back to article Microsoft adds new 'Enterprise Products' section to privacy policy

Microsoft has updated its privacy policy and, for the first time, added a section devoted to “Enterprise Products.” The new section is the listed last in Microsoft's privacy policy and covers “those Microsoft products and related offerings that that are offered or designed primarily for use by organizations and developers.” …

  1. allthecoolshortnamesweretaken

    Yet another step towards their goal of making everything an online service.

    Also yet another move that will irritate former loyal customers and prompt them to look for alternatives.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Well Said Sir!

      any cloud provider that harvests even one byte of data from a private cloud is probably breaking the law.

      So far (and I might be wrong) AWS does not do this.

      For Microsoft to basically say that you (the person/company) paying for the cloud is also going to have bits of data copied and used by MS is just wrong, so wrong.

      If the service was free I might understand it but you are paying MS a monthly sub. Should that not guarantee your privacy (unless subject to a court order)?

      I am so glad that I will knowingly never use an MS cloud offering

      This change in terms should make any company using MS Cloud service think long and hard before renewing their contract. Sadly, I think that far too many companies (including my own but I'm out the door at the end of the month) have drunk the Office 365 coolaid to back out now.

      As one poster said here recently, 'come back Notes, all is forgiven'.

      Perhaps the grass is not actually greener on the other side after all?

      Interesting times.

      1. Adam 52 Silver badge

        Re: Well Said Sir!

        On the one hand Microsoft fight a very expensive legal battle to keen Ireland out of US court jurisdiction because it would kill their cloud business otherwise...

        ...and then they go and shoot themselves in the foot like this. Nobody any sense or a half-way competent legal department would sign up to those conditions. Even Google Cloud specifically excludes this sort of data slurp.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Well Said Sir!

          "Nobody any sense or a half-way competent legal department would sign up to those conditions."

          Those without sense won't run it past their legal departments anyway. Legal departments need to be pro-active in this. Sadly, being in a legal department doesn't guarantee sense; I wonder how many legal depts. and law firms are actually using these products already.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      SatNad was the cloud guy

      Before becoming CEO.

      Evidently, he's also had the approval of shareholders and directors to steer Microsoft in this direction.

      The Microsoft we used to know is dead. It's now a Google-clone. Even Yahoo has turned into Google-lite (no thanks to Marissa Mayer). I saw the almost identical sign-in box used in both Yahoo Mail and Gmail. Definitely not a coincidence.

    3. paulf Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Are we now at the point where calling these things a "Privacy Policy" is just absurd? They seem to be more "No Privacy Policy" than detailing how your Privacy and information will be protected.

      It's a bit like the Supermarket having a "Free food policy" that stipulates you will pay the full monetary cost of everything you buy.

  2. Ken Moorhouse Silver badge

    "If you give up your mates' details"

    The ability to link such data into the LinkedIn repository must be very tempting...

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: "If you give up your mates' details"

      "The ability to link such data into the LinkedIn repository must be very tempting..."

      Looking at from the other direction, why do you think they bought LinkedIn?

    2. Roland6 Silver badge

      Re: "If you give up your mates' details"

      Interesting that LinkedIn isn't directly mentioned, I presume currently it has it's own privacy policy which would take precedence. However, as MS use the word 'include' but doesn't actually limit the list of 'Enterprise' products it is difficult to be sure where MS see LinkedIn fitting in its privacy thinking.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: "If you give up your mates' details"

        "I presume currently it has it's own privacy policy which would take precedence."

        Having seen LinkedIn's invitation spam send an invitation to a mailing list I suspect their privacy policies already conform to MS's requirements.

    3. razorfishsl

      Re: "If you give up your mates' details"

      it is already an option in "skype", which then "auto links" to a 365 account.....

  3. Magani
    WTF?

    Enterprise Products??

    "That includes subscription products like “Office 365,..."

    Ummm, if Office 365 is an Enterprise Product, why does it keep inflicting users with offers to install itself (presumably for a fee) on copies of Windows 10 Home on single workgroup (ie: Non-Domain) computers?

    Is it too late to go back to Win 7?

  4. Mark 85 Silver badge
    Mushroom

    so that Microsoft can “collect your Microsoft Edge search queries and full browsing history associated with your user ID to personalize your experience.”

    Now why the hell would I want my "experience" personalized? I just want to use the damn computer and do the things that I want. I don't need a personal experience or relationship with it. It's tool... a machine, not a person. Eat s**t and die MS.(1) Win 10 will never see the light of day or the dark of night on one of my machines.

    And no, I don't want you peeking in my data, bugging my friends, or generally fiddling with my equipment.

    Time for some e-mail filters, perhaps? See icon... it's a better solution. (2)

    And lest the Penguin Brigade come forth to preach to me, I'm working on it.

    (1) This also applies to any other bit of software or company that insists on "personalizing my experience". Wankers..... Now get the f**k off my lawn.

    ** See (1)... apply as applicable.

    1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      'Now why the hell would I want my "experience" personalized?'

      The E word is always a "must avoid" indicator.

  5. h4rm0ny

    I am sick and tired of this shit!

    The determined greed to have the cake and eat it is losing me as a customer. I avoided Google services for years because they market me as a product and get from me every drop of data they can in exchange for free stuff. I am happy to pay for what I use and so I went with Microsoft.

    Now MS want to have Google's business model on top of their own. Well no, you can't. You can ask me to pay for your product or you can ask me for my usage data in exchange for it. But you can't ask me for money and then take my data as well. I wont tolerate such double-dipping.

    And don't ever contact my friends or colleagues on my behalf using my image or name.

    1. NE-bot
      Mushroom

      Re: I am sick and tired of this shit!

      This. SO much this.

  6. frank ly

    Meaning?

    “We may also contact you regarding third-party inquiries we receive regarding use of the Online Services, as described in your agreement. You will not be able to unsubscribe from these non-promotional communications.”

    Does this mean that I (as a third party) can ask Microsoft to spam anyone who meets certain criteria?

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Meaning?

      Does this mean that I (as a third party) can ask Microsoft to spam anyone who meets certain criteria?

      that depends on how you read the agreement.

      they say they wont “Microsoft will not use Customer Data or derive information from it for any advertising or similar commercial purposes.”

      but also say “We may also contact you regarding third-party inquiries we receive regarding use of the Online Services, as described in your agreement. You will not be able to unsubscribe from these non-promotional communications.”

      so IMHO is on IF YOU HAVE THE MONEY to PAY M$ then yes you can get them to send information " regarding third-party inquiries" to their "customer" base

      So EVERY company using M$ services will HAVE to inform their customers that their data will be stored and (as Microsoft will be mining it) processed outside the EU. to comply with Data protection Laws.... and wont be long until privacy shield is shot full of legal holes.

      Oh well have until January 2020 to work out my personal strategy. - being a non millennial i care about my privacy.

  7. Uberseehandel

    Nobody at MS has an overview of the big picture right now

    Presently I have Office 365 Business Premium, which gives me most of the Office applications (not Access) on up to 5 devices plus 1TB of sync-able Cloud storage and, usefully, a managed Exchange server, for GBP 78 a year. Which is a really good deal. By dint of stuffing around I manage to turn off most of the Win 10 Pro and other MS nastiness, and remind myself that my data is stored in the USA, but that need not be an issue, with careful planning.

    I soon discovered that using Office 365 gives me an Azure AD account, gratis. And then discovered Azure Information Protection (in Prview). At this point I decided I better understand a bit more about Azure. Which seems more useful that I anticipated, which was encouraging.

    But what is truly overwhelming is the rate at which new and updated services are being released, the uncoordinated prerequisites for similar services and the understandable inability of authors and online trainers to keep abreast of what is being released.

    MS has tools that allow what feels like zillions of their people to cooperate on everything, but nothing to make sure that somebody has a clear overview of what is being pushed out the door as policy.

    I have found 3 different sets of prerequisites for the new Azure Information Protection service. When I ask the team developing the software what the situation is, silence. Because nobody sees the big picture.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Nobody at MS has an overview of the big picture right now

      Totally agree. Their training for their exams is out of date compared to how they are releasing products now (ARM vs ASM) and their documentation could be significantly better than what it is.

  8. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    Stop

    The policy came into effect on Tuesday, August 2nd

    And that is the date where Microsoft has officially lost its mantle of OS maker and transitioned into Ad-slinging personal data slurper.

    That is also the date where I will have retroactively dumped Microsoft into the same bag as Google and all other sleazy Internet companies who just want to milk my details to make their money. That you have to pay Microsoft for the privilege is just the cherry on the cake.

    Thanks, Microsoft. It was an interesting quarter century and I am happy for what we had. I will cherish my Win 7 license for as long as I can string it out.

    But we're done now. You have become something I cannot abide, and I will not trust you again.

    Ever.

  9. Novex

    What is there left to be said...

    ...with this kind of sh!t? We've known it was going to happen ever since MS had all that telemetry pouring out of the preview versions of Windows 10. Then when the belief that that telemetry was just for beta development was proved wrong with the full release of Windows 10 still having it all, we were told again where MS were heading. Now with the Anniversary release and these updated policy elements, it's being told to us again - MS want to stick their nose in to every part of your online life (and probably a fair bit of offline life too) in order to monetize it for themselves. This is exactly the same as Facebook and Google, and probably Apple too (though I don't use their stuff so don't know for sure).

    Windows 7 FTW. Linux Mint FTW. At least for the foreseeable future. I just hope hardware makers keep writing drivers for Windows 7, no matter that MS might try to buy them off. And I also hope that hardware makers wake up to the need to write Linux drivers as standard at the initial release of a product.

    1. Gray
      Boffin

      Re: What is there left to be said...

      " Permission for Cortana to access to your browsing history, so that Microsoft can “collect your Microsoft Edge search queries and full browsing history associated with your user ID to personalize your experience.”

      Not to personalize your experience. More likely to satisfy Department of Homeland Security (DHS), NSA, CIA, FBI, DIA, etc. curiosity concerning citizen's 'search query' interests. Not that this requires any privacy policy disclosure, but it is tidy and provides some cover of customer assurance.

    2. Zakhar

      Re: What is there left to be said...

      "This is exactly the same as Facebook and Google, and probably Apple too (though I don't use their stuff so don't know for sure)."

      Not exactly!

      - Facebook, you have 1 billion persons WILLINGLY giving away all sort of details about they private life!

      - Google won the search battle by being the BEST, not by LOCK-IN and extortion as M$ does when you buy a PC. Yes they use data, it is their business model, but as there is no lock-in you are free to use any other search engine (which I do!).

      - Apple is very clever with their business model. For example the app-store, there is 0 technical invention (that pre-existed on Linux) but they invented a brilliant economic model around that: micro payments, pay developers, etc... Their model is NOT based on monetizing data (so far!). See also the headlines of Apple vs FBI on the matter of the "terrorist" iPhone.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: What is there left to be said...

        " For example the app-store, there is 0 technical invention (that pre-existed on Linux)"

        Apple OS is based on BSD Unix. BSD Unix pre-dates Linux.

    3. ma1010 Silver badge
      Big Brother

      Re: What is there left to be said...

      Yeah, but Windows 7 users will be totally screwed, eventually. As El Reg reported, MS has already bribed Intel et al. to drop Windows 7 support from new chip design. Read it here.

      So, anyone using Win 7 (for me, it's only for some old programs I like) need to either plan to keep your current hardware or find an alternative program for your alternative operating system.

  10. Martin hepworth

    No Unsubscribe?

    Hmm no unsubscribe huh - will be interesting to see how the Can-Spam, CASL and the various EU based legislations stack up against this.

    1. Yag

      Re: No Unsubscribe?

      If this is Microsoft's answer to CNIL's warning, then the following will be very very funny.

      I guess that https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microsoft_litigation will have to be updated soon.

  11. thondwe

    Arthur Dent

    Arthur Dent throwing the nutrimatic cup...

    You'll end up living in a fowl smelling ear...

  12. beerfuelled

    I received the email today (4th August). It says "We are also updating the Microsoft Privacy Statement. These updates are described on our FAQ page here, and are effective as of Aug‍ust 2, 201‍6." (i.e. two days ago), and also that "If you do not agree, you can choose to discontinue using the products and services, and close your Microsoft account before these terms become effective." <- bit late now!

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    'Among the interesting changes...'

    1) Not using a Microsoft account, which also means no Cortana.

    2) Not using Microsoft Edge.

    3) Not using Outlook.

    4) Not using Skype.

    5) Not using Microsoft Band (or any other Microsoft accessories and wearables).

    6) Not in the EU or US.

    ^

    Am I (more) safe from Microsoft snooping?

    1. Ol' Grumpy

      Re: 'Among the interesting changes...'

      I suspect not if you are using Windows 10 and haven't locked down all the telemetry nonsense :(

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: 'Among the interesting changes...'

      "Am I (more) safe from Microsoft snooping?"

      No. You may receive mails from or send them to MS users.

    3. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Alert

      Re: 'Among the interesting changes...'

      "Am I (more) safe from Microsoft snooping"

      not yet.

      7) NOT USING A MICROSOFT OS

      I think that might do it. (it's why they've embedded their spy-crap into the OS itself, and changed the EULAs to "make you agree" whether you knew it or not)

      It's going to take "voting with our feet" to convince these clueless idiots of their WRONG. It's time for a REVOLUTION!

      (not sure which graphic to use for this one)

    4. N2 Silver badge

      Re: 'Among the interesting changes...'

      "Am I (more) safe from Microsoft snooping?"

      Hmm, all I use is a soon to be replaced MS mouse & I was thinking the same

      N

  14. Ole Juul

    Microsoft's Schadenfreude

    the company may harvest “performance data to learn whether you experience any difficulties

    Since they know about all these difficulties, I can only assume they're created on purpose.

  15. cyberency

    Secure Architectures. Microsoft options and alternatives.

    Great article and comments so far. This policy change is maddening. Wishing enterprise customers could simple to opt out. Microsoft by putting this privacy policy change into effect with paying customers is wrong. If not illegal should be. Collecting personal information such as contacts, data, video, sound, and images is appalling. There are alternatives. Especially vs Azure in the global cloud services market. Some that come to mind are IBM SoftLayer, Amazon Web Service (AWS), Cisco, Oracle, Intel, Dell, and more.

    A primary focus on functionality is very bad. Security should be designed in not an afterthought.

    When EU GDPR begins enforcement in May 2018 wonder if this will effect policy at Microsoft, Google, Apple, Facebook, and the others abusing our personal information with data by collecting it for their secretive internal operations. To grow their bottom line at our lack of customer privacy expense. When GDPR goes into effect will the violators simply provide another version in only the countries who push back or change their global policies. Hope the latter. For those unfamiliar with EU GDPR here are the timelines, milestones met, with press releases from a very reliable source: http://ec.europa.eu/justice/data-protection/reform/index_en.htm

    More details on this topic are at: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/secure-architecture-options-cloud-mobile-app-iot-shaun-maki

    1. JudeKay

      Re: Secure Architectures. Microsoft options and alternatives.

      I see what you did there

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Secure Architectures. Microsoft options and alternatives.

      "More details on this topic are at: https://www.linkedin.com/..."

      The irony!

  16. SVV Silver badge

    All your data is belong to us

    Anyone care to come on here and mock Linux users after reading this story?

    Or any of the other stories that seem to appear daily, detailing the new MS strategy of "we milk you for all your data and charge you for the privilege"?

    I'm sure all businesses must be overjoyed by this latest "innovation"

  17. John 104 Silver badge

    Fuckers.

    That being said, we, being a Microsoft shop, are customers of O365. However, we have a signed BAA, which prevents them from messing about with our data (health care and all that).

    But still, fuckers.

    1. Duncan Macdonald Silver badge
      Mushroom

      And you believe them ?

      All the agreement does is to say to M$ - interesting data here.

      If you need to keep data private then do not have it on a system running a Microsoft OS that is connected to the internet.

    2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "we have a signed BAA, which prevents them from messing about with our data"

      Hope springs eternal.

  18. razorfishsl

    Monday they updates "skype"

    Now it lands at a different login page, profiles have been cut back to 50%, you need 70 before they will work correctly.

    also many "names " have been blocked and spaces inserted into the profile names. surprise surprise....... any corporate domain that hosts 365 now shows up as a "microsoft" email address. "as in thank-you for registering a microsoft email address"

    The users 'microsoft' email address is auto linked into the persons skype account, try to remove it and the "skype" account is closed.

    We also found that office 2016 auto disables if it cannot connect to the internet to validate once a month.

    so FU if you are on a train speeding thru the china countryside working on a corporate proposal and cannot get an internet connection when it decides to kick in.

  19. Grade%
    Windows

    I am lazy.

    But yesterday I installed my first linux in a virtual environment...to learn the ropes. And soon, very soon, I will be comfortable.

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