Windows Internet Explorer 9 privacy statement

Last updated: April 2014

At Microsoft, we're working hard to protect your privacy while delivering products that bring you the performance, power and convenience you desire in your personal computing. This privacy statement for Internet Explorer 9 (“Internet Explorer”) focuses on features that communicate with the Internet, explains how those features collect your data and describes the way that data is used. It does not apply to other online or offline Microsoft sites, products or services.

Internet Explorer has certain features that may have an impact on or help you to protect your privacy. The sections below describe some of these features.

Internet basics

Internet Explorer is designed to make it easy to browse and interact with websites on your intranet or on the Internet. Whenever you use the Internet, or software with Internet-enabled features, information about your computer ("standard computer information") is sent to the websites that you visit and online services that you use. Standard computer information includes your computer's IP address, browser type and language, access times and referring website addresses. This information might be logged on those sites' web servers. Which information is logged and how that information is used depends on the privacy practices of the websites that you visit and web services that you use.

Web browsing features that store data

ActiveX Filtering

ActiveX Controls are pieces of software that supplement how your browser works. For example, some ActiveX Controls can play audio, video or show images on a web page. These controls may have an impact on the performance, security and reliability of Internet Explorer. ActiveX Filtering lets you browse the web with these controls turned off. When you view a web page that has had ActiveX Controls filtered out, some content on the page might be disabled.

If you choose to turn on ActiveX Filtering, you can turn ActiveX Controls back on for a single website by clicking the ActiveX Filtering icon in the Address bar. When you turn off ActiveX Filtering on a website, Internet Explorer stores the address of the website on which you have chosen to disable ActiveX Filtering. You can delete this data at any time with Delete Browsing History.

To turn on ActiveX Filtering

  • In Internet Explorer, click the Tools button, point to Safety, then click ActiveX Filtering.

To turn off ActiveX Filtering on a specific website

  • In Internet Explorer, click the Filter button in the Address bar, then click Turn off ActiveX Filtering.

To turn off ActiveX Filtering on all websites

  • In Internet Explorer, click the Tools button, point to Safety, then click ActiveX Filtering.

Application Compatibility Logging

This feature in Internet Explorer is designed for use by developers and IT professionals to determine the compatibility of their websites with Internet Explorer. When you activate this feature, Internet Explorer logs data points about your interaction with web pages in an event log, which can be viewed with the Windows Event Viewer. These events describe failures that might have happened on the site and can include information about specific controls and web pages that failed. By default, this information can be viewed by all users on the computer unless an administrator restricts this access. For more information on logs and the use of the Windows Event Viewer, search Windows Help for "Event Viewer".

AutoComplete

The AutoComplete feature in Internet Explorer lets you fill in web forms more quickly and navigate to websites you have visited in the past. AutoComplete collects and stores the data that you type in web form text boxes and the Address bar in the registry on your computer. If you choose to use AutoComplete for passwords, they will be stored in encrypted form on your computer. AutoComplete information is not shared with other user accounts on your computer.

The first time that you submit a web form, you will see a message box that asks if you'd like to turn the AutoComplete functionality on.

To turn AutoComplete off

  1. In Internet Explorer, click the Tools button, then click Internet Options.

  2. On the Content tab, in the AutoComplete section, click Settings.

    • In the AutoComplete Settings dialogue box, untick the appropriate checkboxes for the AutoComplete options you do not wish to use, then click OK.

To clear AutoComplete history

  1. To clear AutoComplete or web address history, click the General tab, then, under Browsing History, click Delete.

  2. In the Delete Browsing History dialogue box, tick the Form data and Passwords checkboxes, then click Delete.

    Note:To clear web address entries, you must select History, which also deletes your browsing history.

  3. Click OK.

Automatic Crash Recovery

As you browse the web, Automatic Crash Recovery in Internet Explorer stores information about your browsing session on your hard disk in the event of a crash, lack of response or other unexpected shutdown. If your browsing session is shut down unexpectedly, Internet Explorer offers you the opportunity to resume your last browsing session.

Automatic Crash Recovery stores the following information:

  • The web address (URL) of the web page in each tab

  • Each tab's back/forward history (i.e. every site that you visited in a tab in the order in which you visited them)

  • The arrangement and ordering of the tabs

  • Data typed into web forms

To turn off Automatic Crash Recovery

  1. In Internet Explorer, click the Tools button, then click Internet Options.

  2. Click the Advanced tab.

  3. In the Browsing section, untick the Enable automatic crash recovery checkbox, then click OK.

Note: Turning off Automatic Crash Recovery does not prevent Internet Explorer from saving information about your tabs; it only disables the recovery of your tabs or browsing session. None of this information is sent to Microsoft unless you choose to send it, such as in an error report.

Compatibility View

Compatibility View helps make websites designed for older browsers look better when viewed in Internet Explorer. If you choose to view a website in Compatibility View, as a convenience to you, Internet Explorer will remember this choice and use Compatibility View the next time you visit the site. You can clear the list of websites that you have chosen to display in Compatibility View by using the Delete Browsing History feature in Internet Explorer or the Compatibility View Settings dialogue box.

For better website compatibility, you can turn on Compatibility View Updates. If you choose this option, Internet Explorer will periodically download an updated list of Compatibility View settings from Microsoft, and standard computer information will be sent. You can turn off Compatibility View Updates at any time.

To turn off Compatibility View Updates

  1. While in Internet Explorer, press the Alt key, click Tools on the menu bar, then click Compatibility View settings.

  2. Untick the Include updated website lists from Microsoft checkbox.

To use the Delete Browsing History feature

  1. In Internet Explorer, click the Tools button, point to Safety, then click Delete Browsing History.

  2. In the Delete Browsing History dialogue box, select the items to delete, then click Delete.

To view or modify the Compatibility View settings on your computer

  • While in Internet Explorer, press the Alt key, click Tools on the menu bar, then click Compatibility View settings.

Controlling Cookies

What is a Cookie?

A cookie is a small text file that is placed on your hard disk by a website. Cookies are uniquely assigned to you and can only be read by a website or web server in the domain that issued the cookie to you. Cookies cannot be used to run programs or deliver viruses to your computer.

A cookie is often used to personalise your visit to a website or to save you time. For example, to facilitate a purchase the cookie could contain shopping basket information such as your current selection, as well as contact information such as your name or email address. To help websites track individual visitors, cookies often contain a unique identifier. It is up to the website that created the cookie to disclose to you what information is stored in the cookie and how that information is used.

Blocking Cookies

You have the ability to accept or decline cookies. If you decide to block one or more cookies, the websites that use them might not function correctly. For example, if you do not allow cookies at all, you might not be able to view some websites or take advantage of customisation features (such as local news and weather, or stock quotes).

If you decide to block all cookies, you can use Internet Options in Internet Explorer to modify your browser settings for cookies.

To block all cookies

  1. In Internet Explorer, click the Tools button, click Internet Options, then click the Privacy tab.

  2. Move the slider up to Block All Cookies. On this setting, websites will not be able to store cookies on your computer.

Note: Blocking all cookies might prevent you from accessing many websites. The next two Internet Explorer privacy levels, High and Medium High, may be more suitable. In addition, it is possible to block a cookie for a specific site by clicking the Sites button on the Privacy tab. Please see Internet Explorer Help for more information.

Removing Old Cookies

Cookies previously saved to your hard disk can still be read unless you remove them.

To remove all of your existing cookies

  1. In Internet Explorer, click the Tools button, then click Internet options.

  2. On the General tab, under Browsing History, click Delete.

  3. Optional: Tick Preserve Favourites website data to keep cookies associated with your saved favourites from being removed.

  4. In the Delete Browsing History dialogue box, tick the Cookies checkbox, then click Delete.

  5. Click OK.

History

The History folder in Internet Explorer contains a list of links to the websites and Windows shell locations (i.e. drives and folders) you have visited recently.

To stop saving history

  1. In Internet Explorer, click the Tools button, then click Internet options.

  2. Under Browsing History, click Settings. In the Temporary Internet Files and History Settings dialogue box, set the number of days to keep pages in history to 0.

Note: To turn off History temporarily, you can use InPrivate Browsing by clicking the Tools button and then clicking InPrivate Browsing under the Safety menu.

Manage Add-ons

Manage Add-ons in Internet Explorer lets you view, enable and disable the list of add-ons that can be loaded by Internet Explorer. Add-ons that you can manage include browser helper objects, ActiveX controls, toolbar extensions, explorer bars, browser extensions, search providers, Accelerators and Tracking Protection settings.

Some add-ons could collect information from your computer or otherwise impact your privacy. If an add-on that you are using is provided by a company other than Microsoft, the use of any information collected will be subject to that company's privacy practices. If you choose to disable an add-on, the add-on might require you to restart Internet Explorer for the change to take effect.

To view or modify the add-ons on your computer

  1. In Internet Explorer, click the Tools button, then click Manage Add-ons.

  2. Under Show, click All add-ons, then do either of the following:

    • To disable an add-on: click it, then click Disable.

    • To enable an add-on: click it, then click Enable.

  3. Click Close.

Note: Disabling an add-on does not remove it from your computer. It only prevents Internet Explorer from running the add-on's code – it does not prevent other software from using the add-on. Some add-ons also can be deleted from your computer by using Manage Add-ons.

If an add-on is disabled or deleted, website pages that rely on that add-on may not work as expected. For more information on add-ons, click the "Learn more about toolbars and extensions" help link in Manage Add-ons.

Pop-up Blocker

Pop-up Blocker in Internet Explorer helps to block some unwanted pop-up windows from appearing without blocking the pop-up windows that you launch deliberately. Pop-up Blocker is turned on by default.

To turn off Pop-up Blocker

  1. In Internet Explorer, click the Tools button, click Internet options, then click the Privacy tab.

  2. Under Pop-up Blocker, untick the Turn on Pop-up Blocker checkbox, then click OK.

To access the Pop-up Blocker settings

  1. In Internet Explorer, click the Tools button, click Internet options, then click the Privacy tab.

  2. Under Pop-up Blocker, click the Settings button.

Note that not all pop-up windows can be blocked with Pop-up Blocker. Please see Internet Explorer Help for more information about Pop-up Blocker.

Features that help you control your data

Delete Browsing History

With one click, Delete Browsing History in Internet Explorer lets you clear website passwords that you asked Internet Explorer to save, entries in the Internet Explorer history folder, web form data, temporary Internet files, cookies, the Last Tab Group and files and settings stored by some Internet Explorer add-ons that have been saved on your computer. You can also clear some of these items individually, as explained in the Removing Old Cookies and AutoComplete sections of this privacy statement.

To use the Delete Browsing History feature

  1. In Internet Explorer, click the Tools button, point to Safety, then click Delete browsing history.

  2. Optional: Tick the Preserve Favourites website data checkbox to keep data associated with your saved favourites.

  3. In the Delete Browsing History dialogue box, select the items to delete (Temporary Internet Files, Cookies, History, Form data, Passwords, Tracking Protection data), then click Delete.

InPrivate Browsing

InPrivate Browsing can help keep your browsing history private on shared computers such as at home, in an Internet café or in a public kiosk. History data that is accumulated while browsing the web in an Internet Explorer InPrivate window, such as temporary Internet files, web address history or cookies, will be removed when you close the window. History in other Internet Explorer windows (not using InPrivate) will not be affected.

The InPrivate Browsing experience prevents local storage on your computer as follows:

  • New cookies are not stored

  • New history entries will not be recorded

  • New temporary Internet files will be deleted after the InPrivate Browsing window is closed

  • Form data is not stored

  • Entered passwords are not stored

  • Addresses typed into the Address bar are not stored

  • Queries entered into the search box are not stored

InPrivate Browsing is not designed to obscure your identity to your Internet provider or web servers on the Internet. It does not prevent data, such as your IP address, from being sent to websites that you visit.

To turn on InPrivate Browsing

  1. In Internet Explorer, click the Tools button, point to Safety, then click InPrivate Browsing.

  2. To turn off InPrivate Browsing, close the InPrivate Browsing window.

Tracking Protection

When you visit a website, you automatically share information with that website, such as cookies, your IP address and other standard computer information. If the website contains content provided by a third-party website (for example a map, advertisement or web measurement tools such as a web beacon or scripts), some information about you may be automatically sent to the content provider. This type of arrangement can have several benefits. It lets you conveniently access third-party content. The presence of advertising on a website that you are visiting may let the website provide access to premium content at no charge. There can, however, be an impact to your privacy as a result as it is possible for the content providers to track you across multiple websites. Tracking Protection helps prevent the websites that you go to from automatically sending details about your visit to other content providers. Additionally, when you have a Tracking Protection List or Personalised Tracking Protection enabled, Internet Explorer will send a Do Not Track signal or preference to the websites that you visit. It will also send a Do Not Track preference to the third-party websites that provide content on the websites that you visit if those third-party sites have not been blocked by your Tracking Protection List. Websites may continue to engage in activities that you might view as tracking even though you have expressed this preference, depending on the websites' privacy practices.

Tracking Protection Lists

Tracking Protection Lists are like "Do Not Call" lists for content that may impact your privacy. When you add a Tracking Protection List, Internet Explorer will block third-party content, including cookies, from any site that is listed. By limiting calls to these websites, Internet Explorer will limit the information these third-party sites can collect about you. At the same time, Tracking Protection Lists can also include "OK to call" entries that permit calls to specific sites. These sites will, however, receive the "Do Not Track" preference when you connect to them and they may refrain from either tracking your online activity or serving you content based on your online activity.

You can add a Tracking Protection List by finding a website that offers one and clicking a link or a button in the page to add it. When you add a Tracking Protection List, Internet Explorer will download the list and check it for updates periodically.

To remove or disable a Tracking Protection List

  1. In Internet Explorer, click the Tools button, point to Safety, then click Tracking Protection.

  2. Click a list, then do one of the following:

    • To delete the list, click Remove.

    • To temporarily disable the list, click Disable.

Personalised Tracking Protection List

Additionally, you can use the Personalised Tracking Protection List, which is included with Internet Explorer. This list is automatically generated based on data from the sites that you visit, including the third-party content providers on those sites. You can delete this data at any time in the Delete Browsing History dialogue box.

To turn on the Personalised Tracking Protection List

  1. In Internet Explorer, click the Tools button, point to Safety, then click Tracking Protection.

  2. Click Your Personalised Tracking Protection List, then click the Enable button.

When Tracking Protection is enabled, some content on the websites that you visit might be filtered and therefore will not be displayed. When content has been filtered, the Tracking Protection icon appears in the Address bar. If a website does not work correctly with Tracking Protection enabled, you can turn it off just for that website by clicking the Tracking Protection icon in the Address bar.

To delete Tracking Protection data

  1. In Internet Explorer, click the Tools button, point to Safety, then click Delete browsing history.

  2. In the Delete Browsing History dialogue box, tick the InPrivate Filtering data checkbox, then click Delete.

P3P Privacy Policies

Internet Explorer gives you the ability to view a website's P3P (Platform for Privacy Preferences standard) privacy policy and compare it to the privacy preferences that you have set. Even if a website does not have a P3P privacy policy, it might have a written privacy statement that you can view.

To view a website's P3P privacy policy

  1. In Internet Explorer, click the Tools button, point to Safety, then click Web Page Privacy Policy.

  2. Double-click the website whose privacy policy you would like to view.

After reviewing a website's P3P privacy policy, you can specify how you want Internet Explorer to handle cookies from that website. If you want Internet Explorer to determine whether or not to allow this website to save cookies on your computer by comparing the privacy policy with your privacy settings, select Compare cookies' Privacy Policy to my settings. If you want Internet Explorer to always allow cookies from this website to be saved on your computer, select Always allow this site to use cookies. If you want Internet Explorer to never allow cookies from this website to be saved on your computer, select Never allow this site to use cookies.

Please note that, although Internet Explorer can display a website's P3P privacy policy, Internet Explorer cannot verify that the website complies with its own privacy policy.

Features that help you connect to online services

Accelerators

Accelerators let you use web service providers more quickly and easily. For example, you can highlight a word on a website, right-click and select the "Define with Encarta" Accelerator to obtain a definition of a word without having to navigate to a separate website.

Internet Explorer has several Accelerators – including search, mapping, definition and blogging Accelerators – that use Microsoft Windows Live web services. You can add and remove Accelerators by using Manage Add-ons. When you click or move your mouse over an Accelerator, the title and full web address or URL of the current web page, as well as standard computer information, and any content you have selected, might be sent to the service provider. If you use an Accelerator provided by Microsoft, the information sent is subject to the Microsoft Online Privacy Statement. If you use an Accelerator provided by a third party, use of the information sent will be subject to the third party's privacy practices.

Search from the Address Bar

If you enter text in the Address bar in Internet Explorer and it does not resolve as a valid web address or the text begins with a question mark, "search", "find" or "go", then Internet Explorer will redirect you to your default search provider to help you locate the site that you are looking for. To provide this feature, Internet Explorer sends the invalid web address or the search query that you typed to your default search provider, which returns web address options to your computer. Standard computer information might also be sent to your default search provider. If Bing is your default search provider, the information sent is subject to the Microsoft Online Privacy Statement. If you use a third-party search provider as your default, then information sent to the provider will be subject to the third party's privacy practices.

To turn AutoSearch off

  1. In Internet Explorer, click the Tools button, then click Internet options.

  2. Click the Advanced tab.

  3. In the Search from the Address bar section, tick the Do not search from the Address bar checkbox.

Search suggestions in the Address bar can help you refine your search by offering suggested search terms as you type. If your selected search provider offers this capability, each letter or character that you type in the Address bar will be sent to your search provider when you type it. Standard computer information is also sent to the search provider as you type. If you use a Microsoft search provider, the information sent is subject to the Microsoft Online Privacy Statement. If you use a third-party search provider, use of the information sent will be subject to the third party's privacy practices.

To turn on search suggestions

  1. Click the arrow to the right of the Address bar.

  2. Click Turn on search suggestions (keystrokes will be sent to current search provider as you type).

To turn off search suggestions

  1. Click the arrow to the right of the Address bar.

  2. Click Turn off search suggestions.

Web Slices

Web Slices let you automatically subscribe to and receive updates from web pages that change frequently and view the updates without having to load the entire website. For example, you can subscribe to a Seattle, Washington weather Web Slice that updates when the current temperature changes. When you subscribe to a Web Slice or feed, you turn on automatic updating for all of your Web Slices and feeds. Your IP address will be sent periodically to the website that provides each Web Slice or feed to check for updates, even when Internet Explorer is not running.

To remove a Web Slice

  1. On the Favourites bar, right-click the Web Slice that you want to remove.

  2. Click Delete.

  3. Click Yes to confirm the deletion.

To turn off automatic updates for Web Slices and feeds

  1. In Internet Explorer, click the Tools button, then click Internet options.

  2. Click the Content tab, then click the Feeds and Web Slices Settings button.

  3. Untick the Automatically check feeds and Web Slices for updates checkbox, then click OK.

Features that use Microsoft online services

Customer Experience Improvement Programme

The Customer Experience Improvement Programme (CEIP) collects basic information about your computer and how you use Internet Explorer to help us improve the quality, reliability and performance of our software and services. CEIP reports generally include information about your hardware configuration, a unique identifier generated by CEIP, performance and reliability data (such as how quickly the software responds when you click a button) and program use (such as which features you use most often).

Microsoft uses CEIP reports to improve our software and services. We use the unique identifier to distinguish how widespread the feedback we receive is and how to prioritise it. For example, the identifier allows Microsoft to distinguish between one customer experiencing a problem one hundred times and other customers experiencing the same problem once. Microsoft does not use the information collected by CEIP to identify, contact or target advertising to you.

In Windows XP and Windows Server 2003, you can choose whether or not to participate in CEIP when you install Internet Explorer. On Windows Vista and subsequent versions of the operating system, your Windows CEIP participation preference will be used.

For more information, see the frequently asked questions on the Microsoft Customer Experience Improvement Programme web page.

Location Services

Location Services in Internet Explorer let websites request your physical location in order to improve their services. For example, a mapping website can request your physical location in order to centre the map for you.

When you visit a website that uses Location Services, you can choose whether or not to allow the website access to your location information. If you choose to allow a website access, Internet Explorer will contact a Microsoft location service to attempt to determine your computer's physical location. This service uses your IP address and data from nearby WiFi access points, if available.

Based on the information received, the Microsoft location service will determine your computer's approximate location and provide it to the requesting website. The location information provided includes the latitude and longitude of your computer. It does not provide the requesting website with information about available mobile phone masts or WiFi access points or any unique identifiers from your computer.

If you choose not to allow a website access to your physical location, no location data will be sent to the website, and no data will be sent to the Microsoft location service. If you choose to allow a web page access to your physical location once, then the website will only have access to your location while you are viewing that web page. If you choose to always allow a website access to your physical location, each time you visit any page on that site, it will be able to request information about your physical location. The website's use of your location information will be subject to that site's privacy practices.

To turn on Location Services

  • When you receive a request for location from a website, do one of the following:

    • To provide your location only once, click Allow once.

    • To provide your location every time you visit the website, click More options for this site, then click Always allow.

To turn off Location Services

  1. Click the Tools button, then click Internet Options.

  2. Click the Privacy tab, then select Never allow websites to request your physical location.

Send Feedback

In the event that you experience a problem with Internet Explorer, you can use the Send Feedback tool to capture additional information that may help Microsoft find the cause of the issue. To launch the Send Feedback tool, click the Tools button, then click Send Feedback. You can generate a report that contains information about the configuration of your computer, information about the programs that are running and other types of data. You can choose to record your problem steps with the Issue Recorder to capture screenshots of your desktop and running programs, along with network data sent to and from websites that you visit. This report might contain sensitive personal information, such as information that you have typed into web forms. Before sending the report, you can review all of the data that will be sent to Microsoft, at which point, you can choose not to send the report.

If you do send this information to Microsoft, it will only be used to improve our software and services. For more information about your privacy when you use Microsoft Connect, read the Microsoft Online privacy statement.

SmartScreen Filter

SmartScreen Filter is designed to help warn you about unsafe websites that are impersonating trusted websites (phishing) or contain threats to your computer. If you opt in to SmartScreen Filter, it first checks the address of the web page that you are visiting against a list of high-traffic web page addresses stored on your computer that are believed by Microsoft to be legitimate. Addresses that are not on the local list and the addresses of files that you are downloading will be sent to Microsoft and checked against a frequently updated list of web pages and downloads that have been reported to Microsoft as unsafe or suspicious. You may also choose to use SmartScreen Filter manually to verify individual sites with Microsoft. Additionally, if you download or run a program from the Internet, SmartScreen will check the program against a list of commonly downloaded and known unsafe programs to help protect you from running unsafe programs.

When you use SmartScreen Filter to check websites automatically or manually, the address of the website you are visiting will be sent to Microsoft, together with standard computer information and the SmartScreen Filter version number. To help protect your privacy, the information sent to Microsoft is encrypted. Information that may be associated with the address, such as search terms or data that you entered in forms, might be included. For example, if you visited the Microsoft.com search website at http://search.microsoft.com and entered "Manchester" as the search term, the full address http://search.microsoft.com/results.aspx?q=Manchester&qsc0=0&FORM=QBMH1&mkt=en-GB will be sent. Address strings might unintentionally contain personal information, but this information, like the other information sent, is not used to identify, contact or target advertising to you. In addition, Microsoft filters address strings to try to remove personal information where possible. When you use Internet Explorer to download a program, SmartScreen Filter will send the information above, along with information about the downloaded program, such as a file identifier (a “hash”), results from installed antivirus tools and the program’s digital certificate information, if available.

Periodically, information about your usage of SmartScreen Filter will also be sent to Microsoft, such as the time and total number of websites browsed since an address was sent to Microsoft for analysis. Some information about files that you download from the web, such as name and file path, may also be sent to Microsoft. Some website addresses that are sent to Microsoft may be stored along with additional information, including web browser version, operating system version, SmartScreen Filter version, the browser language, the referring web page and information about whether Compatibility View was enabled for the website. A unique identifier generated by Internet Explorer is also sent. The unique identifier is a randomly generated number that does not contain any personal information and is not used to identify you. This information, along with the information described above, is only used to analyse performance and improve the quality of our products and services.

SmartScreen Filter can be turned on and off from the Internet Explorer Safety menu. For example, to turn on automatic checking of all websites:

  • In Internet Explorer, click the Tools button, point to Safety, then click Turn on SmartScreen Filter.

If you believe you have encountered an unsafe website, you can report it to Microsoft by clicking the Tools button, pointing to Safety, then clicking Report Unsafe Website. When you report an unsafe website, some information will be sent to Microsoft, including the address of the site that you are reporting and the usage information described above.

Suggested Sites

Suggested Sites is an online experience that recommends websites, images or videos which you might be interested in. When you turn on Suggested Sites, your web browsing history is periodically sent to Microsoft, where it is saved and then compared to a frequently updated list of websites that are similar to sites you often visit. Suggested Sites also turns on automatic background updating for Web Slices and feeds, so that you can receive up-to-date suggestions on both the Suggested Sites page and the Suggested Sites Web Slice.

You can choose to pause or stop the Suggested Sites feature from sending your web browsing history to Microsoft at any time. You can also delete individual entries from your history at any time. Deleted entries will not be used to provide you with suggestions for other websites, although they will be retained by Microsoft for a period of time to help improve our products and services, including this feature. When you use InPrivate Browsing, no information about the web pages you visit will be sent to Microsoft.

When Suggested Sites is turned on, information about the web pages you visit is sent to Microsoft, together with standard computer information. This includes the addresses of the web pages that you visit as well as information about images and videos included on the page. To help protect your privacy, the information is encrypted when sent to Microsoft. Information associated with the web address, such as search terms or data that you entered in forms, might be included. For example, if you visited the Microsoft.com search website at http://search.microsoft.com and entered "Manchester" as the search term, the full address http://search.microsoft.com/results.aspx?q=Manchester&qsc0=0&FORM=QBMH1&mkt=en-GB will be sent. Address strings might unintentionally contain personal information, but this information, like the other information sent, is not used to identify, contact or target advertising to you. In addition, Microsoft filters address strings to try to remove personal information.

Statistics about the web pages you visit will also be sent to Microsoft, such as the time that web pages were visited, which web page referred you and how you got there (e.g. by clicking a link or one of your Favourites). A unique identifier generated by Internet Explorer is also sent. The unique identifier is a randomly generated number that does not contain any personal information and is not used to identify you. If you delete your browsing history or if you turn Suggested Sites off and back on again, a new unique identifier will be created. We do not correlate old unique identifiers with new ones. This information, along with the website addresses and past history, will be used to personalise your experience, as well as to improve the quality of our products and services.

To turn on Suggested Sites

  1. In Internet Explorer, click the Tools button, point to File, then click Suggested sites.

  2. Click Yes.

To turn off Suggested Sites

  • In Internet Explorer, click the Tools button, point to File, then click Suggested sites.

Note: Turning off Suggested Sites does not clear your history and does not turn off automatic updates for feeds and Web Slices.

To delete your browsing history (with or without turning off Suggested Sites)

  • In Internet Explorer, click the Tools button, point to Safety, then click Delete browsing history.

How we collect, use and store your information

Collection and Use of Your Information

The information that we collect from you will be used by Microsoft and its controlled subsidiaries and affiliates to enable the features you are using and provide the service(s) or carry out the transaction(s) you have requested or authorised. It may also be used to analyse and improve Microsoft products and services.

In order to offer you a more consistent and personalised 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 customise certain services to your geographic area.

Except as described in this statement, information you provide will not be transferred to third parties without your consent. We occasionally hire other companies to provide limited services on our behalf, such as answering customer questions about products or services, or performing statistical analysis of our services. We will only provide those companies with the personal information that they need to deliver the service, and they are prohibited from using that information for any other purpose. Microsoft 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.

Information that is collected by or sent to Microsoft by Internet Explorer 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 harbour 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.

Security and Storage of Your Information

Microsoft is committed to protecting the security of your information. We use a variety of security technologies and procedures to help protect your information from unauthorised access, use or disclosure. For example, we store the personal information that you provide on computer systems with limited access, which are located in controlled facilities.

Changes to the Privacy Statement

We may occasionally update this privacy statement. When we do, we will revise the "last updated" date at the top of the privacy statement. We encourage you to periodically review this Privacy Statement to be informed of how Microsoft is protecting your information.

For More Information

If you have questions about this privacy statement, please contact us by clicking here.

Internet Explorer Privacy, Microsoft Corporation, One Microsoft Way, Redmond, WA 98052, USA

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