Windows 8.1 Upgrade Assistant and Setup privacy statement

Last updated: May 2013

This privacy statement explains many of the data collection and use practices of the Windows 8.1 Upgrade Assistant (“Upgrade Assistant”) and Windows 8.1 Setup ("Setup"). It focuses on features that communicate with the Internet. It does not apply to other online or offline Microsoft sites, products or services.

  • When started from the web, Windows 8.1 Upgrade Assistant helps you determine if your current PC is ready for an upgrade to Windows 8.1 and provides compatibility information regarding your programs and devices. Once you determine that your PC is ready, you have the option of purchasing, downloading and installing Windows 8.1.

  • When started from the web, Windows 8.1 Setup enables you to download and install Windows 8.1 after entering a product key that you already have.

Information collected, processed or transmitted

Upon launch of Windows 8.1 Upgrade Assistant or Windows 8.1 Setup, we check to see if there are any updates available to ensure you are running and downloading the most up-to-date version. If updates are found, we automatically download and install them on your PC. The types of updates that can be downloaded include:

Installation updates
Important software updates for installation files to help ensure a successful installation.

In-box driver updates
Important driver updates for the version of Windows that you are installing.

When determining compatibility in Upgrade Assistant, we collect certain information about your potential upgrade experience, such as the capabilities of your computer hardware, the devices connected to your computer and the programs installed on your computer. Occasionally, program publisher information might contain information such as the publisher’s name or publisher’s email address.

We send information regarding your currently installed version of Windows to Arvato Digital Services, LLC ("Arvato"), in order to recommend an edition of Windows 8.1 to purchase in Upgrade Assistant or download in Setup. Arvato is a third-party company that hosts the electronic product catalogue and purchase experiences for Upgrade Assistant and Windows 8.1 Setup. In order to recommend an edition of Windows 8.1 for purchase some information will be sent to Arvato including:

  • Architecture

  • Language

  • Version

  • Licence state

  • Product key

  • Country code from geo-location

If you choose to purchase, all of the billing information will be collected and processed by Arvato, the seller of record for this program.

Use of 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) that you have requested or authorised. Specifically, we use the information collected to determine the right drivers for your PC and to determine compatibility of your PC, programs and devices with Windows 8.1. Arvato uses the information to determine which edition of Windows 8.1 to recommend for purchase in Upgrade Assistant or download in Setup. This information is also aggregated for statistical analysis. It may also be used to analyse and improve Microsoft products and services. If you purchase Windows 8.1 in Upgrade Assistant, all of the billing information will be collected and processed by Arvato, the seller of record for this program. Your billing contact information (such as billing address, phone number and email address) may be provided to Microsoft for customer support purposes; your full credit card number will not be.

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, personal 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. We may also disclose personal information as part of a corporate transaction such as a merger or sale of assets.

Information that is collected by or sent to Microsoft by Upgrade Assistant or Setup 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.

Collection and use of information about your computer

When you use 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. Microsoft uses standard computer information to provide Internet-enabled services to you, to help improve our products and services, and for statistical analysis. Standard computer information typically includes information such as your IP address, operating system version, browser version, and regional and language settings. In some cases, standard computer information may also include hardware ID, which indicates the device manufacturer, device name and version. If a particular feature or service sends information to Microsoft, standard computer information will be sent as well.

Choice and control

When you run Windows 8.1 Upgrade Assistant or Windows 8.1 Setup from the web, the information described above will be sent to Microsoft and Arvato. Additionally, if you choose to purchase Windows 8.1, your billing information will be collected by Arvato.

Security of your information

Microsoft is committed to helping protect 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 information you provide on computer systems with limited access, which are located in controlled facilities.

Changes to this privacy statement

We will occasionally update this privacy statement to reflect changes in our products, services and customer feedback. When we post changes, 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 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.

For more information

Microsoft welcomes your comments regarding this privacy statement. If you have questions about this statement or believe that we have not adhered to it, please contact us using our web form.

Microsoft Privacy
Microsoft Corporation
One Microsoft Way
Redmond, Washington 98052