Watch what you store on SkyDrive–you may lose your Microsoft life

by Surur
July 19, 2012


In February 2011 we posted about a German photographer who had his SkyDrive suspended after uploading 4 partial nudes.

Now with SkyDrive becoming ever easier to use it may be worth reminding users that they are not free to store whatever they want on the network, and that Microsoft is monitoring it.

Dutch user ‘WingsOfFury’ had uploaded 9 GB of content, and suddenly found his Windows Live account suspended, meaning he lost access to his Hotmail, Xbox Live, could not purchase apps and could of course not upload anything to SkyDrive.

After contact with Microsoft support he found out that his account was blocked because there was a  folder on his SkyDrive that contained content which was not allowed by the code of conduct of Microsoft SkyDrive. The folder was a private folder, not shared to anyone else.

Microsoft reserves the right to suspend an account for any reason, and two months of trying to fix the issue did not result in any resolution.

‘WingsOfFury’ eventually just created a new account, which of course meant his achievements and the apps he purchased were lost. 

While Microsoft has the full right to police its property, with cloud services increasingly interwoven into Windows Phone and Windows 8, and even Office, users should be aware that SkyDrive is not in fact an extension of their hard drive and not store anything there, even in private and even if legal, that could in any way be questionably.

See the relevant parts of the SkyDrive (and Windows Live) code of conduct here and after the break:

Prohibited Uses

You will not upload, post, transmit, transfer, distribute or facilitate distribution of any content (including text, images, sound, video, data, information or software) or otherwise use the service in a way that:

  • depicts nudity of any sort including full or partial human nudity or nudity in non-human forms such as cartoons, fantasy art or manga.

  • incites, advocates, or expresses pornography, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity, hatred, bigotry, racism, or gratuitous violence.

  • misrepresents the source of anything you post or upload, including impersonation of another individual or entity.

  • provides or creates links to external sites that violate this Code of Conduct.

  • includes content that is protected by intellectual property laws, rights of privacy or publicity, or any other applicable law unless you own or control the rights thereto or have received all necessary consents.

  • is intended to harm or exploit minors in any way.

  • is designed to solicit, or collect personally identifiable information of any minor (anyone under 18 years old), including, but not limited to: name, email address, home address, phone number, or the name of their school.

  • invades anyone’s privacy by attempting to harvest, collect, store, or publish private or personally identifiable information, such as passwords, account information, credit card numbers, addresses, or other contact information without their knowledge and willing consent.

  • is illegal or violates any applicable local and national laws; including but not limited to child pornography, bestiality, incest, illegal drugs, software piracy, and harassment.

  • threatens, stalks, defames, defrauds, degrades, victimizes or intimidates an individual or group of individuals for any reason; including on the basis of age, gender, disability, ethnicity, sexual orientation, race or religion; or incites or encourages anyone else to do so.

  • harms or disrupts, or intends to harm or disrupt, another user’s computer or would allow you or others to illegally access software or bypass security on Web sites, or servers, including but not limited to spamming.

  • attempts to impersonate a Microsoft employee, agent, manager, host, administrator, moderator, another user or any other person through any means.

  • promotes or otherwise facilitates the purchase and sale of ammunition or firearms.

  • contains or could be considered ‘junk mail’, ‘spam’, ‘chain letters’, ‘pyramid schemes’, ‘affiliate marketing’ or unsolicited commercial advertisement.

  • mischaracterizes content you post or upload or contains the same or similar content to other content you have already posted.

  • attempts to manipulate the services, including ranking and reputation systems in the services, by violating any of the provisions of this Code of Conduct, colluding with others on voting or using multiple profiles.

  • offers to make international money transfers for amounts exceeding the asking price of an item, with intent to request a refund of any portion of the payment.

  • contains advertising for money making schemes, discount cards, credit counseling, online surveys or online contests.

You will not use any form of automated device or computer program that enables the submission of postings without the express written consent of Microsoft Corporation.

Termination and Cancellation

Microsoft reserves the right, at its sole discretion, and without any obligation to do so, to review and remove user-created services and content at will and without notice, and delete content and accounts. Microsoft reserves the right, at its sole discretion, to ban participants or terminate access to services.


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