Microsoft is committed to protecting your privacy. This privacy statement explains data collection and use practices of SearchTogether; it does not apply to other online or offline Microsoft sites, products or services.
SearchTogether is an Internet Explorer 7 Add-in that allows you to share your web search results and activity with others. Read the Internet Explorer 7 privacy statement for more information on the privacy practices of Internet Explorer 7. When you use SearchTogether, your profile, search queries, results, and web site navigation, along with how you use the SearchTogether tool will be sent to Microsoft for research purposes. In addition, when you join a SearchTogether session, information will be shared with all the people in that session, regardless of when they join.
Collecting Your Personal Information
We will ask you when we need information that personally identifies you (personal information) or allows us to provide a service or carry out a transaction that you have requested. We may also collect personal information in your search queries, results, and chat text, but we do not ask for such information and do not use it to contact you.
The personal information we may collect includes:
* Your e-mail address, nickname, and photo.
* The names of all the sessions you create and those you are invited to join.
* Your search queries made with supported search engines while you are logged into a SearchTogether session. For a list of supported search engines, read the SearchTogether tutorial.
* All chat text entered using the SearchTogether chat area.
* Any ratings or comments you add to pages when using SearchTogether.
* The full addresses (URL) of pages for which:
* you have added ratings or comments.
* you have shared via the SearchTogether Share feature.
* that are viewed by others as part of a Peek/Follow session.
In addition, we may collect information about how you use SearchTogether. For example, how many times you use the “thumbs up” button, access the “Help” menu, or click on items from the summary or query history. This information is used to help improve SearchTogether, analyze trends, and perform research.
Use of your Personal Information
Personal information collected by SearchTogether will be used to provide the service(s) and to perform research. Research involves studies such as collecting and analyzing search session names, query history examples, or quotes from chats. Such information may appear in academic publications, and efforts will be made to remove all personally identifiable information from any published data. Aggregate statistics may also be derived from information collected.
Your personal Information is shared with others in your SearchTogether sessions. A session represents a particular group of people investigating a particular topic. You can belong to several different sessions, however only one session can be active at one time. All personal information collected during an active session is shared with all participants of that session, and you can view the Contacts tab to see what sessions are available and who else is currently participating in each session. A session is only active and collecting information when your Internet Explorer 7 browser is open and the SearchTogether sidebar is visible. All search query history is available to all participants of a session, regardless of when a new participant is added. For more information on SearchTogether sessions, read the SearchTogether tutorial.
Your personal information may also be shared with all other session participants when you use other SearchTogether features:
* Ratings and Comments: Any ratings and comments that you associate with a webpage will be shared with all participants of a session.
* Sharing a Page: You may share a webpage (with or without comments) with any other participant of a session.
* Peek-and-Follow: Peek allows you to see the current web page being viewed by any participant in a session. Follow continues to update and load new pages every time the person you are following views a new page. You must enable Peek-and-Follow for your own browser for anyone to be able use these features to Peek-and-Follow you, and you can disable this feature at any time.
* Chat: Allows you to send and receive instant messages with other session participants. All session participants will be able to see chat sessions, and will be able to read the chat session history.
The personal information collected by SearchTogether is stored by Microsoft and kept as a history of SearchTogether sessions.
Microsoft occasionally hires other companies to provide limited services on our behalf, such as research services, answering customer questions about products and services, and sending information about our products, special offers, and other new services. We will only provide those companies the personal information they need to deliver the service. They are required to maintain the confidentiality of the information and are prohibited from using that information for any other purpose.
Microsoft may disclose personal information if required to do so by law or in the good faith belief that such action is necessary to (a) conform to the edicts of the law or comply with legal process served on Microsoft or the Site; (b) protect and defend the rights or property of Microsoft and our family of Web sites; or (c) act in urgent circumstances to protect the personal safety of Microsoft employees or agents, users of Microsoft products or services, or members of the public.
Personal information collected on the Site 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 harbor framework as set forth by the U.S. Department of Commerce regarding the collection, use, and retention of data from the European Union.
Control of your Personal Information
Except as otherwise described in this statement, personal information you provide on the Site will not be shared outside of Microsoft and its controlled subsidiaries and affiliates without your permission.
Please be aware that this privacy statement will not necessarily apply to personal information you may have provided to Microsoft in the context of other, separately operated, Microsoft products or services.
Security of your Personal Information
Microsoft is committed to protecting the security of your personal information. We use a variety of security technologies and procedures to help protect your personal information from unauthorized access, use, or disclosure. For example, we store the personal information you provide on computer servers with limited access that are located in controlled facilities.
Changes to This Privacy Statement
We may occasionally update this privacy statement. When we do, we will also revise the "last updated" date at the top of the privacy statement. For material changes to this privacy statement, we will notify you either by placing a prominent notice on the home page of our web site or by directly sending you a notification. We encourage you to periodically review this privacy statement to stay informed about how we are helping to protect the personal information we collect. Your continued use of the service constitutes your agreement to this privacy statement and any updates.
Microsoft welcomes your comments regarding this privacy statement. If you believe that Microsoft has not adhered to this privacy statement, please contact us by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or via postal mail at the address provided below, and we will use commercially reasonable efforts to promptly determine and remedy the problem.
c/o Microsoft Research
One Microsoft Way
Redmond, Washington 98052-6399 USA