Privacy Statement for OneNote

Last updated: October 2012

Office 2013 Privacy Statement

Because the Microsoft Office team respects your privacy, we want you to understand how we collect and use information about you. We are committed to helping protect the privacy of your information and helping ensure you have full control over how your information is used and shared.


At Microsoft, we're working hard to protect your privacy, while delivering products that bring you the performance, power, and convenience you want in your personal computing. This Privacy Statement explains many of the data collection and use practices of Microsoft OneNote, which is an app for Windows 8 devices. Please read the information below and also any supplemental information linked to this page for additional details about particular OneNote and services you might use. This isn’t intended to be an exhaustive list and doesn’t apply to other online or offline Microsoft sites, products, or services.

As with all Microsoft Office products, the 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 you have full control over how your data is used and distributed.

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Collection and use of your personal information

We use the personal information we collect to enable the features you are using and provide the services or carry out the requests you authorize. We might also use the information to request feedback, provide critical updates and notifications regarding the software, improve the product or service, for example, bug and survey form inquiries, or 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 Microsoft Office files in the form of metadata (data on data). This metadata is used by Office programs to help you collaborate with others on your files. Instructions for removing metadata from your files can be found in the supplementary information about a specific Office program.

Except as described in this statement, personal information you provide isn’t 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’re required to maintain the confidentiality of that information and are prohibited from using that information for any other purpose.

Personal information 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, 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

OneNote includes features that access the Internet to provide you with additional information or to share data with others. These features are available any time you have an active connection to the Internet.

Any time OneNote contacts a Microsoft server, information about your computer ("standard computer information") is sent to the websites 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. If a particular feature or service sends information to Microsoft, standard computer information is also sent.

After OneNote 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 websites to give you materials compatible with OneNote. This information doesn’t contain personally identifiable information.

From time to time, Microsoft might change some of the Internet addresses (URLs) of the Internet services it provides. To ensure uninterrupted service, Microsoft might download a file to your system containing the new Internet addresses that OneNote 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 application, the locale and language you selected, and the version of the application 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 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 can’t be used to run applications 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 Microsoft Office helps OneNote to remember Microsoft SharePoint Foundation sites you previously visited. This simplifies the process of finding the site again and delivering relevant content.

Whenever OneNote contacts a Microsoft server, it can potentially save or access cookies. We also use cookies to assist in collecting information about which pages our customers visit within This site visitation data is identified only by a unique ID number, and it’s never linked with personal information unless you consent as described elsewhere in the Privacy Statement.

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 Office on the Tools menu in Internet Explorer 8 and 9, by clicking Internet options > Privacy tab.

Microsoft Office accepts the privacy settings you select under Internet Options in Control Panel or in Internet Explorer and doesn’t download cookies if you have chosen not to allow cookies to be downloaded. Those features, described later in this statement, that use cookies might not work correctly with this setting in place. In addition, features used by websites and services that use cookies might not work correctly in Internet Explorer. Cookies previously saved to your hard disk might still be read by OneNote unless you use the Internet Options in Control Panel or Internet Explorer to remove previously saved cookies.

Microsoft account authentication

OneNote requires you to sign into the app using the email address and password associated with your Microsoft account or with the user ID you use to access Office 365. When you sign into OneNote with your Microsoft account, notes you create in OneNote are automatically stored in OneDrive.

If you don’t have a Microsoft account, you can go online to the Microsoft account service to create one.

When you create a Microsoft account through Microsoft Office or, the registration information you provide is stored in your Microsoft account profile, and some of that registration information might be stored by the service. To learn more about the Microsoft account service, the information stored in the Microsoft account profile, and how Microsoft account uses and helps to protect your personal information, read the Microsoft account Privacy Statement.

Using OneNote when you sign into Windows 8 with a Microsoft account

Windows 8 provides users with the ability to sign into Windows 8 using a Microsoft account in order to sync certain settings and have personalized experiences across devices that are also running Windows 8. Signing into Windows 8 with a Microsoft account automatically signs you into OneNote using the same Microsoft account. This allows you to store and access OneNote files in OneDrive without being asked to reenter your Windows 8 username and password.

Office 365 authentication

The ID you use to sign in to Microsoft Office 365 lets you access Office 365 content with OneNote. To do so, you submit the email address and password associated with your Office 365 account.

OneNote Licensing and Activation

Activation helps reduce software counterfeiting, which helps ensure Microsoft customers receive the software quality they expect. Activation means that a specific product key becomes associated with the hardware it’s installed on. The Microsoft Software License Terms for OneNote state the number of times your product key can be used for activation. After you have installed OneNote 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.

To enjoy the full functionality and features of OneNote, users must have a valid license and activate the app. When you use OneNote and sign into the app with a Microsoft account or sign in with the ID you use to access Office 365, information may be sent to Microsoft to determine whether you have a valid subscription or volume license with your account or ID. If Office determines that you have a valid subscription or volume license with your account or ID, the following activation information is sent to Microsoft to activate the app:

  • 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, or was pre-installed by the computer manufacturer.

  • The date of installation.

  • System information and information about your hardware used to run the Office product.

  • Information that helps Microsoft determine whether your software has been properly activated and is subject to an appropriate and valid license.

You can view information regarding whether your software has been properly activated in OneNote Settings.


When you purchase or upgrade a subscription enabling you to use OneNote from, you must provide a Microsoft account to complete the purchase experience. After you successfully download OneNote to your computer and sign into the app with the account associated with your subscription, information telling you have the right to use OneNote on that computer is saved on your computer. Periodically, when you sign into and use OneNote, information is sent to Microsoft to ensure you have a valid subscription, including the activation information listed above, the version of OneNote you currently have installed (if any), your OneNote language setting, and standard computer information.

Volume Licensing

Your copy of OneNote can detect and accept changes to your device configuration. Minor upgrades don’t require re-activation. If you uninstall OneNote, you might be required to reactivate your product. 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 a trial version of OneNote, activation also collects information from your computer about the version from of the products from which you are upgrading, including the length of time you used such products. Activation also results in a number generated from the computer's hardware configuration and standard computer information being sent to Microsoft.

Under certain circumstances, such as when activation didn’t complete, 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 whether your copy of Office activated properly and how to resolve any activation issues. Choosing to obtain such information sends information normally sent during activation to Microsoft.

If you don’t 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 isn’t properly licensed.

Purchasing OneNote from the Microsoft Store

The “OneNote Licensing and Activation” section doesn’t apply if you purchase a license to use OneNote from the Microsoft Store. For information about data collected by the Microsoft Store, refer to the Microsoft Store terms of use.

Customer Experience Improvement Program

You are invited to participate in our Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP) to improve the quality, reliability, and performance of Microsoft software and services.

On the customize settings page, you can choose to Send us info to help make OneNote better or not.

If you decide to participate, Microsoft collects information about your hardware configuration and how you use our software and services to identify trends and usage patterns. For full details about CEIP, please go to the Microsoft Customer Experience Improvement Program website.


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.

SharePoint Foundation

Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2013 provides shared, web-based Workspace sites where you can collaborate on documents or meetings.

When you go to a SharePoint site, by using either your web browser or any Microsoft Office program, the site saves a cookie to your computer if you have permissions to create a new subsite on that site. Taken together, these cookies form a list of sites to which you have permissions. This list is used by several Office programs to provide you with quick access to previously visited sites.

The list of sites you visited isn’t accessed by Microsoft and isn’t exposed to the Internet unless you choose to make the list more broadly available.

In SharePoint Foundation, when you create a new website or list, or when you add or invite people to an existing website or list, the site saves the full name and email address for each person, including you.

A user ID is added to every element that you or the other users of the site add to or change on the site. As with all of the content on the SharePoint site, only administrators and members of the site should have access to this information.

All elements of the SharePoint site include the fields: Created By and Modified By. The Created By field contains the user name of the person who originally created the element and the date when it was created. The Modified By field contains the user name of the person who last changed the file and the date when it was last changed.

Server administrators where SharePoint sites are hosted have access to some data from these sites, which is used to analyze the usage patterns of the site and improve the percentage of time the site is available. This data is available only to the server administrators and isn’t shared with Microsoft unless Microsoft is hosting the SharePoint site. The data includes the names, email addresses, and permissions of everyone with access to the site.

All users with access to a particular SharePoint site might search and view all content available on that site.

Author name

All OneNote notebooks contain the name of the author who created the notebook, the notebook’s sections or its notes. OneNote shows the author name for the last person who modified a note.

OneNote also stores timestamps in the file, including the creation time and the last modified time.

Notebook synchronization OneNote allows you to edit a notebook on a shared location or a SharePoint site, and then to periodically merge your changes with changes from others. If there is a conflict of versions during a merge operation, the author name is stored with each conflicting page and displayed beside that page. The author names can then be used to identify the sources of any conflicts.

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

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