MSN Privacy Statement
MSN is committed to protecting your privacy. This MSN Privacy Statement applies to Microsoft's MSN family of Web sites and governs data collection and usage at all MSN sites and services; it does not apply to other online or offline Microsoft sites, products or services. Please read the MSN Privacy Statement below and also any supplementary information at the end of this statement for additional details about particular MSN sites and services that you may use.
MSN is a general audience web site, intended for users of all ages. Personal information of all users is collected, used and disclosed as described in this Privacy Statement. This Statement contains a section with specific details regarding personal information collected from children. Click here to read more.
Collection of your Personal Information
At some sites, MSN collects personal information, such as your e-mail address, name, home or work address or telephone number. MSN may also collect demographic information, such as your ZIP code, age, gender, preferences, interests and favorites. Information collected by MSN may be combined with information obtained from other Microsoft services and other companies.
If you choose to sign up for a paid subscription service (such as MSN Internet Access or MSN Extra Storage), we will collect additional personal information, including your credit card number and billing address, in order to create a Microsoft billing account. You can always add to or update the information in your billing account through the Account Update area located at https://billing.microsoft.com.
You can choose to create an optional public profile, containing information about yourself - such as your hobbies and interests. Any information you choose to enter in your public profile will be visible to other users of MSN sites and services; and when you interact with other users (for example, sending an MSN Hotmail message to another MSN email account or interacting in an MSN Chat room), a link to your public profile may be displayed. MSN urges you to be careful only to enter information on your public profile that you are comfortable sharing with the public at large. You may change, edit or delete information about yourself from your public profile at any time while online by going to People & Chat, Public Profiles, Edit Your Public Profile.
MSN also collects certain information about your computer hardware and software. This information may include: your IP address, browser type, domain names, access times and referring Web site addresses. This information is used by MSN for the operation of the service, to maintain quality of the service, and to provide general statistics regarding use of MSN.
MSN keeps track of the pages our customers visit within MSN, in order to determine what MSN sites and services are the most popular. This data is also used by MSN to deliver customized content and advertising to customers whose behavior indicates that they are interested in a particular subject area.
MSN uses .NET Passport to provide registration and sign-in services. If you create a .NET Passport at MSN, you are simultaneously registering with MSN and opening a .NET Passport account. All of the registration information you provide will be stored by MSN, and some or all of that information will also be stored by .NET Passport in your Passport profile. To learn more about the Passport service, the information stored in the Passport profile, and how Passport uses and helps protect your personal information, please read the .NET Passport Privacy Statement.
Some MSN services, such as MSN Chat and MSN Groups, request that you create a social nickname, which is the name you will be known by to others in those public places. You may select a different social nickname at any time. Please keep in mind that if you disclose personal information through MSN Chats, MSN Groups, or other public online forums, this information may be collected and used by others. MSN cautions you against giving out personal information to strangers online, which they may use for illegal or harmful purposes.
MSN encourages you to review the privacy statements of Web sites you choose to link to from MSN so that you can understand how those Web sites collect, use and share your information. Microsoft is not responsible for the privacy statements or other content on Web sites outside of the Microsoft and MSN family of Web sites.
Use of your Personal Information
MSN and its operational service partners collect and use your personal information to operate MSN and deliver the services you have requested. MSN does not use or disclose sensitive personal information, such as race, religion, or political affiliations, without your explicit consent.
MSN also uses your personal information to inform you of other products or services available from Microsoft and its affiliates. MSN may also contact you via surveys to conduct research about your opinion of current services or of potential new services that may be offered.
MSN does not sell, rent or lease its customer lists to third parties. MSN may, from time to time, contact you on behalf of external business partners about a particular offering that may be of interest to you. In those cases, your personal information (e-mail, name, address, telephone number) is not transferred to the third party.
Certain MSN services may be co-branded and offered in conjunction with another company. If you register for or use such services, both MSN and the other company may receive information collected in conjunction with the co-branded services. In such cases, either a joint privacy statement or a link to the other company's privacy statement will be provided, which will provide you with information about how the other company will use the information and how you can contact the other company with requests to access the information or other inquiries.
We occasionally hire other companies to provide limited services on our behalf, such as handling the processing and delivery of mailings, providing customer support, processing transactions, or performing statistical analysis of our services. We will only provide those companies the personal information they need to deliver the service. They are required to maintain the confidentiality of your information and are prohibited from using that information for any other purpose.
MSN may access and/or disclose your personal information if required to do so by law or in the good faith belief that such action is necessary to: (a) conform to the edicts of the law or comply with legal process served on Microsoft or the site; (b) protect and defend the rights or property of Microsoft, including its MSN family of Web sites; or (c) act under exigent circumstances to protect the personal safety of users of MSN services or members of the public.
Personal information collected on this site may be stored and processed in the United States or any other country in which Microsoft or its affiliates, subsidiaries or agents maintain facilities, and by using this site, you consent to any such transfer of information outside of your country. 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.
Control your Personal Information
MSN offers its customers choices for the collection, use and sharing of personal information. You may go to the MSN Communications Preferences page to proactively make choices about the use and sharing of your personal information. You may choose not to receive marketing material from MSN or on behalf of external third party business partners.
In addition, you may visit the "MSN Personal Information Center" to view, edit or delete your personal information from the MSN database. Not all sites are represented at this time; additional MSN sites and services will be added to the Center in the future. If you have created a public profile on MSN, you may also edit or delete information in your public profile by going to People & Chat, Public Profiles, Edit Your Public Profile.
In each case described above, you will be asked to make your requests while logged into a .NET Passport account, so that MSN can associate your preferences with a particular account. This security safeguard prevents someone else from accessing your personal information or making choices about the usage and control of your personal information. If you do not have a .NET Passport account, you can create one now by clicking here.
You may also stop the delivery of future promotional e-mail from MSN by following the specific instructions in the e-mail you receive. The instructions explain how to stop receiving such e-mails.
There are some MSN services, including MSN Internet Access and MSN Hotmail, that send out periodic e-mails informing you of technical service issues, product surveys, new feature announcements and news about MSN products and services. You will not be able to unsubscribe to these mailings, as they are considered a part of the service you have chosen.
Security of your Personal Information
MSN is committed to protecting 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. For example, we store the personal information you provide on computer systems with limited access, that are located in controlled facilities. When we transmit highly confidential information (such as a credit card number) over the Internet, we protect it through the use of encryption, such as the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protocol.
Collection and Use of Children's Personal Information
MSN offers a special MSN Kids area that is specifically designed for children at http://kids.msn.com/. MSN Kids has a special privacy statement that informs children and parents about the MSN Kids area, describes the additional privacy protections provided in this area, and provides children with tips on how to protect themselves online.
The rest of MSN is intended for users of all ages. Children may visit these general audience areas of MSN and provide personal information, which will be collected, used and disclosed as described is this Privacy Statement. Some, but not all, MSN sites require users to provide age information. For those users who visit such sites and identify themselves as under 13, MSN uses Kids Passport, a service of .NET Passport, to obtain consent from parents for the collection, use and sharing of their children's personal information as described in this Privacy Statement. If MSN changes this Privacy Statement in a way that expands the collection, use or disclosure of children's personal information to which a parent has previously consented, the parent will be notified and MSN will be required to obtain the parent's additional consent. To learn more about the Kids Passport service, please visit www.passport.net and read the .NET Passport Kids Privacy Statement.
Please note that if you grant consent for your child to use such general audience communication services as MSN Chat, MSN Groups, MSN Messenger, or MSN Hotmail, your child will be able to communicate with other users of all ages. Before providing consent, please be aware that such services will give your child the ability to disclose personal information (e.g. name, address, e-mail, phone numbers) on his or her own. We encourage you to talk with your children about communicating with strangers and disclosing personal information online. You and your child can visit MSN's Stay Safe Online site for additional information about using the Internet safely.
When an MSN service knows that a user is a child, it will not condition the child's participation in an activity, such as a game or a prize drawing, on the provision of more personal information than is reasonably necessary to participate in that activity. Additionally, you have the right, subject to verification that you are the child's parent, to change or revoke the consent choices you have previously made for MSN services and to review or request the deletion of your child's personal information. You may send such requests, or any questions you have about MSN's practices with regard to personal information about your child, by clicking here to send e-mail or by sending postal mail to the address in the "Contact Information" section of this Statement.
MSN uses "cookies" to help you personalize your online experience. A cookie is a text file that is placed on your hard disk by a Web page server. Cookies cannot be used to run programs or deliver viruses to your computer. Cookies are uniquely assigned to you, and can only be read by a web server in the domain that issued the cookie to you.
One of the primary purposes of cookies is to provide a convenience feature to save you time. For example, if you personalize MSN's pages, or register with MSN sites or services, a cookie helps MSN to recall your specific information on subsequent visits. This simplifies the process of recording your personal information, such as billing addresses, shipping addresses, and so on. When you return to MSN, the information you previously provided can be retrieved, so you can easily use the MSN features that you customized.
You have the ability to accept or decline cookies. Most Web browsers automatically accept cookies, but you can usually modify your browser setting to decline cookies if you prefer. If you choose to decline cookies, you may not be able to fully experience the interactive features of the MSN services or Web sites you visit.
Use of Web Beacons
MSN Web pages may contain electronic images known as Web beacons - sometimes called single-pixel gifs - that allow MSN to count users who have visited those pages and to deliver co-branded services. MSN may include web beacons in promotional e-mail messages or MSN Newsletters in order to count how many messages have been opened and acted upon. Web beacons are not used to access your personal information on the MSN network of sites and services; they are a technique we use to compile aggregated statistics about MSN Web site usage.
Web beacons collect only a limited set of information including a cookie number, time and date of a page view, and a description of the page on which the Web beacon resides. MSN Web pages may also contain Web beacons placed there by third parties to help determine the effectiveness of our joint promotional or advertising campaigns.
Use of Third Party Ad Networks
The majority of the online banner advertisements you see on MSN Web pages are displayed by MSN.
In addition, MSN allows other companies, called third-party ad servers or ad networks, to display advertisements on MSN Web pages. Some of these ad networks may place a persistent cookie on your computer. Doing this allows the ad network to recognize your computer each time they send you an online advertisement. In this way, ad networks may compile information about where you, or others who are using your computer, saw their advertisements and determine which ads are clicked on. This information allows an ad network to deliver targeted advertisements that they believe will be of most interest to you. Microsoft does not have access to or control of the cookies that may be placed by the third-party ad servers or ad networks.
MSN maintains relationships with a number of the third-party ad networks currently operating such as: 24/7 Real Media; AdForce; AdKnowledge; AppNet/admaximize/i33; Avenue A; BlueStreak.com; CFM&Z; Click Here; DoubleClick; Flycast; Interad Network; MatchLogic; Mediaplex; Sabela Media; The Thinking Media; and Vita Bella. Those ad networks that use persistent cookies may offer you a way to opt out of ad targeting. You may find more information at the Web site of either the individual ad network or the Network Advertising Initiative.
MSN is a member of the TRUSTe Privacy Program. TRUSTe is an independent, non-profit organization whose mission is to build trust and confidence in the Internet by promoting the use of fair information practices. Because MSN wants to demonstrate its commitment to your privacy, it has agreed to disclose its information practices and have its privacy practices reviewed for compliance by TRUSTe.
Enforcement of this Privacy Statement
If you have questions regarding this statement, you should first contact MSN via e-mail. If you do not receive acknowledgement of your inquiry or your inquiry has not been satisfactorily addressed, you should then contact TRUSTe at www.truste.org/users/users_watchdog.html. TRUSTe will serve as a liaison with MSN to resolve your concerns.
Changes to this Statement
MSN will occasionally update this Privacy Statement to reflect company and customer feedback. When MSN posts changes to this Statement, you will see the word "updated" next to the Privacy Statement link on the front page of MSN. If there are material changes to this Statement or in how MSN will use your personal information, MSN will prominently post such changes prior to implementing the change. MSN encourages you to periodically review this Statement to be informed of how Microsoft is protecting your information.
MSN welcomes your comments regarding this Privacy Statement. If you believe that MSN has not adhered to this Statement, please contact MSN by telephone, e-mail, or postal mail.
Click here to send e-mail.
Supplementary Information for Particular MSN Sites and Services
Please click in the links below to view additional information about particular MSN sites and services. Please note that this additional information is intended to supplement and be read in conjunction with the general provisions of the MSN Privacy Statement above.
MSN Internet Access Service
When you create an MSN Internet Access account, you will be simultaneously creating a .Net Passport for each user of the account, which will be used to sign into the service. For more information about .NET Passport, visit http://www.passport.net and read the .NET Passport Privacy Statement.
New users will receive welcome letters explaining the features provided by the service. MSN Internet Access may contact you regarding the service, such as changes in the service, technical issues or billing questions. You may also receive periodic member letters to announce important service changes, new features, technical issue updates and news about other Microsoft products and services.
You may access and update your information in your MSN Internet Access account in the "Help and Support" area of MSN Internet Access at memberservices.msn.com. You may also contact MSN Internet Access Customer Service to determine whether such information has been accurately recorded, and, if not, to request correction of any inaccuracies. You can reach a live interactive online support representative 24 hours a day, 7 days a week at msn.webhelp.com/msn/.
Hotmail collects information during the registration process, including first and last name, country, region or state, zip or postal code, time zone, gender, birth date and occupation. You may update your registration information at any time from within your Hotmail account by clicking the "Options" button on the navigation bar, and then clicking on the "Personal" icon.
When you create a Hotmail account, you will also simultaneously create a .NET Passport, which you will use for signing in to your Hotmail account. If you cancel this .NET Passport account, you will automatically cancel your Hotmail account. For more information about .NET Passport, visit http://www.passport.net and read the .NET Passport Privacy Statement.
Your registration information is used to operate the site, for demographic statistics, and to display appropriate individualized advertisements. New users will receive a Hotmail welcome letter explaining the features provided by the service. Hotmail may also send periodic member letters to announce important service changes, new features, technical issue updates and news about other Microsoft products and services.
During the Hotmail registration process you are given the choice as to whether you want to be listed in the Hotmail Directory and the Internet White Pages. If you did not make a choice during the initial registration process, your registered name and location is listed in the Hotmail Directory and the Internet White Pages. At any time, you may remove your information from the Hotmail Directory by clicking on the "Options" button on the navigation bar, and then clicking on the "Personal" icon. In the case of the Internet White Pages, we will share your registered name, location, and e-mail address with the Internet White pages provider InfoSpace who may only use your personal information to provide their directory services. To remove your e-mail address from the Internet White Pages, go to www.msn.com, click on "More," click on "White Pages", click on "Email Search" where you may register or delete your e-mail address.
Hotmail is concerned about controlling unsolicited commercial e-mail. Hotmail will not sell, lease or rent its member lists to any third parties. While Microsoft continues to actively review and implement new technology, such as expanded filtering features, there is no currently available technology that will totally prevent the sending and receiving of unsolicited e-mail. Using tools such as the Inbox Protector and being cautious about the sharing of your e-mail address while online will help reduce the amount of unsolicited e-mail you receive. For more information on how to best use Hotmail's tools, please contact email@example.com.
MSN Explorer / MSN Internet Software
When you sign up for MSN Explorer / MSN Internet Software, we request registration information including personal information such as name and address, as well as demographic information such as occupation. Once registered, MSN will recognize users on future visits. Through MSN Explorer / MSN Internet Software registration, you will also create a .NET Passport for each user, which will be used for signing into the service. For more information about Passport and the Passport services, go to http://www.passport.net and read the .NET Passport Privacy Statement.
MSN may automatically check the version of MSN Explorer / MSN Internet Software and components you are using (including your browser version) every time you sign into the service in order to optimize performance. MSN may also provide upgrades to such software that will be automatically downloaded to your computer.
MSN Parental Controls
E-mail notification: When a parent configures Parental Controls for a child, the child will receive an e-mail message describing the service and notifying him or her that Parental Controls have been set for the account.
Online activity report: Parents can choose to enable online reporting for a child who has Parental Controls set for his or her account. If this feature is enabled, information about how a child uses the Internet will be stored temporarily on the child's computer. This information is periodically sent to the parent by e-mail from the child's account and is then deleted from the child's computer.
Contact lists: Parents may also choose to control the list of people that a child can correspond with using MSN Mail or MSN Messenger. The list of contacts specified for the child is stored on MSN servers so that the child will be protected whenever and wherever he or she uses MSN Mail or Messenger. The list of contacts can be edited by the parent or can be deleted by deleting the child's account.
Task requests: A child may request permission to complete a task that a parent has blocked. For example, the child can request access to a blocked Web site or for the ability to exchange e-mail messages with a new friend. MSN stores this automated request for a brief period, allowing the parent to review, allow, or deny the request from any computer using MSN Internet Software.
MSN Customer Experience Improvement Program
For example, this program details how many times you attempt to sign in, how long it takes on average to open the home page, and how much time you spend online during a given session. All of this information is anonymous and does not include any personal information.
MSN performs this service to help improve the technical quality of Microsoft products and services. The Customer Experience Improvement Program can be turned on or off at any time in MSN Explorer or MSN Internet Software on the Privacy settings page.
Critical Performance Errors
Before you choose to send your data to MSN, you have the opportunity to review that data. If you choose to send the data, in some cases your personal information may also be sent to MSN. This personal information is deleted before Microsoft reviews the error data you send.
All of these settings are stored on secure MSN servers. The sole purpose of storing the information on the server is to provide you with the convenience of having your settings available to you anywhere, even if you use multiple computers. Your settings are not used by MSN for any purpose other than to provide you access to them.
Automatically Suggested Tasks
When the MSN Address bar automatically suggests a task, the following information is collected: the text of the original request, the suggestions offered by the Address bar, and which of those suggestions, if any, are selected. The information is collected by Microsoft for the operation of the service, to maintain quality of the service, and to provide general statistics regarding its usage. The MSN Address bar will not request or use any personal information, except to suggest a task as interpreted by the Address bar.
The advanced capabilities of the MSN Address bar can be turned off in MSN Internet Software by clearing the "Recommend search tasks automatically" check box and the "Recommend other tasks automatically" check box on the MSN Address bar settings page.
MSN Health is provided by MSN's partner, WebMD. WebMD requests personal information and demographic data to provide you with the health related services you have requested. MSN does not collect or use any of this information.
You may change the information in your WebMD member profile at any time, or request that your information be deleted by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. MSN encourages you to read the entire MSN Health/WebMD Privacy Statement to understand the extra precautions that WebMD has taken to safeguard your health data.
When you sign up for MSN Messenger service, MSN requests your Passport Member Name, a "friendly" name that you choose, a phone number (optional), and the list of "buddies" with whom you can send and receive instant messages and similar information about those "buddies." No other company has access to your phone number or buddy information. Only authorized MSN customer service representatives may access this information, upon your request, to assist you in using the Messenger service. Go to Tools Options in Messenger to change your friendly name, phone number, or any other information.
MSN Messenger offers an optional service, called the Customer Experience Improvement Program, designed to help improve the technical quality of Microsoft products and services. If you choose to participate, you allow us to collect anonymous information about how you use our software and services, as well as some information about your computer. All of this information is anonymous and does not include any personal information.
For example, this program collects information about the performance of the MSN Messenger service, the time it takes you to sign-in, error messages that you might encounter as you use the service, whether each message reaches the recipient, and what type of Internet connection you use.
Your participation in the Customer Experience Improvement Program is completely voluntary. To join:
You can cancel your participation at any time by simply clearing the check box described in step 3 above.
When you sign up for MSN Mobile for your mobile phone or pager, MSN requests your Passport Member Name, time zone, mobile e-mail address (usually email@example.com), carrier name, ZIP code, your phone or pager member ID, your phone or pager's gateway server name, and your mobile alert preferences. MSN uses this information to operate the MSN Mobile service and provide customer support to users when they need help. If you signed up for MSN Mobile at a co-branded site, your carrier will also have your personal information. You may visit the mobile.msn.com website at any time to edit or change your personal information.
In accordance with the Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act of 1999, annual privacy notices for MSN Money customers receiving financial services will be provided through the continual posting of the current version of this privacy statement in a clear and conspicuous manner on this Web site. By using MSN Money services, you acknowledge receipt of this statement and agree to receive subsequent privacy notices in this manner on an on-going basis.
As part of providing MSN Money customers with a central location for managing personal finances, MSN may request that you furnish personal information such as your e-mail address, name and physical address along with financial data such as account balances, account numbers, credit card balances, and stock and bond portfolio information. MSN uses this information to provide you with online bill-paying services, portfolio tracking, and other requested financial services.
The MSN Bill Pay service is provided by CheckFree. For information about how CheckFree handles the data it collects in connection with the MSN Bill Pay service, please read CheckFree's privacy statement.
When you subscribe to an MSN Newsletter, MSN requests your e-mail address. MSN uses your e-mail address to send you the newsletter(s) you have requested. You may subscribe and unsubscribe to MSN Newsletters by going to newsletters.msn.com. In addition, each MSN newsletter you receive will have instructions on how to unsubscribe prominently mentioned in it.
MSN Wallet & MSN Dollars
Regardless of where you create an MSN Wallet or where you use it to make online purchases, MSN Wallet collects certain personal information. Your full name, credit card number(s) and their expirations date(s), email address, postal address, and telephone numbers are stored by MSN on behalf of MSN Wallet customers. At any time, you may edit or delete this data from your MSN Wallet account by going to the MSN Wallet home site. To edit or delete address information, go to the Addresses page and click the Edit button next to the address you want to change. To edit or delete payment information, go to the Payment methods page and click the Edit button next to the payment method you want to change.
In addition, certain transactional data related to your online purchases made through MSN Wallet is recorded by MSN. This information includes the time, date and amount of the purchase and the store where the purchase was made, but not what was purchased. We use transactional log data to perform audits and reconcile records, track service usage, calculate amounts applicable to MSN programs such as MSN Dollars rewards, target promotional offers, and personalize your online experience at MSN.
Information stored by MSN Wallet is not shared with participating merchants unless you explicitly choose to provide it by using your MSN Wallet on the merchant's site. For each transaction, you will be able to choose which credit card and address information to sent to the merchant for that purchase. All MSN Wallet merchants are required to post privacy statements. When visiting a site that uses MSN Wallet, be sure to read its privacy statement to determine how it protects the personal information you provide.
Account information includes your name, email address, home address, telephone number and the amount in your MSN Dollars account. You may view and edit your account data on the MSN Dollars home site. You may close your MSN Dollars account at any time by calling Citibank at 1-866-867-8195. Neither Citibank nor MSN will sell, rent, or lease your account information with third parties without your permission. Citibank has agreed to not use this information for any marketing purposes.
To enable you to receive MSN Dollars, participating merchants provide MSN with limited information about transactions that earn MSN Dollars. This transactional data includes the time, date and amount of the purchase and the store where the purchase was made, but not what was purchased. MSN uses transactional data to calculate the amount of your reward. MSN may also use your MSN Dollars personal or transactional information to personalize your online experience while at MSN, to notify you that you have earned MSN Dollars, and to send promotional offers to you.
To enable you to spend your MSN Dollars at a participating merchant, MSN provides the participating merchant with the same type of information that it provides for a MSN Wallet credit card purchase, including the billing address, shipping address and account number associated with your MSN Dollars account.
To play games on the MSN Zone, we request that you create a social nickname which is the name you will be known by to others in public areas. The Zone also requests your e-mail address so that we may contact you if you are the winner of a competition and where we may send you an optional Zone newsletter.
Inside the Zone it is possible to create an optional Zone Profile. This Zone Profile contains information about the games you like to play, your favorite URL, a description of your interests, and scores you might have attained if you visited any of the rated rooms on the site. All such information is optional and everything you enter in your Zone Profile will be visible to other users of the Zone. MSN urges you to be careful only to enter information on your Zone Profile that you are comfortable sharing with the public at large. You may edit, delete, or modify information in your Zone Profile at any time by clicking on "Support," then "My Zone" while signed in on the Zone site.
The Zone also hosts a small number of premium games. To participate in these optional games a fee is charged. In order to collect this fee, the Zone requests your billing information in order to process a credit card transaction for this service.
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