Control access to your presence information in Skype for Business (Lync)

What is “presence” in Skype for Business (Lync)? What’s a “privacy relationship” in Skype for Business (Lync)? Why do I need to know? If you’ve wondered about these or similar questions, you’ll find answers here. First we’ll define some key terms. Then we’ll summarize what information each privacy relationship provides access to. Finally, we’ll explain how to change the privacy relationships that you have with your contacts and how to limit access to your presence information when you need to.

What exactly is presence information?

Your presence information includes your availability status (such as Available or Away), a color-coded presence indicator (such as green, yellow, or red), your schedule, your location, and your personal or out-of-office notes.

What are privacy relationships?

In Skype for Business (Lync), privacy relationships control how much of your presence information others see. Each of your contacts has one of five privacy relationships with you, and each relationship gives access to a different amount of information. For example, Colleagues, which is the relationship new contacts are given by default when you add them, can learn more about where you are, when you’ll be available, and how to reach you than External Contacts but less than Workgroup. Friends and Family, as you might expect, can see more of this information than all the others. (The one exception here is that contacts you have a Workgroup relationship with may need to find you at your work site, so only these contacts can see your meeting locations and get your attention via Skype for Business (Lync) even if you’ve set your status to Do Not Disturb.)

Which privacy levels give access to what information?

This table shows who can see what:

Type of information:

Available to:

External Contacts?

Colleagues?

Workgroup?

Friends & Family?

Presence Information

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Presence Status

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Display Name

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Email Address

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Title *

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Work Phone *

Yes

Yes

Mobile Phone *

Yes

Home Phone *

Yes

Other Phone

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Company *

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

Office *

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

SharePoint Site *

Yes

Meeting Location #

Yes

Meeting Subject #

Yes

Yes

Yes

Free Busy

Yes

Yes

Yes

Working Hours

Yes

Yes

Yes

Location #

Yes

Yes

Yes

Notes (Out-of-Office Note)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Notes (Personal)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Last Active

Yes

Yes

Yes

Personal Photo Web Address (if applicable)

Yes

Yes

Yes

Yes

  • An asterisk (*) above indicates that if this information is defined in an organization’s directory service, it will be visible to all contacts in your organization, regardless of privacy relationship, and to external contacts (if configured and recognized by your organization’s network).

  • A pound sign (#) above indicates that this information is visible by default.

Change your privacy relationship with a contact

To view your contacts according to their privacy relationships:

  • Open Skype for Business (Lync), and, in your Contacts list, click the Relationships tab in the area just above your contacts (other options are Groups, Status, and New).

To change the privacy relationship you have with a contact:

  • In your Contacts list, right-click the contact, point to Change Privacy Relationship, and then click a new privacy relationship for the contact.

By default, contacts are assigned the Colleagues privacy relationship when you add them to your Contacts list. If you have any contacts that you’ve later assigned to another relationship, you can change the privacy relationship back to Colleagues by clicking either Colleagues or Auto-assign Relationship.

Hide your location

By default, Skype for Business (Lync) updates your location when you log on from different places. You can hide this information from others by doing the following:

  1. In the Skype for Business (Lync) main window, click the location menu under your name.

  2. Clear the check box next to Show Others My Location.

Enable Privacy Mode

By default, everyone except Blocked Contacts can see your presence status. To modify the privacy settings, you can do the following:

  1. In the Skype for Business (Lync) main window, click the Options button.

  2. In the Skype for Business (Lync)- Options dialog box, click Status, and then do one of the following:

  3. Click I want everyone to be able to see my presence regardless of system settings (override default settings).

  4. Click I want the system administrator to decide - currently everyone can see my presence but this could change in the future.

About Enhanced Privacy Mode

If your organization has enabled Enhanced Privacy Mode in Skype for Business (Lync), you can choose whether to limit visibility of your presence information to only those people you’ve added to your Contacts list. You do that by selecting one of the following on the Options->Status window:

  • I want everyone to be able to see my presence

  • I only want people in my Contacts list to see my presence

Important    If you are running Skype for Business (Lync) in Privacy Mode, older versions of Microsoft Communicator will be blocked.

Block a contact

To prevent a contact from reaching you via IM or phone in Skype for Business (Lync):

  1. In your Contacts list, right-click the contact you want to block.

  2. Click Change Privacy Relationship, and then click Blocked Contacts.

Note    Your name and email address will still be visible to a blocked contact.

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Applies To: Lync 2013 for Office 365, Lync 2013, Lync Basic 2013



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