Microsoft updates Terms of Use for higher privacy, transparency and simplicity

Microsoft is changing their Terms of Use and Privacy statements in an effort to build trust with customers of their products and services. In an email sent to users of Microsoft's services, they claim that the needs of the users is at the center of everything they do, and as a result are trying to increase that level of trust with the users. Given that they highlight trust as a user's "need," it appears that Microsoft is paying close attention to the concerns of their users.

The email highlighted three focus areas where their Terms of Use and Privacy statements are changing:

  • The first is regarding privacy and targeted advertising. Microsoft claims that as part of their "ongoing commitment to respecting [user's] privacy," they will not use documents, photos, other personal files, email, chat, video calls or voice mail content to target advertising to their users.
  • The second is regarding transparency in terms of what types of behavior could affect a user's Microsoft account. This also focuses on the emphasis that parents are responsible for their children's actions, specifically to do with purchases either via the Microsoft Store or in-app purchases.
  • The third is simplicity, in that they have rewritten the content in their Terms of Use and Privacy statements to make it more understandable and to remove excessively technical or confusing legal jargon.

This Microsoft Services Agreement update, taking place on 31 July 2014, affects all users with Microsoft accounts, including Outlook.com, OneDrive, XBOX, and Bing. Microsoft suggests that you will automatically agree to the update if you continue to use their services after the aforementioned date.

Check out the updated Privacy Policy here, the updated Services Agreement here, and a FAQ on the changes here.

Source: Microsoft | Image via MaxConsole

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6 Comments

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and as always, Microsoft are legally binding to honor their own ToU,
heck there always clause that allow Microsoft to unilaterally change the ToU terms without any need of existing users consent.

Torolol said,
and as always, Microsoft are legally binding to honor their own ToU,
heck there always clause that allow Microsoft to unilaterally change the ToU terms without any need of existing users consent.

You mean just like every other company on the face of the earth?

Torolol said,

exactly, so why this one news?

I thought it was worth covering, primarily because this is a Microsoft-centric website, as well as because some of the changes are fairly significant (outlining that they will not use personal content for targeted advertising, a la Scroogle campaign, and putting emphasis on parents being responsible for their children's purchases). We've covered many company's ToS changes from Google through to Dropbox.

duoi said,

I thought it was worth covering, primarily because this is a Microsoft-centric website, as well as because some of the changes are fairly significant (outlining that they will not use personal content for targeted advertising, a la Scroogle campaign, and putting emphasis on parents being responsible for their children's purchases). We've covered many company's ToS changes from Google through to Dropbox.

I think he was referencing to Torolols post. Anyway, the news it self is worth covering, prety important.