Monday, August 20, 2012

Offensive Images in SkyDrive Will Lose Your Entire Microsoft Account

1_1_skydriveoldandnewBe careful of what you upload to your SkyDrive storage, for even a single stray image containing offensive material can make you lose your entire Microsoft account and all services associated with including Outlook/Hotmail, XBox 360, Zune and what not, as a German man recently found out the hard way.

Every cloud storage service has its own set of policies and restrictions that determine what you can or cannot store there. This is reasonable as long as the policies are restrictive only towards materials that infringe copyright or violate laws of the land, such as child pornography. But Windows Live code of conduct that governs SkyDrive are much more restrictive than that.

SkyDrive’s EULA doesn’t allow users to store any images that “depicts nudity of any sort, including full or partial human nudity, or nudity in nonhuman forms such as cartoons, fantasy art or manga.” This means that your private beach holiday photos or even nude drawings are off-limits. Microsoft also disallows users from storing pornographic and obscene content so all your legally purchased adult movies should be kept off SkyDrive. Others things restricted include materials and documents that expresses profanity, hatred, bigotry, racism, or gratuitous violence.

Neowin speculates that your SkyDrive account could be banned if you upload a document with just one swear word inside. The ban on "gratuitous violence" means you could possibly be banned if you upload a movie of your gameplay in, for example, the "M" rated Halo series from Microsoft.

The German man who was banned from SkyDrive, along with all of the services linked to his Microsoft online account, had upload four partially nude pictures in his private folder. The keyword here is “private folder”.

This poses a big problem for users. SkyDrive is deeply embedded into the Windows 8 operating system and Microsoft expects everybody to use SkyDrive in Windows 8 to store pictures and documents in Office 2013. So what happens when you sync your private pictures to SkyDrive, or if you write a story with one too many swear words in Word and save it to SkyDrive? Windows Phone 7, too, has an option to automatically upload any picture you take to a private folder on your SkyDrive.

With Windows 8’s release round the corner it’s time that Microsoft review their SkyDrive policies or at least offer some guidance on its SkyDrive agreements.

[via Neowin and VentureBeat]


  1. If my files are "PRIVATE" and not shared with anyone how can I be banned from uploading whatever I want without my files being scanned by Microsoft thus breaking my right to confidentiality?!

  2. Microsoft is sending a huge message here, my friend. You have no privacy.

    At least google will give you a 6-pack of marshmallow fluff in exchange for it...


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