TAP: Technology - Academics - Policy and Microsoft
Privacy Policy


(last updated December 2009) 


COLLECTION OF YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION
USE OF YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION
SHARING OF YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION
ACCESSING YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION
COMMUNICATION PREFERENCES
DISPLAY OF ADVERTISING 
SECURITY OF YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION
COLLECTION AND USE OF CHILDREN'S PERSONAL INFORMATION
USE OF COOKIES
USE OF WEB BEACONS
CONTROLLING UNSOLICITED E-MAIL ("SPAM")
TRUSTE CERTIFICATION
ENFORCEMENT OF THIS PRIVACY STATEMENT
CHANGES TO THIS PRIVACY STATEMENT

 

CONTACTING US


Microsoft and TAP are committed to protecting your privacy. Please read the Microsoft and TAP Online Privacy Statement below. This Microsoft and TAP Online Privacy Statement applies to data collected by Microsoft and TAP through the majority of their Web sites and services, as well as their offline product support services. It does not apply to those Microsoft sites, services and products that do not display or link to this statement or that have their own privacy statements. Some products and services mentioned in this statement may not be available in all markets at this time.

 

COLLECTION OF YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION


At some TAP and Microsoft sites, we ask you to provide personal information, such as your e-mail address, name, home or work address, or telephone number. We may also collect demographic information, such as your ZIP code, age, gender, preferences, interests and favorites. If you choose to make a purchase or sign up for a paid subscription service, we will ask for additional information, such as your credit card number and billing address, which is used to create a Microsoft billing account.


In order to access some TAP services, you will be asked to sign in with a pre-assigned user name and password. In order to access some Microsoft services, you will be asked to sign in with an e-mail address and password. Many different Microsoft sites and services use the same credentials which we refer to as your Windows Live ID or Microsoft Passport Network credentials.In order to access some Microsoft services, you will be asked to sign in with an e-mail address and password, which we refer to as your Windows Live ID or Microsoft Passport Network credentials. You can use the same credentials to sign in to many different Microsoft sites and services, as well as those of select Microsoft partners. By signing in on one Microsoft site or service, you may be automatically signed into other Microsoft sites and services. If you access our services via a mobile phone, you may also use your telephone number and a PIN as an alternative credential to your username and password. As part of creating your credentials, you may also be requested to provide questions and secret answers, which we use to help verify your identity and assist in resetting your password, as well as an alternate e-mail address. Some services may require added security, and in these cases, you may be asked to create an additional security key. Finally, a unique ID number will be assigned to your credentials which will be used to identify your credentials and associated information.


We may collect information about your interaction with TAP and Microsoft sites and services. For example, we may use webWeb site analytics tools on our site to retrieve information from your browser, including the site you came from, the search engine(s) and the keywords you used to find our site, the pages you view within our site, your browser add-ons, and your browser's width and height. We may also use technologies, such as cookies and web beacons (described below), to collect information about the pages you view, the links you click and other actions you take on our sites and services. Additionally, we collect certain standard information that your browser sends to every website you visit, such as your IP address, browser type and language, access times and referring Web site addresses. We also deliver advertisements (see the Display of Advertising section below) and provide Web site analytics tools on non-Microsoft sites and services, and we may collect information about page views on these third party sites as well.


When you receive newsletters or promotional e-mail from TAP or Microsoft, we may use web beacons (described below), customized links or similar technologies to determine whether the e-mail has been opened and which links you click in order to provide you more focused e-mail communications or other information.


In order to offer you a more consistent and personalized experience in your interactions with Microsoft, information collected through one Microsoft service may be combined with information obtained through other Microsoft services. We may also supplement the information we collect with information obtained from other companies. For example, we may use services from other companies that enable us to derive a general geographic area based on your IP address in order to customize certain services to your geographic area.

 

USE OF YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION


TAP and Microsoft collects and uses your personal information to operate and improve its sites and services. These uses may include providing you with more effective customer service; making the sites or services easier to use by eliminating the need for you to repeatedly enter the same information; performing research and analysis aimed at improving our products, services and technologies; and displaying content and advertising that are customized to your interests and preferences. For more information about the use of information for advertising, see the Display of Advertising section below.


We also use your personal information to communicate with you. We may send certain mandatory service communications such as welcome letters, billing reminders, information on technical service issues, and security announcements. Some Microsoft services, such as Windows Live Hotmail, may send periodic member letters that are considered part of the service. Additionally, with your permission, we may also occasionally send you product surveys or promotional mailings to inform you of other products or services available from Microsoft and its affiliates. information about other Microsoft products and services, and/or share your personal information with Microsoft partners so they may send you information about their products and services.


Personal information collected on TAP and Microsoft sites and services 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.

 

SHARING OF YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION


Except as described in this statement, we will not disclose your personal information outside of TAP and Microsoft and its controlled subsidiaries and affiliates without your consent. Some Microsoft sites allow you to choose to share your personal information with select Microsoft partners so that they can contact you about their products, services or offers. Other sites, such as MSN, do not share your contact information with third parties for marketing purposes, but instead may give you a choice as to whether you wish to receive communications from Microsoft on behalf of external business partners about a partner's particular offering (without transferring your personal information to the third party). See the Communication Preferences section below for more information.


Some Microsoft services may be co-branded and offered in conjunction with another company. If you register for or use such services, both Microsoft and the other company may receive information collected in conjunction with the co-branded services.


We occasionally hire other companies to provide limited services on our behalf, such as handling the processing and delivery of mailings, providing customer support, hosting websites, processing transactions, or performing statistical analysis of our services. Those service providers will be permitted to obtain only the personal information they need to deliver the service. They are required to maintain the confidentiality of the information and are prohibited from using it for any other purpose. However, for credit card processing, our fraud detection vendors may use aggregate data to help improve their service. This helps them more accurately detect fraudulent uses of credit cards. We 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.

 

ACCESSING YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION


You may have the ability to view or edit your personal information online. In order to help prevent your personal information from being viewed by others, you will be required to sign in with your credentials (user name or e-mail address and password). The appropriate method(s) for accessing your personal information will depend on which sites or services you have used.


• Techpolicy.com - You can access and update your profile on the TAP site by logging in. Additionally, you may have a TAP staff member update your profile information by sending an email to TAP@techpolicy.com.


• Microsoft.com - You can access and update your profile on microsoft.com by visiting the Microsoft.com Profile Center.


Some Microsoft sites or services may collect personal information that is not accessible via the links above. However, in such cases, you may be able to access that information through alternative means of access described by the service. Or you can write us by using our Web form, and we will contact you within 30 days regarding your request.

 

COMMUNICATION PREFERENCES


You can stop the delivery of future promotional e-mail from Microsoft sites and services by following the specific instructions in the e-mail you receive.


You may also have the option of proactively making choices about the receipt of promotional e-mail, telephone calls, and postal mail from particular Microsoft sites or services by visiting and signing into the following page:


• The Microsoft.com Profile Center allows you to choose whether you wish to receive marketing communications from Microsoft.com, to select whether Microsoft.com may share your contact information with selected third parties, and to subscribe or unsubscribe to newsletters about our products and services.


These choices do not apply to the display of online advertising. Nor do they apply to the receipt of mandatory service communications that are considered part of certain Microsoft services, which you may receive periodically unless you cancel the service.

 

DISPLAY OF ADVERTISING


Many of the Web sites and online services Microsoft offers, as well as those of Microsoft's partners, are supported by advertising. Through the Microsoft Advertising Platform, we may display ads on our own sites and the sites of our advertising partners. To read more about the use of advertising on Microsoft sites, see the Microsoft Privacy Policy, Display of Advertising (Opt-Out) section.

 

SECURITY OF YOUR PERSONAL INFORMATION


Microsoft is committed to protecting the security of your personal information and information collected for advertising purposes. Microsoft uses a variety of security technologies and procedures to help protect your personal information from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure. For example, the personal information you provide is stored with limited access on computer systems which are located in controlled facilities. When highly confidential information (such as a credit card number or password) is transmitted over the Internet, Microsoft protects it through the use of encryption, such as the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protocol.


If a password is used to help protect your accounts and personal information, it is your responsibility to keep your password confidential. Do not share this information with anyone. If you are sharing a computer with anyone you should always log out before leaving a site or service to protect access to your information from subsequent users.

 

COLLECTION AND USE OF CHILDREN'S PERSONAL INFORMATION


TAP and many Microsoft sites and services are intended for general audiences and do not knowingly collect any personal information from children. When a Microsoft site does collect age information, and users identify themselves as under 13, the site will either block such users from providing personal information, or will seek to obtain consent from parents for the collection, use and sharing of their children's personal information. We will not knowingly ask children under the age of 13 to provide more information than is reasonably necessary to provide our services.

 

USE OF COOKIES


TAP and Microsoft Web sites use "cookies" to enable you to sign in to our services and to help personalize your online experience. A cookie is a small text file that is placed on your hard disk by a Web page server. Cookies contain information that can later be read by a Web server in the domain that issued the cookie to you. Cookies cannot be used to run programs or deliver viruses to your computer.


One of the primary purposes of cookies is to store your preferences and other information on your computer in order to save you time by eliminating the need to repeatedly enter the same information and to display your personalized content and appropriate advertising on your later visits to these sites. Microsoft Web sites also use cookies as described in the Collection of your Information and Display of Advertising sections of the Microsoft Online Privacy Statement.


When you sign in to a site using your Windows Live ID or Microsoft Passport Network credentials, we store your unique ID number, and the time you signed in, in an encrypted cookie on your hard disk. This cookie allows you to move from page to page at the site without having to sign in again on each page. When you sign out, these cookies are deleted from your computer. We also use cookies to improve the sign in experience. For example, your e-mail address may be stored in a cookie that will remain on your computer after you sign out. This cookie allows your e-mail address to be pre-populated, so that you will only need to type your password the next time you sign in. If you are using a public computer or do not otherwise want this information to be stored, you can select the appropriate radio button on the sign-in page, and this cookie will not be used.


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 sign in or use other interactive features of Microsoft sites and services that depend on cookies, and some advertising preferences that are dependent on cookies may not be able to be respected.


If you choose to accept cookies, you also have the ability to later delete cookies that you have accepted. In Internet Explorer 7, you can delete cookies by selecting “Tools”, “Delete browsing history” and clicking the “Delete Cookies” button. If you choose to delete cookies, any settings and preferences controlled by those cookies, including advertising preferences, will be deleted and may need to be recreated.

 

USE OF WEB BEACONS


TAP and Microsoft Web pages may contain electronic images known as Web beacons - sometimes called single-pixel gifs - that may be used to assist in delivering cookies on our sites and allow us to count users who have visited those pages and to deliver co-branded services. We may include Web beacons in promotional e-mail messages or our newsletters in order to determine whether messages have been opened and acted upon.


TAP and Microsoft may also employ Web beacons from third parties in order to help us compile aggregated statistics regarding the effectiveness of our promotional campaigns or other operations of our sites. We prohibit Web beacons on our sites from being used by third parties to collect or access your personal information.


Finally, Microsoft may work with other companies that advertise on Microsoft sites to place Web beacons on their sites in order to allow us to develop statistics on how often clicking on an advertisement on a Microsoft site results in a purchase or other action on the advertiser's site.

 

CONTROLLING UNSOLICITED E-MAIL ("SPAM")


TAP and Microsoft are concerned about controlling unsolicited commercial e-mail, or "spam." Microsoft has a strict Anti-Spam Policy prohibiting the use of a Windows Live Hotmail or other Microsoft-provided e-mail account to send spam. TAP and Microsoft will not sell, lease or rent their e-mail subscriber lists to 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 junk e-mail tools and being cautious about the sharing of your e-mail address while online will help reduce the amount of unsolicited e-mail you receive.

 

TRUSTE CERTIFICATION


Microsoft is a member of the TRUSTe Privacy Program. TRUSTe is an independent organization whose mission is to build trust and confidence in the Internet by promoting the use of fair information practices. To demonstrate our commitment to your privacy, we have agreed to disclose our information practices and have our privacy practices reviewed for compliance by TRUSTe. The TRUSTe program covers only information that is collected through Microsoft's Web sites, and does not cover information that may be collected through software downloaded from such sites.

 

ENFORCEMENT OF THIS PRIVACY STATEMENT


If you have questions regarding this statement, you should first contact TAP by using our Contact Us form. Second, you may contact Microsoft by using Microsoft's Web form. If you do not receive acknowledgement of your inquiry or your inquiry has not been satisfactorily addressed, you should then contact TRUSTe at http://www.truste.org/consumers/watchdog_complaint.php. TRUSTe will serve as a liaison with Microsoft to resolve your concerns.

 

CHANGES TO THIS PRIVACY STATEMENT


TAP or Microsoft will occasionally update this privacy statement to reflect changes in their services and customer feedback. When changes are posted to this Statement, we will revise the "last updated" date at the top of this statement. If there are material changes to this statement or in how Microsoft will use your personal information, we will notify you either by prominently posting a notice of such changes prior to implementing the change or by directly sending you a notification. We encourage you to periodically review this statement to be informed of how Microsoft is protecting your information.

 

CONTACTING US


TAP and Microsoft welcome your comments regarding this privacy statement. If you have questions about this statement or believe that we have not adhered to it, please contact TAP by using TAP's Contact Us form; or contact Microsoft by using Microsoft's Web form . If you have a technical or general support question, please visit http://support.microsoft.com to learn more about Microsoft Support offerings.

 

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