What this feature does: Microsoft Active Protection Service (MAPS) can help better protect your PC by automatically downloading new signatures for newly-detected malware, and monitoring the security status of your PC. MAPS reports malware and other forms of potentially unwanted software and errors encountered in the product to Microsoft. If a MAPS report includes details about malware or potentially unwanted software that the product may be able to remove, MAPS will download the latest signature to address it. MAPS can also find "false positives" (where something originally identified as malware turns out not to be) and fix them.
Information collected, processed, or transmitted: This feature sends reports about errors, malware, and potentially unwanted software to Microsoft. These reports include information about the files or apps in question, such as file names, cryptographic hash, vendor, size, and date stamps. In addition, MAPS might collect full URLs to indicate the origin of the file, which might occasionally contain personal information such as search terms or data entered in forms. Also, MAPS may collect the IP addresses that the potential malware files connect to. Reports might also include the actions that you applied when the product notified you that software was detected. MAPS reports include this information to help Microsoft gauge the effectiveness of the product's ability to detect and remove malware and potentially unwanted software.
If the product and MAPS are both enabled on your PC, MAPS reports will be automatically sent to Microsoft when the product:
detects software or changes to your PC by software that hasn’t been analyzed for risks yet;
takes action on malware (as part of its automatic remediation) upon detection;
completes a scheduled scan and applies actions to software that it detects, according to your settings; or
encounters an error or other problem.
If MAPS reports new malware to Microsoft that the product can remove, new signatures will be automatically downloaded to your computer, helping to protect your machine more rapidly from potential threats.
Microsoft uses error reports to help the product operate as intended—to help protect your computer against potential threats.
You can join MAPS with a basic or an advanced membership. By default you are opted into basic membership. Basic member reports contain the information described in this section. Advanced member reports are more comprehensive and might occasionally contain personal information from, for example, file paths and partial memory dumps. These reports, along with reports from other users who are participating in MAPS, help our researchers discover new threats more rapidly. Malware definitions are then created for apps that meet the analysis criteria, and the updated definitions are made available to all users through Windows Update.
To help protect your privacy, reports that are sent to Microsoft are encrypted.
To help detect and fix certain kinds of malware infections, the product regularly sends MAPS some information about the security state of your PC. This information includes information about your PC’s security settings and log files describing the drivers and other software that load while your PC boots. A number that uniquely identifies your PC is also sent.
Use of information: MAPS reports are used to improve Microsoft software and services. The reports might also be used for statistical or other testing or analytical purposes, and for generating definitions. Only Microsoft employees, contractors, partners, and vendors who have a business need to use the reports are provided access to them. MAPS does not intentionally collect personal information. To the extent that MAPS collects any personal information, Microsoft does not use the information to identify you or contact you.
Choice and control: You may choose your MAPS membership—basic or advanced—at any time by using the "Settings" tab in the product. Please note that MAPS only operates if the product has been enabled on your computer.
When the product is upgraded, Microsoft will honor your settings until you make a change.