Improving the Microsoft Services Agreement and Privacy Statement for consumers

What do Windows, Skype, Xbox Live and OneDrive have in common? One simpler service agreement and privacy statement from Microsoft.

In a world of more personalized computing, customers need meaningful transparency and privacy protections. And those aren’t possible unless we get the basics right. For consumer services, that starts with clear terms and policies that both respect individual privacy and don’t require a law degree to read.

In an effort to further simplify the terms and policies for our customers, we’re updating the Microsoft Services Agreement and the Microsoft Privacy Statement effective Aug. 1 to reflect our latest services in a more streamlined format. Customers will begin receiving notice of these changes today.

The Microsoft Services Agreement will now expand to cover most of Microsoft’s consumer services, including Bing, Cortana, Microsoft account, OneDrive, Outlook.com, Skype and Xbox Live. A full list of products covered by this update to our terms of use can be found here. The Privacy Statement is also being refreshed and restructured, reducing redundancies and providing a singular, straightforward resource for understanding Microsoft’s commitments for protecting individual privacy with these services, and will also cover new technologies like the forthcoming Windows 10.

We’ve approached the updated agreement and privacy statement guided by a few key principles:

  1. Simplicity: These changes bring together a number of previously separate – and often repetitive – documents to make it easier for customers to find and understand the information. Instead of agreeing to separate terms and statements for each service, customers who use more than one Microsoft service will be able to accept once for multiple services and review one privacy statement.
  2. Transparency: Although we’ve simplified and consolidated the terms and policies, we didn’t want to over-simplify, either. We want to give consumers meaningful information about how we collect and use personal data. Thus, the privacy statement still provides the service-level details our customers need in order to understand the privacy implications of the services they use.
  3. Privacy: These statements reiterate what we’ve said in the past: We don’t use customer communications to serve targeted ads to customers and we are committed to putting customers in control of their information.

It is important to note that these changes do not represent a change in Microsoft’s approach to customer privacy. We are simplifying the services agreement and privacy statement because we believe that real transparency starts with straightforward terms and policies that people can clearly understand. As our services evolve, we recognize we must continue earning your trust. These changes aim to help do just that.