Windows Communications Apps privacy statement

The People, Mail, and Calendar apps are known collectively as the "Windows Communications Apps." Settings you change in a single app apply to all Windows Communications Apps. For example, if you connect a third-party account to the Mail app, you'll also see the contacts from that account in the People app. Similarly, if you turn on the webcam for the Mail app, it will also be turned on for the People app.

This privacy statement applies to the Windows Communications Apps that run on Windows 8.1 and Windows RT 8.1. If your PC is running Windows 8 or Windows RT, see the Windows Live supplement to the Microsoft.com privacy statement.

In this section, we’ll describe the privacy impacts common to all three Windows Communications Apps. To learn more about the specific privacy impacts of the individual apps, see the following sections.

What these apps do

The Windows Communications Apps let you interact with people through email, calendars, and social networks.

Information collected, processed, or transmitted

You need to be signed in with a Microsoft account in order to use the Communications apps. If you sign in to Windows with a Microsoft account, you’ll automatically be signed in to the Communications apps with that account, and relevant information from your Microsoft account will be available in those apps. For example, if you have an email inbox associated with your Microsoft account, your email will automatically be available in the Mail app. Information associated with your Microsoft account is subject to the Microsoft Services Agreement. To learn more about Microsoft’s privacy practices regarding information associated with your Microsoft account, see the Microsoft account section of the Windows Services privacy statement.

Information from third-party accounts that you connect to your Microsoft account will also be available in the Communications apps. For example, if you’ve connected your Microsoft account to your Facebook account, the People app will automatically display your Facebook contacts. Information you share with a third-party service is subject to the third party’s privacy statement.

When you sign in to the Windows Communications Apps with an account, content from the account is periodically downloaded in the background to keep your PC in sync.

The Windows Communications Apps can display information on your Start screen and lock screen. By default, the Calendar app will display your next appointment while your PC is locked.

As you use the Windows Communications Apps, some information will be sent to Microsoft to help maintain the quality of service and improve our products and services.

Use of information

Microsoft uses the information sent to and from your accounts to allow the apps to function properly. Some data, such as contacts, from third-party services you connect may be stored on Microsoft servers and your PC to provide the service you’re using. We use some additional data to help maintain the quality of service and improve our products and services.

Choice and control

You can choose which of your accounts to use with the Windows Communications Apps in Settings in each of the apps. You can also choose whether to have your PC automatically sync content with each account, and how often to sync. You can turn live tiles off for the Windows Communications Apps by selecting the individual app tile on the Start screen and choosing Turn live tile off. You can choose which of the Windows Communications Apps are able to display information on the lock screen in PC settings.

People

What this app does

The People app lets you see and use contact information from the online accounts that you’ve connected to your Microsoft account. For some accounts, you can view information such as photos, posts, and comments that your contacts have chosen to share.

Information collected, processed, and transmitted

When you sign in with a Microsoft account, People will download and store information about the contacts associated with your Microsoft account. This may include contacts from third-party services you use in the Windows Communications Apps. For information about how other apps may use your contact information, such as mapping an address, please see the Contacts section of the Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 privacy statement.

Use of information

The People app stores your contacts’ information on your PC so you can easily access that information in the Windows Communications Apps and in other features like Windows Search.

Choice and control

If you don’t want your contacts’ information to be available on your PC, you can disconnect the accounts the information is associated with in Settings in People.

Mail

What this app does

The Mail app lets you send and receive email from one or more email accounts.

Information collected, processed, and transmitted

When you sign in with a Microsoft account, Mail will download and store email. Email from third-party accounts won’t be sent to Microsoft servers unless you set up the third-party account to do so.

By default, Mail will show the sender, subject, and preview of the most recent email you received on the Mail tile in Start.

Mail keeps track of the people you contact most frequently to make it easier to compose email to frequent contacts. This information is stored locally on your PC and isn’t synced or sent to Microsoft.

Use of information

Mail uses this information to let you send and receive email.

Choice and control

You can add or remove email accounts and control how often they sync in Settings for Mail, in the Accounts section.

Calendar

What this app does

The Calendar app lets you view and edit calendar items associated with your online accounts.

Information collected, processed, and transmitted

Calendar automatically downloads the calendar events from the online accounts you’ve connected to the Windows Communications Apps. By default, Calendar will show the title, time, and location of your next event on the lock screen and on the Calendar tile in Start.

Use of information

Calendar uses this information to let you view and edit your calendar items.

Choice and control

If you do not wish to view information from a certain calendar in the Calendar app, you may hide that calendar by selecting Options in the Settings for Calendar. This will cause information from that calendar to be hidden from view in the Calendar app, on the Calendar app’s tile, in notifications, and on the lock screen.