Starting today, Microsoft 365 usage analytics is anonymized by default

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As of September 1, 2021, Microsoft is making an important privacy change for Microsoft 365 usage analytics -- pseudonymization of user-level information by default.

Microsoft says that this change will help companies to more easily comply with local privacy laws, but it is something that is likely to be welcomed for various other reasons.

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In a blog post, Microsoft says that the change affects data from various sources -- Microsoft 365 Reports in the Microsoft 365 admin center, Microsoft 365 usage reports in Microsoft Graph , Microsoft Teams analytics and reporting in the Microsoft Teams admin center, and The reportRoot: getSharePointSiteUsageDetail API (1.0 and beta) for SharePoint site detail.

Microsoft's James Bell explains:

Global administrators can revert this change for their tenant and show identifiable user information if their organization’s privacy practices allow. This can be achieved in the Microsoft 365 admin center by going to Settings > Org Settings > Services and selecting Reports. Under Choose how to show user information, select Show identifiable user information in reports. Showing identifiable user information is a logged event in the Microsoft 365 compliance center audit log.  

He adds: "When user identification is enabled, administrative roles and the report reader role will be able to see identifiable user level information. Global reader and Usage Summary Reports Reader roles will not have access to identifiable user information, regardless of the setting chosen".

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