Understanding Microsoft’s Online Services Privacy Policy


One of the most common questions I hear from Partners when it comes to using “Cloud” solutions is “How do I know you are protecting my customer’s privacy"? I thought I should dig into this so you know where to go to find the information to share with your customers.  There are two main websites that discuss this topic, one of which covers the “Highlights” and the other provides the detailed Privacy Policy as well as ways to contact Microsoft with any additional questions you might encounter when leading with the Cloud in your discussions with your customers.

The highlights listed below are compiled from the full Microsoft Online Services Privacy Statement.

These highlights and the full privacy statement apply to Microsoft Online Services, including Web sites and services that display or link to this notice, and online services available through the Microsoft Online Customer Portal (individually or collectively, the "Service").

The Service is offered only to organizations and not to individuals.

Notice to End Users: The Service is operated by Microsoft on behalf of the third party that is Microsoft’s customer. Any data Microsoft collects or handles through the Service are processed for this third party. Please direct privacy related requests to a representative within the organization responsible for providing you the Service.

Collection and Use and Sharing of Personal Information

  • We will collect and use personal information received through the Service to provide, operate, and improve this and other Microsoft products and services.
  • Except as described in this statement, we will not disclose personal information outside of Microsoft and its controlled subsidiaries and affiliates without consent.
  • In order to help provide the Service, we occasionally provide information to other companies that provide limited services on our behalf. These companies are permitted to use any personal information that we provide to them only in connection with the services they provide to us and subject to their compliance with our privacy practices.
  • If partner features are requested, we will, with your permission, share personal information with those partners. Microsoft is not responsible for the privacy and information handling practices of these partners.
  • 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 Union.
  • Microsoft may access or disclose your personal information, 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 use cookies and other technologies to keep track of your interactions with the Services to offer a personalized experience.

How We Handle Marketing and Promotional Communication

  • We may use the information of your organization’s purchasing representative (“Account Owner”), with permission, to inform your organization of other products or services offered by Microsoft and its affiliates.
  • You can stop receiving e-mails regarding information and offers of other products and services by following the instructions in the e-mail you receive.

Further Important Information

  • The sign in credentials (username and password) used to sign in to the Service generally will be your Microsoft Online Services credentials. However, you should consult the documentation for a specific online service to confirm its required authentication credentials.
  • For more information about Microsoft’s privacy practices in respect of the Service, please read the full Microsoft Online Services Privacy Statement or write Microsoft using this web form. If you have a support question, please visit Microsoft Online Services Support.


Comments (3)

  1. Hardik Shah [Guru] says:

    THanks for making this stand clear … No doubts in my mind now !!

    Do we see a change in this policy in future … ?



  2. Charles Van Heusen says:

    I'm sure there will be updates as the market and "Cloud" matures.  We are just at the tip of the iceberg with Cloud solutions.  The next decade is going to be amazing.

  3. Charles Van Heusen says:

    I'm sure there will be updates as the market and "Cloud" matures.  We are just at the tip of the iceberg with Cloud solutions.  The next decade is going to be amazing.

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