlled facilities.

Changes to the Privacy Statement

We may occasionally update this privacy statement. When we do, we will revise the “last updated” date at the top of the privacy statement. We encourage you to periodically review this privacy statement to be informed of how Microsoft is protecting your information.

For More Information

If you have questions about this privacy statement, please contact us by e-mail at vsswp@microsoft.com.

Visual Studio Privacy

Microsoft Corporation
One Microsoft Way
Redmond, Washington 98052


Specific Features:

Customer Experience Improvement Program

What This Feature Does:

If you choose to participate, the Customer Experience Improvement Program (“CEIP”) will collect basic information about your hardware configuration and how you use our software and services to identify trends and usage patterns. CEIP also collects includes the type and number of errors you encounter, software and hardware performance, and the speed of services. We will not collect your name, address, or other contact information.

Use of Information:

We use this information to improve the quality, reliability, and performance of Microsoft software and services.

Choice/Control:

You are offered the opportunity to participate in CEIP during setup. If you choose to participate and later change your mind, you can turn off CEIP at any time by:1. From the Help menu, select Customer Feedback Options… 2. To turn CEIP off, click No, I would not like to participate.

To turn CEIP on, click Yes, I am willing to participate …Click OK.

For additional, general information about CEIP, see http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=52097.


Error Reporting

What This Feature Does:

The Error Reporting feature allows you to report problems you may be having with Visual Studio to Microsoft and to receive information that may help you get around or solve such problems.

Information Collected, Processed, or Transmitted:

The Error Reporting feature collects Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, which are not used to identify users. It does not intentionally collect anyone’s name, address, email address, computer name, or any information that will be used to identify you or contact you. It is possible that such information may be captured in memory or in the data collected from open files, but Microsoft does not use it to identify you.

In rare cases, such as problems that are especially difficult to solve, Microsoft may request additional data, including sections of memory (which may include memory shared by any or all applications running at the time the problem occurred), some registry settings, and one or more files from your computer. Your current documents may also be included. When additional data is requested, you can review the data and choose whether or not to send it.

Use of Information:

Microsoft uses the data it collects is for solving customer problems and improving its software.

Choice/Control:

Each time an error occurs, a report is generated and you are asked if you want to send this report to Microsoft. You will have an opportunity to view the information contained in the error report before choosing whether or not to send the report.

Enterprise customers can use Group Policy to configure how Error Reporting behaves on their computers. Configuration options include the ability to completely turn off Error Reporting. If you are an administrator and wish to configure Group Policy for Error Reporting, technical details are available at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=35776.

Important Information:

For more details on what information is collected and how it is used, see the Error Reporting privacy information at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?linkid=31490.


Microsoft Visual Studio Documentation

What This Feature Does:

Visual Studio gives you a choice about whether to use Online Help from the Internet, (which lets you access the latest version of the help content), local help on your machine, or a combination of the two. Help is available online from MSDN (the Microsoft Developer Network) and third party Web sites.

The Online Content feature lets you query online Web sites automatically when performing a search, including Microsoft’s MSDN Online Web site and third-party community Web sites. In addition, you can get information from these same Web sites in response to pressing the F1 key on language keywords in the code window.

Information Collected, Processed or Transmitted:

In order to return relevant results, the Online Help and Online Content features transmits to MSDN Online and any third-party Web sites you designate in the Online Content option, information including standard computer information, the search text string you entered or the keywords associated with the language keyword you pressed F1 on, and the sources to be searched (such as MSDN Online).

Use of Information:

The information is used to respond to your search query or F1 key press. Microsoft also uses this information to develop new content and revise existing content.

Choice/Control:

By default, Visual Studio will search for help only on your computer. No information is sent to Microsoft if you do not choose to use the Online Help or Use Online Content settings.

Important Information:

This disclosure only covers interactions with MSDN Online; how other Web sites you choose to search for help may collect and use search information depends on the particular site selected. For more information about the privacy practices of the third party Web sites you choose to query, you may review the sites’ privacy statements.


Registration

What This Feature Does:

When you register Visual Studio, you will be providing personal information to Microsoft for the purpose of receiving information about product updates and special offers.

Information Collected, Processed or Transmitted:

If you register the software, you will be asked to provide some information about yourself, such as your name, address, telephone number and email address.

Use of Information:

Microsoft will use your registration information to send you additional information about product updates and special offers. All registration information is protected using a variety of security technologies. Your information will not be shared with partners without your consent.

Choice/Control:

Registration is mandatory for all Visual Studio Express products and optional for all others.


Setup Reports

What This Feature Does:

If you choose to participate, each time you exit setup for any Visual Studio product a report will be sent to Microsoft about all of your Visual Studio setup experiences.

Information Collected, Processed, or Transmitted:

Information collected is limited to components installed, setup options, errors during setup, basic information about your environment (Operating System, etc) and time taken to perform the installation.

Use of Information:

We use the data collected in Setup Reports to improve our setup experience.

Choice/Control:

To turn Setup Reports on or off, run the Setup wizard for any Visual Studio product and check or uncheck the “Yes, send information about my setup experiences to Microsoft Corporation” checkbox.

Enterprise customers can use Group Policy to configure how Setup Reports behave on their computers. Configuration options include the ability to completely turn off sending Setup Reports to Microsoft. If you are an administrator and wish to configure Setup Reports, technical details are available at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkId=73604.


Extension Manager Online Services

What This Feature Does:

The Extension Manager allows you to browse, search, download, and install extensions from the Visual Studio Gallery. In addition, you can enable auto detection of updates to your installed extensions through the Extension Manager.

Information Collected, Processed, or Transmitted:

When querying for available online extensions, the Extension Manager will send information about the Visual Studio Edition and locale that you are currently using. This filters the list of available extensions to only the ones you are able to install and use.

When enabling updates, the Extension Manager will send the ID of the extensions you have installed to verify if updates are available.

Use of Information:

The information sent to the Visual Studio Gallery is only used to query for available extensions and is not persisted.

Choice/Control:

To turn browsing on or off, go to the Tools Menu and select Options. Click on the Environment node, then the Extension Manager node. Check or uncheck “Disable online content”.

To turn on or off auto detection of updates, go to the Tools Menu and select Options. Click on the Environment node, then the Extension Manager node. Check or uncheck “Automatically Check for updates to installed extensions.”


New Project Dialog Online Services

What This Feature Does:

The New Project Dialog to browse, search, download, and install templates from the Visual Studio Gallery.

Information Collected, Processed, or Transmitted:

When querying for available online extensions, the New Project Dialog will send information about the Visual Studio Edition, the project type, and locale that you are currently using. This filters the list of available extensions to only the ones you are able to install and use.

Use of Information:

The information sent to the Visual Studio Gallery is only used to query for available extensions and is not persisted.

Choice/Control:

To turn browsing on or off, go to the Tools Menu and select Options. Click on the Environment node, then the Extension Manager node. Check or uncheck “Disable online content”.


Add-ins & Extensions:

Microsoft Azure Tools

What This Extension Does:

If you choose to install the Microsoft Azure Tools for Microsoft Visual Studio, they will allow you to interact with the Microsoft Azure service. They provide the ability to publish hosted services to Microsoft Azure, monitor and collect debug information for hosted services, as well as browse Microsoft Azure storage accounts.

Information Collected, Processed, or Transmitted:

In the case of hosted services you will be prompted to provide a certificate that is used by Visual Studio to connect to the Microsoft Azure service. For storage accounts you will be prompted to provide an access key. When you publish to Microsoft Azure, your solution is sent over the Internet to the Microsoft Azure service. When you browse your Microsoft Azure storage accounts, you will be actively connected over the Internet to the Microsoft Azure service. If you choose to enable IntelliTrace for your service, debugging data will be written to your Microsoft Azure storage account and then downloaded to your machine to help you identify errors in your service. If you choose to monitor your service then status information will be actively retrieved over the Internet from the Microsoft Azure service.

Use of Information:

The information you send to Microsoft through your use of the Microsoft Azure Tools is used by Microsoft to provide the services. Any data sent to and/or stored in Microsoft Azure is used consistent with the Microsoft Azure Privacy Statement, available at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=131004.

Choice/Control:

You can choose whether or not to store your Microsoft Azure account name and key locally on your computer to avoid the need to reenter the data each time you use the Microsoft Azure Tools. When you publish to Microsoft Azure through these tools you will be given a choice as to which of your credentials to use, what service slot to which you want to deploy (e.g. “staging” or “production”), and the storage account to use. Permission for Visual Studio to connect to the Microsoft Azure service may be revoked at any time, either by removing the credential information through the provided Visual Studio UI or by using the Microsoft Azure development portal to regenerate the access keys for storage accounts or removing the API certificate for the account.


Visual Studio LightSwitch: Publish to Microsoft Azure

What This Feature Does:

Microsoft Visual Studio LightSwitch will provide the ability to publish hosted services to Microsoft Azure.

Information Collected, Processed, or Transmitted:

In the case of hosted services you will be prompted to provide a certificate that is used by Visual Studio LightSwitch to connect to the Microsoft Azure service. For storage accounts you will be prompted to provide an access key. When you publish to Microsoft Azure, your solution is sent over the Internet to the Microsoft Azure service. When you browse your Microsoft Azure storage accounts, you will be actively connected over the Internet to the Microsoft Azure service.

Use of Information:

The information you send to MicrosoftMicrosoft Azure through your use of Microsoft Visual Studio LightSwitch is used by Microsoft to provide the services. For more information see the Microsoft Azure Privacy Statement, available at http://go.microsoft.com/fwlink/?LinkID=131004.

Choice/Control:

Your Microsoft Azure account name and key will be stored locally on your computer to avoid the need to reenter the data each time you use Visual Studio LightSwitch. When you publish to Microsoft Azure through Visual Studio LightSwitch, you will be given a choice as to which of credentials to use, what service slot to which you want to deploy (e.g. “staging” or “production”), and the storage account to use. You may disable Visual Studio LightSwitch’s ability to connect to the Microsoft Azure service at any time by removing the API certificate for the account.