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Microsoft Visual Studio 2013 Product Family Privacy Statement

Last updated: March 2014

At Microsoft, we're working hard to protect your privacy, while delivering software that brings you the performance, power and convenience you desire in your personal computing. This privacy statement explains many of the data collection and use practices of Microsoft Visual Studio 2013 ("Visual Studio").

Collection and Use of Your Personal Information

When we need information that identifies you as an individual or that allows us to contact you, we will explicitly ask you for it. Any such information we collect from you will be used by Microsoft and its controlled subsidiaries and affiliates to provide the service(s) or carry out the transaction(s) you have requested or authorized, and may also be used to request your feedback about the product or service that you are using; to provide important notifications regarding the software; to improve the product or service, for example bug and survey form inquiries; or to tell you about new product releases.

Except as described in this statement, information you provide that identifies you as an individual will not be transferred to third parties without your consent. We occasionally hire other companies to provide limited services on our behalf, such as packaging, sending and delivering purchases and other mailings, answering customer questions about products or services, processing event registration, or performing statistical analysis of our services. We will only provide those companies the user information they need to deliver the service, and they are prohibited from using that information for any other purpose.

Information that is collected by or sent to Microsoft may be stored and processed in the United States or any other country/region in which Microsoft or its affiliates, subsidiaries or service providers maintain facilities. Microsoft abides by the safe harbor framework as set forth by the U.S. Department of Commerce regarding the collection, use, and retention of data from the European Economic Area and Switzerland.

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.

Collection and Use of Information about Your Computer

Visual Studio contains features that communicate with services on the Internet. When these features are used, they send certain standard information from your computer ("standard computer information") to Microsoft. Standard computer information typically includes information such as your IP address, operating system version, browser version, your hardware ID which indicates the device manufacturer, device name, and version and your regional and language settings. This information is generally not personally identifiable and is similar to the information your browser sends to each website you visit.

The privacy details for each Visual Studio feature listed below will disclose what additional information is collected and how it is used.

Security 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 unauthorized access, use, or disclosure. For example, we store the information you provide on computer servers with limited access that are located in controlled facilities. Additionally, when we transmit sensitive personal information (such as a password) over the Internet, we protect it through the use of encryption, such as the Secure Socket Layer (SSL) protocol.

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.

If you have questions about this privacy statement, please contact us by e-mail at vspriv@microsoft.com

Visual Studio Privacy
Microsoft Corporation
One Microsoft Way
Redmond, Washington 98052 USA

Data Collected Automatically

Microsoft automatically collects information identifying your installed Microsoft product, the operating system of the device, the CPU architecture of the operating system and data regarding the success or failure of the installation of the software, data identifying the cause of a crash in the product and information about the product license which is in use.  Microsoft does not use this information to identify or contact you.

Microsoft uses this information to make improvements to our products and to understand how our customers are licensing our products.

Visual Studio Experience Improvement Program

The Visual Studio Experience Improvement Program (“VSEIP”) collects performance, configuration, reliability, connectivity, and usage data related to your use of Visual Studio.  Examples of VSEIP data include your IP address, the type and number of errors you encounter, software and hardware performance, and the speed of services. This data does not intentionally contain information specific to you.  However, some data could unintentionally contain information specific to you if it were present in the diagnostic material collected. If you contact us for support we may request collection of additional data to help us resolve your issue.

In most versions of Visual Studio 2013, users may opt out of VSEIP by selecting not to participate in the program during setup or by opting out pursuant to the instructions below.

Use of Information:

We use this information to improve the quality, reliability, and performance of Microsoft software and services. 

Choice/Control:

Participation in VSEIP is on by default. The VSEIP setting in Visual Studio is a per machine setting, so opting in or out of the VSEIP program will do so for all users of the machine running the same version of Visual Studio.

If you prefer not to participate, you can turn off VSEIP at any time by:

  1. From the Help menu, select Customer Feedback Options
  2. To turn VSEIP off, click No, I would not like to participate.

You can turn off VSEIP from Release Management for Visual Studio 2013 by:

  1. For Release Management Server for TFS 2013, Microsoft Deployment Agent 2013, navigate to the product configuration screen and click the “About” button.
  2. In the “About” window, to turn VSEIP off, unselect the checkbox “Join the Visual Studio Experience Improvement Program”
  1. For Release Management Client for Visual Studio 2013, navigate to Settings under the Administration tab in Release Management Client for Visual Studio 2013 and click the “Edit” link.
  2. To turn VSEIP off, unselect the checkbox “Join the Visual Studio Experience Improvement Program”

PerfWatson

PerfWatson is designed to collect responsiveness telemetry from you when the Visual Studio UI becomes unresponsive.

Information Collected, Processed, or Transmitted:

PerfWatson collects frames and modules. If there are computer names and user names in these elements, we may collect that data as well.

Use of Information:

We use this information to improve the quality, reliability, and performance of Visual Studio software and services.

Choice/Control:

You may opt out of this feature by opting out of VSEIP.
IMPORTANT: The module file path is only collected if the module resides under the c:\Windows folder. If you don’t want to send any data to PerfWatson, you should store that data in a folder other than the c:\\Windows folder.

Connections to Microsoft Services

Visual Studio has added several features that enable you to interact directly with several Microsoft Services, like Team Foundation Service, Microsoft Azure and Office365. In order to access the Services, you may sign in with a Microsoft Account. Use of Microsoft Account is subject to the privacy statement set forth here. By signing into one Microsoft service, you may be automatically signed into other Microsoft services that use these credentials.

Automatic Connections

You may be automatically connected to Microsoft services you encounter as you work. For example, once you log into Team Foundation Service, you will be automatically connected to Team Foundation Service in the future via an authentication token when you open Visual Studio. To disconnect, log out of Team Foundation Service.

Visual Studio Online

The new connected Integrated Development Environment (IDE) uses your Microsoft account or other supported identity to connect to your Visual Studio Online profile, including your Visual Studio Online account. The first time you start Visual Studio, you supply your credentials. Based on that authentication, Visual Studio finds and applies your license and synchronizes your settings (such as fonts, language preference, and keyboard settings) across all of your devices. For more information, see Synchronized Settings in Visual Studio.

Once you log into Visual Studio Online, you will be automatically connected to Visual Studio Online in the future via an authentication token when you open Visual Studio.

Through the new Notification Center, you will be provided with notifications about licensing, updates and subscription status. No information specific to you is collected. For additional information about Visual Studio Online, see the Visual Studio Online Privacy Statement.

Use of Information:

The information you send to Microsoft is used by Microsoft to provide Visual Studio Online services. Any data sent to and/or stored in Visual Studio Online is used in accordance with the applicable service-specific agreement.

Choice/Control:

Users of the Visual Studio Express editions and users interested in extending a Visual Studio Professional, Premium, or Ultimate trial edition beyond the initial trial period will be required, after a period of time, to create and connect to a Visual Studio Online profile in order to continue using the software. If you do not wish to create or connect a Visual Studio Online profile then you must buy a full version of the software with a product key, if available, or discontinue use after the initial trial period expires.

Users who purchase a full version of the software and apply the provided product key, where available, can use the software without creating or connecting to a Visual Studio Online profile. Some features that require a Visual Studio Online profile, such as synchronizing settings between devices, will not be available until you choose to create and connect to a Visual Studio Online profile.

Once logged into Visual Studio Online, users who do not wish to be connected to Visual Studio Online should log out of Visual Studio Online.

Connections to Other Microsoft Services

Visual Studio has added several features that enable you to interact with Microsoft services such as Microsoft Azure and Office365.

Information Collected, Processed, or Transmitted:
Data may be transmitted to Microsoft as follows:

  • Hosted Services: You will be prompted to provide a certificate that is used by Visual Studio to connect to Microsoft Azure.
  • Storage Accounts: You will be prompted to provide an access key.
  • Publish to Microsoft Azure: Your content is sent over the Internet to Microsoft Azure.
  • Browse Microsoft Azure storage accounts: You will be actively connected over the Internet to Microsoft Azure.
  • Enable IntelliTrace for your service: Debugging data will be written to your Microsoft Azure storage account and then downloaded to your machine to help you identify errors in your service. If you choose to monitor your service, then status information will be actively retrieved over the Internet from Microsoft Azure.
  • Develop on Office 365: You will need to transmit your credentials when connecting to Office 365 to authenticate. After you authenticate, you may be able to create an Office 365 project or publish a project to Office 365. 

Use of Information:

The information you send to Microsoft is used by Microsoft to provide the services. Any data sent to and/or stored in Microsoft services is used in accordance with the applicable service-specific agreement.

Choice/Control:

Depending on the feature, you can choose whether or not to store the service credentials locally on your computer. There is no choice to save the account information if the feature requires this information to function.

When publishing to Microsoft Azure you may be given a choice as to which of your credentials to use, which service slot you want to deploy (e.g. “staging” or “production”), and the storage account to use. You may revoke permission for Visual Studio to connect to Microsoft Azure at any time, either by removing the credential information through the provided Visual Studio interface or by using the Microsoft Azure development portal to regenerate the access keys for storage accounts or to remove the API certificate for the account.

Connections to the Internet

Visual Studio has several features that utilize connections to the Internet to help you be more productive. For example, Visual Studio connects to RSS feeds, checks for updates, connects you to help online and allows you to view and download extensions, development tools and code samples via connections to the Internet.

During the process of connecting to the Internet for these features, your IP address, your version of Visual Studio and any search and filter parameters supplied by you may be transmitted to Microsoft or any third party servers you choose to interact with.

These features are all controlled by you via either an option in a Visual Studio menu or by making a choice as Visual Studio shows you possible downloads and updates. Many of these settings can be found by selecting Tools|Options and then navigating to the relevant section. You will be notified of any available updates to Visual Studio and any other installed components via the Notifications Window. Updates are installed when you choose to install them.

For Visual Studio Help, to change the content setting from the Visual Studio IDE:

  • Under the Help menu, select Add and Remove Help Content.
  • The Help Viewer will launch.
  • From the Help Viewer:
  • Select the Viewer Options icon in the Viewer toolbar.
  • Check or uncheck Go online to retrieve content and check for content updates to enable the desired behavior.

Enterprise features for Administrators:
As an Administrator you can:

  • Disable online operation for Help Viewer.
    • Online operation for the help client is enabled by default. Disabling online operation will disable the ‘Online’ radio button on the Installation Source section of the Manage tab. Therefore, the Help viewer will not prompt the user to go online at first run.
  • Disable Content Manager
    • This removes the ability for users to initiate their own Online Content installations and updates.
  • Define a default content source by overriding the default Online Content package service provided by Visual Studio installation. For more information, see the Administrator Guide.
  • Turn off Gallery feeds. See the documentation page entitled " How to - Manage a Private Gallery by Using Registry Settings" for detailed instructions.

Feedback Features

There are several features Microsoft uses to collect your feedback. Different features are used to capture different types of information. All of the information collected via these features is used to improve the existing product.

Report a Bug

Report a Bug is an optional feature that allows you to submit a Connect bug for Visual Studio.

Information Collected, Processed, or Transmitted:

As part of submitting the bug, you may select data to send to Microsoft by attaching comments, screenshots, project files, video, and other related data.

Use of Information:

Microsoft will use this information in order to investigate the reported issue and improve our products.

Choice/Control:
To submit a bug, navigate to the Help Menu and select Report a Bug. You have the option to review, add or delete the content in the feedback before submitting it to Microsoft.

Send A Smile

Send a Smile to Visual Studio allows you to send feedback to Microsoft and, at your option, include screenshots showing the specific feedback you have. Although Send a Smile doesn’t intentionally collect information that identifies you as an individual, it is possible that such information might be captured in the feedback you choose to provide. Microsoft doesn’t use this information to identify you.

Before sending your feedback, you also have the option to provide Microsoft with your email address. Microsoft will only use your email address to contact you in case there are questions about your feedback.

Information Collected, Processed, or Transmitted:

Send a Smile automatically collects some information as described below. This information is sent when you choose to send feedback.

Send a Smile generally collects information about:

  • System configuration, such as how many processors are in your computer and the operating system your computer is currently running.
  • Standard computer information, such as the Visual Studio version and country/regional and language settings.

If you have chosen to participate in the Visual Studio Experience Improvement Program (VSEIP), described above, the information collected by Send a Smile may be used and stored in combination with your VSEIP data to help Microsoft better understand your feedback, solve problems, and improve the products and features customers use most often.

Use of Information:

The information we collect from you is used by Microsoft and its controlled subsidiaries and affiliates to provide the services or carry out the transactions you requested or authorized, and it might also be used to:

  • Request additional information about feedback you provide about the product or service you are using
  • Provide critical updates and notifications regarding the software
  • Improve the product or service, for example, bug and survey form inquiries

Choice/Control:

You choose whether or not to send feedback, screenshots or your email address via Send A Smile.

IntelliSense for JavaScript

What This Feature Does:
To improve IntelliSense during JavaScript development, Visual Studio can download remotely referenced files. This will happen under two scenarios: (1) The user downloads a project from the Internet that references a remote file; or (2) the user adds a reference to a remote file.

Information Collected, Processed, or Transmitted:

Visual Studio will transmit the web request for the referenced file to the referenced web server, and download the referenced file from the web server.

Use of Information:

The referenced script that is downloaded is used to improve JavaScript IntelliSense.

Choice/Control:

You can enable Project files that contain web references to download the remote files by:

  • Navigating to the Tools menu
  • Select OptionsText EditorJavaScript
  • Select IntelliSense
  • In the available options check the Download remote references.

PreEmptive Analytics CE

Information Collected, Processed, or Transmitted:

If you choose to enable PreEmptive Analytics data collection for your application, the resulting Team Foundation Server work items will include the exception type, message, full stack trace, the contents of any inner exceptions, and the list of all assemblies loaded at the time of the exception, as well as the number of such exceptions received. With a small amount of additional configuration, you will also be able to see unique instance identifiers (such as the serial number of each application instance that experienced the exception) as well as comments about the error and contact information, if provided by the end user.

Use of Information:

Please see PreEmptive’s Privacy Statement for more information about how data sent to PreEmptive is used.

Choice/Control:

You can choose whether or not to enable PreEmptive Analytics data collection for your application. In addition, you may opt-in to provide your end users with control over whether their analytics data is collected and provided back to you.