Privacy supplement for Microsoft Outlook 2010

Last updated: March 2010

Linking to pictures and other documents

If you choose to create a link to an image, file, data source, or other document on your hard disk or on a server, the path to that file is saved in your Outlook item. In some cases, the link might include your user name or information about servers on your network. In the case of a data connection, you can choose to save a user name or password within the data connection link.

Also, when you apply an XML Schema to a document, a path to the XML Schema that you have created is saved to the document. In some cases, that path might include your user name.


When you print a Microsoft Outlook 2010 item, and then save that item, Outlook 2010 saves the path to your printer with the item. In some cases, the path might include a user name or computer name.

Document Workspace sites

Outlook 2010 allows you to access a Document Workspace site on a Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010 site. A Document Workspace site is a shared space where you can collaborate with other team members on one or more documents.

When you access a Document Workspace site, Outlook 2010 downloads data from the Document Workspace site to provide you with information about that site. This data includes:

  • Name of the SharePoint Foundation site

  • URL or address of the site

  • Names, e-mail addresses, and permission levels of the site users

  • Lists of the documents, tasks, and other information available from the site

Outlook 2010 also stores a list of the SharePoint Foundation sites that you have visited on your computer, in the form of cookies. This list is used to provide you with quick access to the sites that you have visited before. The list of sites that you have visited is not accessed by Microsoft and is not exposed to the Internet unless you choose to make the list more broadly available.

Fax service

The fax service allows you to send a fax over the Internet and organize the faxes that you have sent in Outlook 2010. To use the fax service, you must sign up with a fax service provider, separate from Microsoft, who processes the faxes and sends them over the Internet. Microsoft does not collect any data by the fax service.

When you sign up for the fax service, the fax service provider creates a registration package that is stored by the fax service provider and Outlook 2010. The package consists of the address of the fax service provider's Web site and a "token" confirming your access to the fax service provider. When you send a fax from an Office program, this registration package is appended to the document.

You can also use the fax service to calculate the price of a fax without actually sending the fax. If you choose to calculate the price of a fax, Outlook 2010 uses an encrypted connection to send your registration token, the phone number where the fax is to be sent, and the number of pages of the fax to the fax service provider. Microsoft does not receive or store this information.

SharePoint Foundation

Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010 provides shared, Web-based Workspace sites where you can collaborate on documents or meetings.

When you access a SharePoint site, by using either the Web browser or any Office program, the site saves cookies 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 the sites that you have visited before.

The list of sites that you have visited is not accessed by Microsoft and is not exposed to the Internet unless you choose to make the list more broadly available.

SharePoint Foundation also saves a list of the five Meeting Workspace sites that you have used most recently to your system's registry. The registry entry contains the site name and URL of each of these five sites, the Template language ID, Template ID, Template name, and name of the meeting organizer. This allows you to easily keep track of the sites that you use most often.

In SharePoint Foundation, when you create a new Web site or list, or add or invite people to an existing Web site or list, the site saves the following for each person, including your:

  • Full name

  • E-mail address

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

All elements of the SharePoint site include two fields: Created By and Modified By. The Created By field is filled in with the user name of the person who originally created the element and the date when it was created. The Modified By field is filled in with the user name of the person who last modified the Outlook 2010 document and the date when it was last modified.

Administrators of the servers where SharePoint sites are hosted have access to some data from these sites, which is used for analyzing the usage patterns of the site and improving the percentage of time that the site is available. This data is available only to the server administrators and is not shared with Microsoft unless Microsoft is hosting the SharePoint site. The data specifically captured includes the names, e-mail 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.


Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010 provides auditing features that allow administrators to keep a reliable audit trail of how users are working with certain content.

When SharePoint Foundation administrators enable the Auditing feature, the server automatically records in the SharePoint content database certain actions performed by the user. These actions include view, edit, check-in, and check-out. For each recorded action, the server records identifying information about the file, the action, and the user's SharePoint ID. No data is sent to Microsoft as part of this feature.

This feature is off by default and is available only to administrators of SharePoint sites where content is stored.

Instant messaging and notifications

Outlook 2010 provides you with the ability to send instant messages from within the program itself and provides you with the ability to be alerted when people are online or when certain changes are made to shared documents or workspaces.

Outlook 2010 can use an instant messaging client to provide you with the ability to see the online presence of other people and to send messages to them. Outlook 2010 includes a Web control that allows instant messaging presence to be displayed within a Web page. Microsoft SharePoint Foundation 2010 pages and Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 pages both make use of this control. Neither of these types of pages transmits presence data back to the Web server. This Web control can be used to transmit presence data from your instant messaging program to the Web server. By default, presence data can only be sent to intranet sites, trusted sites, and sites on the local computer.

Recording macros

Macro recording allows you to record a sequence of actions so that you can reproduce the actions at a later time. If you choose to record a macro, your user name is saved as a comment in the code when the macro is initially created. You can manually remove your user name from this location.

Outlook features

As a personal information manager, Outlook 2010 stores your e-mail, your appointments, your contacts and address book entries, your tasks, any notes that you make by using Outlook Notes, and any journal entries saved in the Outlook Journal.

By default, all of this information is saved to your personal computer and is accessible only by you. However, you have the option to share this information with other people in any of the following ways:

  • You can send an e-mail message or a meeting request.

  • You can send or share a contact or task. If you send or share a contact with someone, all of the information that you have stored in that contact is shared with the other person.

  • You can choose to share calendar information with other people in your enterprise or with other people on other networks that can communicate with your enterprise’s calendar system, for example with people who have federated Microsoft Exchange Server or Windows Live ID accounts. You can choose with whom to share your calendar and how much information from your calendar to share. You can stop sharing your calendar at any time.

  • You can send an encrypted e-mail message with a digital signature. If you digitally sign a message, that signature is stored with the message. The digital signature contains a digital certificate, which can include an e-mail address. If you are using Exchange Server, you can also publish public keys to that Exchange Server computer.

Outlook Integration with Exchange server

When you work with a server using Microsoft Exchange Server, Outlook 2010 collects certain performance statistics about the remote procedure calls that Outlook has sent to that server. The purpose of this feature is to allow Exchange server administrators to determine how well their servers are performing.

A remote procedure call is a call from Outlook 2010 to the Exchange server, asking the Exchange server to perform a task and return the results to Outlook. For example, Outlook 2010 issues a remote procedure call to an Exchange server when it asks the Exchange server to deliver any new e-mail message.

Outlook 2010 collects statistics on the number of remote procedure calls that are made, the number of successful and failed calls, the number of remote procedure calls that have been canceled, and the amount of time that each remote procedure call has taken. This data is saved into a file called an event log. No personal information is saved within these logs. By default, the logs are available only on the user's computer, but a network administrator can make this log available to an Exchange server administrator.

Account Automatic Configuration

Outlook 2010 provides you with an option to automatically configure your Outlook mailbox to send and receive e-mail messages from a server. To automatically configure your account, you need to provide your user name, password, and e-mail address in the Add New E-mail Account dialog box during first run. To modify these values, do the following:

  1. Click the File tab.

  2. Click Account Settings.

  3. Click Account Settings, and then select the account to change.

By default, your user name and password are sent over the Internet to a server at the domain name of the e-mail address that you provide. Alternatively, you can choose to configure the e-mail server settings manually by clicking the option Manually configure server settings in the Add New E-mail Account dialog box during first run. To modify these values, do the following:

  1. Click the File tab.

  2. Click Account Settings.

  3. Click Account Settings, and then select the account to change.

Sending and tracking e-mail messages

Outlook 2010 provides you with an option to apply Follow-up flags (when composing a new message, click Follow-up in the ribbon) to your e-mail messages. These flags are used to track and follow up on both sent and received e-mail messages. The flag data is stored as part of the e-mail message and in some cases might be available to other people to whom you forward the message. By default, a Microsoft Exchange Server removes the flag data before sending the message to the recipient.

Information Rights Management

Information Rights Management (IRM) allows you to give certain users or groups the right to access and modify an item. Despite some similarities, IRM is not the same as Document Protection. IRM allows you to set permissions to the entire item for specific actions, such as printing the item or forwarding the item to other people, as well as for reading or editing the item.

When you store an item with IRM enabled, Outlook 2010 saves to the item a list of every user who has rights to that item and what their permissions are. This information is encrypted so that only the item owners can access this information.

Additionally, items with IRM enabled contain content licenses. A content license contains an e-mail address, permission, and authentication information. Each time anyone attempts to open an item with IRM enabled, Outlook 2010 checks the content licenses saved in the item against the user's identity. If the user has never opened the document before, Outlook 2010 contacts an IRM server, verifies the user's identity, downloads a new content license for the user (provided that the user has the necessary rights), and saves that content license to the item.

Item owners have the option to avoid saving content licenses to the item. However, if this content license is not saved to the item, Outlook 2010 must contact the IRM server every time the item is opened. If Outlook 2010 is not connected to a network or cannot contact the IRM server, the item cannot be opened.

SharePoint Server Colleague add-in

The Microsoft SharePoint Server Colleague Import add-in helps discover the colleagues and subjects that you commonly discuss on in Outlook 2010 and list them on your trusted My Site on the Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010. To generate a list of your possible colleagues, the add-in scans your Sent Items e-mail folder to look for names and keywords along with the frequency of those names and keywords. The list is updated periodically and stored under the user’s profile on your local computer. The list of possible colleagues is accessed by the My Site Add Colleagues page where you can choose the colleagues you want to add to your trusted My Site. This add-in is turned on by default when you install Outlook 2010. You can choose to turn off the SharePoint Colleague add-in and prevent the add-in from scanning your Sent Items e-mail folder as well as uploading information to My Site by doing the following:

  1. Click the File tab.

  2. Under Help, click Options.

  3. Click Advanced.

  4. Under Other, clear the Allow analysis of sent e-mails to identify people you commonly e-mail and subjects you commonly discuss, and upload this information to the My Site on Microsoft SharePoint Server check box.

Sharing information across multiple accounts

You can access multiple accounts with Outlook 2010. For example, you can use Outlook 2010 to access multiple Microsoft Exchange accounts or your Windows Live Hotmail accounts using Outlook Connector. By default, these accounts store their data separately, but they share some configuration information, such as the settings stored in Outlook Options. Also, data which is stored separately might be combined into one view in Outlook 2010, for example the list of contacts you send e-mail messages to most often is store separately but visualized in one list.

You can stop Outlook 2010 from sharing any information among accounts by configuring an Outlook profile for each account you access.

Outlook Mobile Service

Outlook Mobile Service (OMS) allows you to send Short Message Service (SMS) or Multimedia Messaging Service (MMS) messages over the Internet using Outlook 2010. If you use Outlook 2010 with a Microsoft Exchange 2010 account that supports SMS/MMS messaging, messages are sent through the Exchange account. If you use Outlook 2010 without an Exchange account or your Exchange Server does not support SMS/MMS, you must sign up with a third-party service provider to send SMS and MMS messages. Microsoft does not collect any data from this feature. Your service provider processes the SMS and MMS messages and sends them over the Internet on your behalf. Microsoft is not responsible for the privacy policies or practices of third-party SMS or MMS service providers.

During the OMS account setup process, you can view a list of the service providers that support the OMS protocol and offer the messaging service in your region. After choosing a Service Provider you are directed to the service provider’s Web site to complete the setup of your OMS account. Most SMS and MMS service providers offer their services for a fee, and they handle all billing information.

Outlook 2010 stores the Web service address for your SMS or MMS service provider that is used to send OMS messages. Outlook can also store your user name and password for your service provider used to connect to the service. When using the OMS features in Outlook 2010, messages (SMS and MMS) are sent over the Internet to the Web service address provided by the service provider with the user name and password for identification purposes, via a Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) connection. The outgoing messages (SMS and MMS) are stored in Sent Items folder in Outlook 2010.

Outlook Social Connector

The Outlook Social Connector allows you to install add-ins to connect to social networks. By default Outlook allows you to connect to social networking features in Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010. You can use Outlook Social Connector to:

  • Save your user name and password to connect more easily to social networks. If you save your user name and password, they are stored on your computer.

  • Automatically synchronize contacts between Outlook and social networks. To disable syncing of contacts from social networks to Outlook do the following:

    1. On the View tab, in the People Pane group, click Account Settings.

    2. Click the social network that you want to change, and then click Change.

    3. In the Settings dialog box for the social network that you selected, click Options.

    4. Clear the Download contacts from social network check box.

  • View activity feeds within Outlook and store those feeds in Outlook for offline viewing. By default you can view news feed items in offline mode for 30 days. You can change the amount of time items are retained for offline viewing and delete activity items by doing the following:

    1. On the View tab, in the People Pane group, click Account Settings.

    2. Click Settings.

    3. Clear the Automatically delete activity items from the Feed Folder after: 30 days check box or change the number of days to something other than 30.

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