Microsoft Lync for Mac Privacy Statement

Last updated: July 2014

Microsoft is committed to protecting your privacy, while delivering software that brings you the performance, power, and convenience that you desire in your personal computing. This privacy statement explains many of the data collection and use practices of Lync for Mac. It focuses on features that communicate with the Internet. It does not apply to other online or offline Microsoft sites, products, or services.

Lync for Mac is an integrated communications client that enables you to communicate with contacts within and outside your organization. Lync for Mac is designed to allow you access to information published about other users, and to provide other users with access to information published about you, such as status, title, phone number, and notes. When Lync for Mac is running, you can also view your contacts’ status and send instant messages and files directly from Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Microsoft Outlook.

Collection and use of your information

The information that we collect from you will be used by Microsoft and its controlled subsidiaries and affiliates to enable the features that you are using and provide the service(s) or carry out the transaction(s) you have requested or authorized. It may also be used to analyze and improve Microsoft products and services.

We may send certain mandatory service communications such as welcome letters, billing reminders, information on technical service issues, and security announcements. Some Microsoft services may send periodic member letters that are considered part of the service. We may occasionally request your feedback, invite you to participate in surveys, or send you promotional mailings to inform you of other products or services available from Microsoft and its affiliates.

Except as described in this statement, personal information that 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 that they need to deliver the service, and they are prohibited from using that information for any other purpose.

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.

Information that is collected by or sent to Microsoft by Lync for Mac 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, the European Economic Area, and Switzerland.

Collection and use of information about your computer

When you use software with Internet-enabled features, information about your computer ("standard computer information") is sent to the Web sites that you visit and online services that 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 may 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 will be sent as well.

The privacy details for each Lync for Mac feature, software, or service listed in this privacy statement describe what additional information is collected and how it is used.

Security of your information

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 that you provide on computer systems with limited access, which are located in controlled facilities.

Changes to this privacy statement

We will occasionally update this privacy statement to reflect changes in our products and services and customer feedback. When we post changes, we will revise the "last updated" date at the top of this statement. We encourage you to periodically review this statement to be informed of how Microsoft is protecting your information.

For more information

Microsoft welcomes your comments regarding this privacy statement. If you have questions about this statement or believe that we have not adhered to it, please contact us by using our (Web form) Contact Us: Privacy feedback.

You may also contact us by postal mail at:

Microsoft Privacy
Microsoft Corporation
One Microsoft Way
Redmond, Washington 98052 USA

Specific features

The remainder of this document will address specific features in Lync for Mac:

Caller ID in the Meeting Roster

What This Feature Does:     The participant list (roster) displays a list of all participants in a meeting.

Information Collected, Processed, or Transmitted    : When you dial in to a conference call, the phone number or the user name that you are calling from (the caller ID) is displayed for all participants. No information is sent to Microsoft.

Use of Information:     People in the meeting can use this information to distinguish between different participants who have joined the meeting by phone.

Choice/Control:     The caller ID is displayed by default and is retrieved from the telephone company. You can choose not to share your phone number by blocking your caller ID when you make a phone call.

  • To block your caller ID permanently, contact your local telephone company.

  • If the functionality is available in your area, you can type in a special code before dialing the phone number to block your caller ID for a single call. Please contact your local telephone company for instructions.

Conversation History

What This Feature Does:     Conversation History allows you to store the content of your instant message text conversations in the Users/ username/Documents/Microsoft User Data/Microsoft Lync History folder.

Information Collected, Processed, or Transmitted:     This feature allows you to store the contents of your instant message text conversations. This information is stored on your computer, and is not sent to Microsoft.

Use of Information:     You can use your stored instant message text conversations to review the content of your past instant message conversations.

Choice/Control:      The Save conversations preference is set to ask you whether you would like to save your conversation when you close your conversation window. Lync for Mac displays a message at the end of each conversation that asks if you would like to save the conversation. To turn off this notification at any time, on the Lync menu, click Preferences, and then click the History tab.

Important Information:     If you enable the Save conversations option, you should notify your contacts that their instant message text conversation sessions will be saved.

Client-side Logging

What This Feature Does:    Client-Side Logging enables you to log your Lync usage information on your computer in your user profile. The information can be used for troubleshooting Lync issues you may experience.

Information Collected, Processed, or Transmitted:     If you or your administrator enables Client-Side Logging, information such as the following will be stored on your computer: session initiation protocol (SIP) messages, responses to your Lync invites, information about the sender and receiver of each Lync message, the route that the message took, your Contacts list, your presence information, names of any attachments you share, names of any Microsoft PowerPoint files you share. The contents of your Lync conversations are not stored. No information is automatically sent to Microsoft, but you can choose to manually send information.

Use of Information:     Client-side logs can be used to troubleshoot Lync issues.

Choice/Control:     Client-Side Logging is turned off by default, and must be turned on by an enterprise administrator. If your administrator has not disabled your ability to control logging, you can change your settings as follows:. To change your Logging settings at any time, on the Lync menu, click Preferences, and then click the General tab.

Desktop Sharing

What This Feature Does:     Desktop Sharing allows you to share a view of your computer’s screen with other participants in your Lync for Mac conversation.

Information Collected, Processed, or Transmitted:     If you enable Desktop Sharing, all conversation participants will be able to see everything on your computer’s screen. No information is sent to Microsoft.

Use of Information:     You can use Desktop Sharing to collaborate with conversation participants.

Choice/Control:     Users have control to accept or decline a desktop sharing invitation.

To share your desktop with a person that you are conversing with:

  • In the conversation window, click  Share content , and then click Desktop.

In the participant’ s conversation window, the Desktop Sharing invitation message appears. The participant clicks either Accept to join the sharing session or Decline to decline the desktop sharing invitation.

To stop sharing your desktop:

  • In the desktop sharing window, click the Desktop Sharing pop-up menu, point to the desktop that you want to stop sharing, and then click Stop Sharing.

Important Information:     Open documents or pictures on your desktop that are protected by Digital Rights Management software may be visible to others who you share your desktop with in a Lync for Mac conversation.

Meeting Attachments

What This Feature Does:     You can share files with meeting participants by uploading them as attachments.

Information Collected, Processed, or Transmitted:     Attachments are stored on Lync Server. You can choose to upload attachments. Attachments are downloaded by you or others in a meeting. No information is sent to Microsoft.

Use of Information:     The information contained in uploaded Meeting Attachments is shared with other participants in a Lync meeting.

Choice/Control:     Presenters can restrict the availability of attachments according to meeting participants’ roles (organizer, presenters, everyone).

Meeting Dial-out

What This Feature Does:     The Meeting Dial-out feature allows Lync users who are present in a meeting to add a public switched telephone network (PSTN) number to an existing audio video (AV) meeting.

Information Collected, Processed, or Transmitted:     When the PSTN user who is being invited to the AV meeting receives the call, he or she will receive the caller ID of the AV meeting organizer (and not necessarily the caller ID of the party adding them to the meeting). As soon as the PSTN user answers the phone, he or she will immediately be joined into the meeting.

Use of Information:     The organizer’s caller ID is sent out to the PSTN user who is being invited to the meeting.

Choice/Control:     There is no user or enterprise administrator control for this feature. If possible, prior to adding a PSTN user, you could send an instant message or an email to the PSTN user to ask whether they are okay with joining the AV meeting, so they are aware they are being joined to a meeting. The PSTN user could also choose not to accept the call.

Microsoft AutoUpdate for Mac

What This Feature Does:    Microsoft AutoUpdate for Mac (“AutoUpdate”) collects basic information from your computer regarding installed Microsoft applications to identify which updates are available and to improve the updating service.

Information Collected, Processed, or Transmitted:     For details about what information is collected and how it is used, see the Microsoft AutoUpdate for Mac Privacy Statement.

Microsoft Error Reporting

What This Feature Does:    Microsoft Error Reporting provides a service that allows you to report problems that you may be having with Office 2011 to Microsoft and to receive information that may help you avoid or solve such problems.

Information Collected, Processed, or Transmitted:    Microsoft Error Reporting collects Internet Protocol (IP) addresses, which are not used to identify users. It does not intentionally collect information such as name, address, e-mail address, computer name, or any information that could 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 or contact you.

In rare cases, such as problems that are especially difficult to solve, Microsoft may request additional data, including one or more files from your computer. Your current documents may also be included. For more details on what information is collected and how it is used, see the Privacy Statement for the Microsoft Error Reporting Service.

Use of Information:    Microsoft uses the error reporting data to help solve customer problems and improve our software and services.

Choice/Control:     When you encounter a problem with your software and an error report is created, Microsoft Error Reporting will ask you whether you would like to send it to Microsoft. When Microsoft needs additional data to analyze the problem, you will be prompted to review the data and choose whether to send it or not. If you choose not to send error reports to Microsoft, the reports will not be sent. For more information about the Microsoft Error Reporting tool, including a full privacy statement, see the Privacy Statement for the Microsoft Error Reporting Service .

Online Meeting for Outlook

What This Feature Does:     This Outlook feature is enabled when you install Lync. It enables users to schedule and customize online meetings.

Information Collected, Processed, or Transmitted:     The following information will be stored in your computer. No Information is sent to Microsoft.

  • Organizer name

  • Participants name(s)

  • Presenters name(s)

  • Email addresses list

  • Subject of meeting and other information about the meeting (such as, start/end-time, conference ID, participant code, and conference auto attendant/audio conferencing provider information for the user)

  • All proxy addresses for the user in Microsoft Exchange (X400-X500 addresses, Exchange Unified Messaging (UM) addresses, and SIP and phone/Exchange UM-voice mail URIs)

  • Meeting location information

Use of Information:     The above information is used only for scheduling a meeting and related logging as described in the Client-Side Logging section. For scheduling, the information is processed in memory and stored in your local computer’s registry for quick access.

Note: The information is encrypted and shared with Lync Server.

Choice/Control:     Logging is turned off by default. If your enterprise allows logging, you can control enabled/disable logging from Lync ->Preferences->General section.

Peer to Peer File Transfer

What This Feature Does:     Lync users can transfer files to one another in two-party instant-messaging conversations (not meetings).

Information Collected, Processed, or Transmitted:     The file is transferred directly between the Lync clients. Users choose to initiate the file transfer and choose the file to be transferred. The file recipient must explicitly agree to receive the file. No information is sent to Microsoft.

Use of Information:     The Peer-to-Peer File Transfer feature lets users send files to one another in a real- time manner during an instant-messaging conversation.

Choice/Control:    You can choose to accept or decline a file transfer request from another user.

Personal Picture

What This Feature Does:     Personal Picture displays your picture, as well as pictures of other people in your enterprise.

Information Collected, Processed, or Transmitted:     Your Personal Picture sharing preference is collected for both displaying and sharing your picture including its web address. No information is sent to Microsoft.

Use of Information:     The information is used to customize your experience and to share your picture with others.

Choice/Control:     The enterprise administrator has these controls:

  • Controls whether users share the pictures initially by default or not. You can override this.

  • Controls the maximum size of a picture that any user would download.

  • Controls what kinds of pictures are allowed.

You have these Personal Photo preference controls:

  • Do not show my picture:     Publishes a value in presence that causes others who view your presence to display your picture or not.

  • Show default picture     If the enterprise provides a mechanism to edit the Active Directory picture, then you can change your picture in Active Directory and have the changes appear in Lync within 48 hours. Lync also has a link to your Microsoft SharePoint MySite profile, and changes to that picture may affect Active Directory, depending on the administrator configuration.

Presence and contact information

What This Feature Does:     When you sign in to Lync for Mac, this feature shares information such as your e-mail address, phone number, and job title with those contacts with whom you can send and receive instant messages. The feature displays similar information about those contacts to you.

Also, Lync is tightly integrated into Outlook, and works seamlessly with other Office for Mac 2011 applications, such as Word and PowerPoint.

Information Collected, Processed, or Transmitted:     You use your sign-in e-mail address and a password to connect to your Lync for Mac account.

Use of Information:     When you communicate with other users who are using Lync for Mac or add them to your list of contacts, certain information is shared with those users. This information may include your e-mail address, display name, presence status (that is, whether you are currently online or offline), personal note, phone number, job title, and IP address (when using a peer-to-peer communication). Enterprise administrators determine which information is available.

Choice/Control:     You can choose to not sign in to Lync for Mac if you do not want to share your presence and be contacted through IM, Audio, or Video. You can also choose to opt-out from sharing your calendar status through Lync for Mac by doing the following:

  1. On the Lync menu, click Preferences, and then click Account.

  2. Under Microsoft Exchange and Outlook Settings, clear the Display my Out of Office information to my contacts option or the Update my presence based on calendar information option.

If an organization deploys Lync Server, presence is exposed through Lync for Mac, and through the Microsoft Office for Mac 2011 applications.

Important Information:     In order to get real-time presence information about other users, you must be signed in to Lync for Mac.

Important Information:    Lync for Mac supports encryption if the server is configured to encrypt the information.

PowerPoint Collaboration

What This Feature Does:    Lync users can join a PowerPoint presentation initiated from a Windows desktop. You can take over as a presenter and make it available to either just the other presenters or to everyone who joins the group conversation.

Information Collected, Processed, or Transmitted:     Your actions drive all uses of this feature – for example, navigating through a PowerPoint presentation. Any file presented in a meeting will be transmitted to all meeting participants, and they will be able to retrieve it directly from a folder on their computers. The file owner or presenter can restrict others from saving the file, but this does not restrict them from retrieving or seeing it. PowerPoint files are stored on Lync Server according to the meeting content expiration policies defined by your enterprise administrator. No information is sent to Microsoft.

Use of Information:     Collaborating with PowerPoint helps conversation participants deliver effective presentations and receive feedback.

Choice/Control:     Presenters can restrict privileges according to participant role (presenters only, everyone, none) by doing the following:

  • To change the default viewing and annotation options, click More Options , and then click Meeting Options.

    The following table describes the options in detail.



Who can view privately

Change Who can view privately to Presenters only, Everyone, or None.

By default only presenters can page through meeting content at their own pace without affecting what everyone else in the meeting sees. Choose None (organizer only) if you prefer to control what participants are looking at during the meeting.

Who can annotate presentations

Change Who can annotate presentations to Presenters only, Everyone, or None.

Normally everyone in the meeting can add annotations to a PowerPoint presentation.

Presenters can restrict PowerPoint presentation availability according to participant role (organizer, presenters, everyone) when the PowerPoint presentation is not being shared. If a PowerPoint presentation is not available, you cannot see it in your content list when it is not being shared and cannot save it to your computer.

Unified Contact Store

What This Feature Does:     The Unified Contact Store consists of three main features:

  • Search merge     – This feature merges your Global Address list (GAL) with your personal Exchange contacts so that, when you search for a contact, there will be only a single entry in the search results.

  • Contact merge     – This feature aggregates contact information between Exchange and GAL entries using matching email and/or sign-in identifiers. Once a match is determined, Lync aggregates data from three data sources (Exchange, GAL, and presence). This aggregated data is displayed in various user interface components, including search results, your Contacts list, and a contact card.

Information Collected, Processed, or Transmitted:     Lync aggregates contact information from presence, Active Directory, and Outlook. This information is used internally by Lync. When creating Outlook contacts, Lync will be writing presence, Active Directory, and Outlook contact information to Exchange. No information is sent to Microsoft.

Use of Information:     Contact information from presence, Active Directory, and Outlook are shown in the Lync user interface (Contacts list, contact card, search results, and so on). This information can also be written to Exchange by using contact synchronization (the third item in the preceding list).

Emergency Services (911)

What This Feature Does:     When made available by your enterprise administrator Emergency Services allows Lync to transmit a location to emergency responders when an emergency services number is dialed (such as 911 in the United States). Your enterprise administrator can restrict the emergency calling capability to your work location, so you should check with your administrator for information about the extent to which the emergency calling functionality is available. When enabled, the location information transmitted to emergency services personnel is the location that your enterprise administrator has assigned to your location (for example, office number) and entered into the location database or, if such a location is not available, the location you may have manually entered in the Location field. If you dial emergency services while using Lync via a wireless Internet connection, while you are still in your work location, the location information transmitted to emergency responders will be merely an approximate location because it will be the location of the particular wireless endpoint with which your computer is communicating. The location information of that wireless endpoint, moreover, is input manually by your enterprise administrator, and therefore, the location information transmitted to the emergency services personnel may not be your actual location. To be fully functional this feature requires your enterprise to retain a routing service provided by certified solution providers, and the service is only available within the United States.

Information Collected, Processed, or Transmitted:     The location information obtained by Lync is determined by the automatic location information populated by the Location Information Server or by the location information you have manually entered in the Location field. This information is stored in memory on your computer, so when an emergency services number is entered, this location information is transmitted with the call for the purpose of routing to the appropriate emergency services provider and providing your approximate location. Your location may also be sent using an instant message to a local security desk. For emergency calls, the call detail record will contain your location information. No information is sent to Microsoft.

Use of Information:     Location is used for routing the call to the appropriate emergency services provider and for dispatching emergency responders. This information can also be sent to the enterprise's security desk as a notification with the caller’s location and call back information.

Choice/Control:    This feature is turned off by default and must be enabled by your enterprise administrator. Check with your enterprise administrator to determine if this feature is available. There is no ability for you to control whether a location is acquired automatically or transmitted to emergency dispatchers when an emergency call is made.


What This Feature Does:     Location and time zone information is computed and shared with others over the presence functionality. In addition, location information may be used for emergency services, as described in the Emergency Services section above. If you enable Privacy Mode (as mentioned in the Privacy Mode section), location information will be shared as described in the Privacy Mode section.

Information Collected, Processed, or Transmitted:    Your geographic location data is collected by one of two mechanisms: you manually enter the data, or the enterprise Location Information Server provides the location data to Lync. In addition, your time zone is retrieved from the Windows operating system on your computer. The location data that is collected consists of a "description" string as well as formatted address information. The description is any string that would help inform others about your location (such as “Home” or “Work”), while the formatted address information is a civic address meant to locate you (such as “5678 Main St, Buffalo, NY, 98052”). No information is sent to Microsoft.

Use of Information:     The location description and time zone data are shared over Lync presence, based on how your presence privacy is configured. This information is displayed in the user’s contact card. Note that the formatted address, or civic address, is not shared over presence.

Choice/Control:    If your enterprise administration has enabled location sharing and has configured to allow you to see the full location user interface, you will have the following controls by using the Location field and menu at the top of the Lync main window:

  • Set Location:     You can manually edit the text string that is shared with presence (the location description).

  • Show Contacts My Location:     An on/off toggle that controls whether any location data is shared over presence. This does not affect the sharing of location for emergency services.

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