Last updated: March 2010
To understand the data collection and use practices relevant for a particular program or service, you should read both this Privacy Statement for Microsoft Office 2010 and any applicable supplement.
At Microsoft, we're working hard to protect your privacy, while delivering products that bring you the performance, power, and convenience that you want in your personal computing. This Privacy Statement explains many of the data collection and use practices of the Microsoft Office 2010. Please read the information below and also any supplemental information linked on this page for additional details about particular Office 2010 release programs and services that you might use. This is not intended to be an exhaustive list. It does not apply to other online or offline Microsoft sites, products, or services.
As with all Microsoft Office system products, the Office 2010 release is designed to allow you to quickly assemble, display, and share your data with other people. Microsoft is committed to helping protect the privacy of your data and helping ensure that you have full control over how your data is used and distributed.
Collection and use of your personal information
Microsoft uses the personal information we collect from you to enable the features you are using and provide the services or carry out the transactions that you request or authorize. We might also use the information to request on feedback; to provide critical updates and notifications regarding the software; to improve the product or service, for example, bug and survey form inquiries; or to provide you with advance notice of events or to tell you about new product releases.
Some personal information you enter might be included in your Office documents in the form of metadata. This metadata is used by Office programs to help you collaborate with others on your documents. Instructions for removing metadata from your documents can be found in the supplementary information about specific Office programs.
Except as described in this statement, personal information you provide is not transferred to third parties without your consent. We occasionally hire other companies to provide limited services on our behalf, such as providing customer support. We only provide those companies with the personal information they need to deliver the service. They are required to maintain the confidentiality of that information and are prohibited from using that information for any other purpose.
Personal information that is collected by or sent to Microsoft might be stored and processed in the United States or any other country/region 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 or Switzerland.
Microsoft might 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.
Collection and use of information about your computer
The Office 2010 release includes several features that access the Internet to provide you with additional information or the ability to share data with other people. These features are available any time you have an active connection to the Internet. Each of these features is explained in more detail later in this statement.
Any time the Office 2010 release contacts a Microsoft server, information about your computer ("standard computer information") is sent to the Web sites you visit and online services you use. Microsoft uses standard computer information to provide you Internet-enabled services, to help improve our products and services, and for statistical analysis. Standard computer information typically includes information such as your IP address, operating system version, browser version, and regional and language settings. In some cases, standard computer information might also include hardware ID, which indicates the device manufacturer, device name, and version. If a particular feature or service sends information to Microsoft, standard computer information is also sent.
After the Office 2010 release has been installed, future Internet requests from that computer might contain information that includes the name of your software product and the version number. This information is used by Web sites to give you materials that are compatible with the Office 2010 release. This information does not contain personally identifiable information.
From time to time, Microsoft might change some of the Internet addresses (URLs) of the Internet services that it provides. To ensure uninterrupted service, Microsoft might download a file to your system containing the new Internet addresses that the Office 2010 release needs to access to allow you to use Internet services.
When you first select a feature that requires the software to connect to an Internet service, the software sends a request to download an XML file, along with the name of your program, the locale and language you have selected, and the version of the program that you have. Based on that information, Microsoft sends to your client an XML file that contains a list of URLs for the Microsoft Office Internet services.
A cookie is a small text file that is placed on your hard disk by an Internet server. Cookies contain information that can later be read by an Internet server in the domain that issued the cookie to you. Cookies cannot be used to run programs or deliver viruses to your computer.
One of the primary purposes of cookies is to provide a convenience feature to save you time. For example, a cookie used by the Office 2010 release helps Office to remember Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010 sites that you have previously visited. This simplifies the process of finding the site again and delivering relevant content.
You have the ability to accept or decline cookies or change your language or locale by changing the settings in the Privacy tab of the Internet Options in the Control Panel. You can also control the cookies used by the Office 2010 release on the Tools menu in Internet Explorer 8, by clicking Internet Options, and then clicking the Privacy tab.
Microsoft Office Activation
Activation helps reduce software counterfeiting, which helps ensure that Microsoft customers receive the software quality they expect. Activation means that a specific product key becomes associated with the hardware it is installed on. The Microsoft Software License Terms for the Office 2010 release state that the number of times your product key can be used for activation. Once you have used the product key for the specified number of times on the same or different computers, that product key can no longer be used for activation on other computers.
Activation is mandatory. After any grace period expires, you must activate the software to be able to continue using it.
During activation, product key information is sent to Microsoft, such as:
The Microsoft product code, which is a five-digit code that identifies the Office product you are activating.
A channel ID or site code, which identifies where you obtained the Office product. For example, it identifies whether the product was sold at retail, is an evaluation copy, is subject to a volume licensing program, was pre-installed by the computer manufacturer, and so on.
The data of installation.
Information that helps confirm that the product key information has not been altered.
If you license Office on a subscription basis, you will be requested during initial activation to provide the Windows Live ID that is associated with your subscription. Microsoft will then send a Product Key online to your computer to complete activation. After initial activation, Office will send Product Key information to Microsoft from time to time to verify your use of Office is properly licensed. Activation with a Windows Live ID, and subsequent automatic sending of activation information to Microsoft, is required to use Office licensed on a subscription basis.
Activation also sends to Microsoft a number generated from the computer's hardware configuration. This number does not represent any personal information or information about the software. It cannot be used to determine the make or model of the computer and it cannot be calculated to determine any additional information about your computer. Along with standard computer information, some additional language settings are collected.
Your copy of Office can detect and accept changes to your PC configuration. Minor upgrades do not require re-activation. If you uninstall the Office 2010 release, you might be required to activate your product again. Some changes to your computer components or the software might require you to reactivate the software.
If you are activating while upgrading from certain Microsoft Office products, such as Microsoft Office Starter or a trial version of Microsoft Office, activation also collects information from your computer about the Office Starter or trial version from which you are upgrading, including the length of time that you used that version of Office.
If you are unable to complete activation, you might receive a message with a link to a Web site where you can learn more about why activation failed. If you choose to follow that link, information about why you failed activation is sent to Microsoft. This information might include information normally sent during activation.
You might also be asked to reactivate your copy of Microsoft Office. If this happens, an Activation Wizard might allow you to obtain more information online about your licensing state and how to resolve activation issues. Choosing to obtain information online about your licensing state sends information normally sent during activation.
If you do not activate or reactivate your copy of Microsoft Office, you might not be able to use it or it might be marked as not properly licensed. For example, there might be a visual indication in the title bar that your copy is not properly licensed.
None of the information collected through activation or reactivation is used to personally identify you. In certain cases, such as where activation is done by using a volume licensing key or when your product is being checked to see if it is genuine, none of the information related to activation is sent to Microsoft.
For more information about activation, see Activate Microsoft Office programs.
Click-to-Run Update Service
The Click-to-Run Update Service allows you to install certain Microsoft Office products over the Internet so that you can start using them before they are completely downloaded. By default, the Click-to-Run Update Service also automatically detects online updates to Click-to-Run-enabled products on your computer and downloads and installs them automatically. The service is turned on by default, but you can turn it off by clicking the File tab, clicking Help, and then clicking Disable updates for this product. The Click-to-Run Update Service periodically collects standard computer information and a randomly generated number that is used to identify your computer without identifying you.
Updated content from Office.com
When you are connected to the Internet, if you choose to search Help, templates, clip art, media, or shapes for a particular word or phrase, the Office 2010 release can use that word or phrase to search Office.com. This allows you to have access to a large and dynamic set of content, including the very latest revisions of that content. If Office.com Help is enabled, certain features, such as templates, automatically download the latest Help information relevant to the feature. Updated content from Office.com is also displayed automatically in Galleries that support the content.
When you choose to search for a phrase, the Office 2010 release sends that phrase to Office.com, along with other information, such as the program currently in use, what part of the software you were using when you asked the question and the search scope that you have requested. If you are using a document template, the Office 2010 release also sends the ID for that template, which uniquely identifies the template but not your individual document. Microsoft uses this information to return the records that you have requested.
For more information about online Help, see Get online Help, templates, training, and additional content.
Windows Live ID authentication
Some features of the Office 2010 release might require Windows Live ID to provide activation, sign-in and registration services. To sign in by using Windows Live ID, you are asked to type your e-mail address and a password. This same Windows Live ID sign-in allows you to access other Windows Live ID-participating sites and services. If you create a Windows Live ID at the Office registration site, you are simultaneously registering with the Office 2010 release and opening a Windows Live ID account. All of the registration information that you provide are stored by the Office.com service, and some or all of that information is also stored by Windows Live ID in your Windows Live ID profile. To learn more about the Windows Live ID service, the information stored in the Windows Live ID profile, and how Windows Live ID uses and helps to protect your personal information, read the Windows Live ID Privacy Statement.
Purchasing an upgrade or new version of Microsoft Office
Some versions of Microsoft Office allow you to purchase a Product Key online for a new or upgraded version of Office. You might be able to access this feature from the Office folder on the Windows Start Menu, from within the product, or from a Windows icon on your desktop.
This feature sends Microsoft information such as identifiers for the product you want to buy, your current licensed Office product (if any), your Office language setting, and standard computer information. If you are eligible for a special offer, information about that offer and its source might also be sent. Microsoft uses this information to determine which Microsoft-authorized online retailer can complete your purchase and sends it to that retailer. The upgrade feature might also open your Internet browser to display the retailer’s Web page, where you can complete your purchase.
Customer Experience Improvement Program
You have the option of joining our Customer Experience Improvement Program to improve the quality, reliability, and performance of Microsoft software and services.
If you join, Microsoft collects information about your hardware configuration and how you use our software and services to identify trends and usage patterns. The feature does not collect your name, address, or any other contact information.
For more information and a complete Privacy Statement for the Customer Experience Improvement Program, visit the Microsoft Customer Experience Improvement Program Web site. If you choose recommended settings during Office first run, you turn on Customer Experience Improvement Program for Office 2010.
To learn more about recommended settings, see Turn off recommended update and diagnostic settings. To participate in the Customer Experience Improvement Program, see Participate in the Customer Experience Improvement Program.
Help Improve Proofing Tools
The Help Improve Proofing Tools feature collects data about your use of the Proofing Tools and sends it to Microsoft. If you choose to participate through the Microsoft Customer Experience Improvement Program, your proofing actions, such as accepting or rejecting spelling or grammar checker suggestions, changing proofing tool settings, or additions to the custom dictionary, are stored on your computer and sent to Microsoft three times in the first six months after you install Office 2010 release. After about six months the feature stops sending data to Microsoft and deletes the data collection file containing your proofing actions from your computer.
Although this feature is not intended to collect personal information, some of the content that is sent might include items that were marked as spelling or grammar errors, such as proper names and account numbers. However any numbers such as account numbers, street addresses, and phone numbers are converted to zeroes when the data is collected. Microsoft uses this information solely to improve our products, not to identify users. If you are concerned that a report might contain personal or confidential information, do not send the report.
The information this feature collects is sent with the randomly generated number created by the Customer Experience Improvement Program.
Before any data is sent to Microsoft, a dialog box appears to ask your permission. At that time, you can delete some or all of the entries before the information is sent. You might also choose not to send any data to Microsoft.
You have the option of periodically downloading a small file to your computer that enables Microsoft to diagnose system problems. When available, new Help information about the error messages is also automatically downloaded. This feature does not collect your name, address, or any other contact information except the IP address used to send you the file.
To change settings for Office Diagnostics, see Change Office Diagnostics settings.
Microsoft Error Reporting
The Microsoft Error Reporting tool allows users to report error messages to Microsoft by using the Internet. When an error messages appears, users with an Internet connection can immediately report the message to Microsoft. If the error report indicates that one or more third-party products were involved in causing the problem, Microsoft might send the report to those third parties. Software or hardware developers employed by Microsoft or one of its partners analyze the fault data and try to identify and correct the problem. Although the tool is not intended to collect personally identifiable information, it is possible that such information might be captured in memory or in the data collected from open files. Microsoft does not use this information to identify users. For more information about the Microsoft Error Reporting tool, see the Microsoft Error Reporting Privacy Statement.
The Microsoft Update Service allows you to receive security and important updates for Microsoft Windows and other Microsoft products, including the Office 2010 release. To learn how you can sign up for updated from Microsoft Update, see Keep your computer updated by using Microsoft Update.
When you visit the Microsoft Update web site or receive updates automatically, Microsoft collects standard computer information with each visit, so that you receive the updates that work best with your computer. The information is also used to generate aggregate statistics about how the Microsoft Update web site is used and which systems need support, so that the service can be improved. For more information about the Microsoft Update service, see the Update Services Privacy Statement.
If your organization uses Microsoft Office Communications Server (OCS), Microsoft Office provides you presence information from OCS.
Cropping and remove background
You can crop images in documents so that only portions of the images are visible. Cropping only hides the cropped-out portions of images; it does not permanently delete the cropped-out portions of the image. Hidden sections of these images can be restored by entering Crop mode.
You can also edit images by using the Remove Background command. The Remove Background command does not permanently remove any portion of these images. Hidden sections of removed images can be restored by entering Remove Background.
If you save a file that has cropped-out or removed images, the full images are saved in the file.
You can delete cropped-out and removed portions of images by clicking the File tab, under Help, clicking Options, clicking the Advanced tab, and then clicking Discard editing data under the Image Size and Quality section.
Connecting to external data in Office and SharePoint using the Business Connectivity Services
Business Connectivity Services (BCS) allow you to connect to external data sources from a SharePoint site and Microsoft Office 2010 programs, such as Outlook, SharePoint Workspace, and Word. When you do so, changes in the external data are automatically reflected in the Microsoft Office program, and changes in the Microsoft Office program are automatically reflected in the external system.
BCS stores an encrypted copy of some of the external data locally on your computer in a dedicated local cache. If external data is accessed in Outlook, a copy is also created in a special Personal Folders file (.pst). For example, a list of customers is synchronized from Microsoft Dynamics CRM to the user’s local copy and displayed in Outlook. If the user edits data for an individual customer or creates a new one, those changes are propagated back to Microsoft Dynamics CRM. In some cases, a copy of the data might be stored in your document, and might be available to other users who have access to the document.
Input Method Editors (IME)
Microsoft Input Method Editors (IMEs) are used with East Asian languages to convert keyboard input to ideograms. Depending on your settings, the following features might send information about how you use IMEs to Microsoft. Some IMEs do not support these features or do not support all of them. In an enterprise environment, administrators can use Group Policy to configure the reporting features described below. Group Policy configuration options include the ability to completely turn off reporting, or to redirect reports to another server.
IME Learning and Prediction
What these features do
Depending on the IME you use, and your settings, the learning and prediction features of IME might record words or word pairs to improve the selection of the ideograms displayed.
Information collected, processed, or transmitted
The IME learning and prediction features record a word or sequence of words and their associated scores as a result of user operations. Learning information (excluding any digit/symbol character sequences) is stored in the user dictionary for each user on the computer.
Use of information
Learning and prediction data is used by IME on your system, and might also be referenced by Microsoft Office proofing tools. No information is sent to Microsoft.
Choice and control
Except for the Simplified Chinese IME (in which the prediction feature is off by default), the learning and prediction features are on by default in those IMEs that support them, but can be disabled by turning off the IME features. In the Japanese IME, the learning feature can also be configured not to write to the user dictionary. You can also delete the contents of the user dictionary.
IME Conversion Error Reporting
What this feature does
If conversion errors occur, this feature can collect information about the errors that can help Microsoft improve conversions.
Information collected, processed, or transmitted
IME Conversion Error Reporting collects information about IME conversion errors that can be sent to Microsoft. Error reports might be generated that include information such as what you typed, the first conversion result, the conversion you chose instead, information about the IME you use, and information about how you use it. In addition, if you use the Japanese IME, you can choose to include learning information in conversion error reports. Microsoft does not use the information to identify you or contact you.
Use of information
Microsoft uses the information to help improve input editing.
Choice and control
You can choose to send a conversion error report from the language bar tool menu. In addition, if a conversion error occurs, you are asked whether you want to send the conversion error report before it is sent to Microsoft. You can view the information contained in the report before choosing whether to send it.
IME Word Registration
What this feature does
Depending on the IME you use, you might be able to use word registration to report unsupported words (words that might not be converted correctly to ideograms from keyboard input).
Information collected, processed, or transmitted
Registration reports in Microsoft Word 2010 can include the information you provide in the Add Word dialog box about the words being reported, and the software version number for IME. These reports might include personal information, for example if you add personal names using word registration, but Microsoft does not use the information to identify you or contact you. You have the opportunity to review the data being sent with each report before you choose to send it.
Use of information
Microsoft uses the information to help improve input editing.
Choice and control
Each time you create a word registration report, you are asked if you want to send this report to Microsoft. You might view the information contained in the report before choosing whether to send it.
Microsoft Office 2010 Document Cache
Programs in the Microsoft Office 2010, such as Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, automatically create a local copy of remote documents. This local copy lets you access a copy of the file when you aren’t online and helps improve performance when you are online. In addition to the document content, Office might store some metadata about your documents on your computer, such as names, server login IDs, and e-mail addresses of people who have edited the document.
All the stored contents can be viewed by launching the Microsoft Office Upload Center and changing the view to All Cached Files.
You can run the Microsoft Office Upload Center by doing one of the following:
Click the icon in the system tray.
Click Start, click All Programs, click Microsoft Office, click Microsoft Office 2010 Tools, and then click Microsoft Office Upload Center.
Individual local copies can be deleted or opened from the Microsoft Office Upload Center. You can also choose to have documents deleted from the Office Document Cache after they are closed in an Office program, by doing the following:
Go to the Settings page in the Microsoft Office Upload Center.
Select the Delete documents from the Office Document Cache when they are closed check box.
Microsoft Word 2010 allows you to add and edit alternative text for tables, shapes, pictures, charts, SmartArt graphics, and other objects in your documents by doing the following:
Right-click the object.
Click the Alt Text tab.
The alternative text is saved with the document and might contain personal information added by any contributor of the presentation. For some objects, such as pictures you insert into your document, the default alternative text includes the file path for the object you insert.
Alternative text can be used by accessibility features such as screen readers. The alternative text is available to anyone who has access to your file.
To provide better merge accuracy, Outlook 2010 adds a 10-digit number and your e-mail address and name to any Office files that you send as attachments. This randomly generated number uniquely identifies your workbook. Therefore, any changes can be merged back into your original workbook even if the file name has changed. You can remove this 10-digit number and your name from future attachments by doing the following in Outlook:
Click the File tab.
Under Help, click Options.
Click the Trust Center, and then click Trust Center Setting.
Click the Attachment Handling tab.
Make sure that the Add properties to attachments to enable Reply with Changes check box is cleared, and then click OK.
Click OK two more times to close the dialog boxes.
Microsoft is committed to helping protect the security of your personal information. We use a variety of security technologies and procedures to help protect your personal information from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure.
Changes to the Privacy Statement
Microsoft might occasionally update this Privacy Statement. The "last updated" date at the top of the Privacy Statement is updated with every revision. We encourage you to periodically review this Privacy Statement to be informed of how Microsoft is protecting your information.
How to contact us
Microsoft welcomes your comments regarding this Privacy Statement. If you have questions about this Statement or believe that we have not adhered to it, contact us using our Web form at Contact Us: Privacy Feedback.
Microsoft Office Privacy, Microsoft Corporation, One Microsoft Way, Redmond, WA 98052 USA
To find the Microsoft subsidiary in your country or region, see https://www.microsoft.com/worldwide/.