Export (0) Print
Expand All

Manage privacy settings in Telemetry Dashboard

Office 2013
 

Applies to: Office 365 ProPlus, Office 2013

Topic Last Modified: 2013-12-18

Summary: Learn about the data that Telemetry Agent collects and how to help protect user privacy in Telemetry Dashboard for Office 2013.

Audience: IT Professionals

Telemetry Dashboard is an Excel 2013 workbook that displays compatibility and inventory data about the Office files, Office add-ins, and Office solutions that are used in an organization. Telemetry Dashboard displays the file names and titles of documents in each user’s Most Recently Used list, which might reveal personal or confidential information about the user or organization. The names of add-ins and other solutions that are used by Office are also displayed. In this article, you can learn about settings in Telemetry Dashboard and Telemetry Agent that help you protect user privacy by disguising file names and titles or by preventing data for selected applications or solutions from being reported. You can also learn how to disable telemetry logging and delete telemetry information from a client computer. If you haven’t deployed Telemetry Dashboard yet, see Deploy Telemetry Dashboard.

ImportantImportant:
This article is part of the Content roadmap for Office 2013 compatibility. Use the roadmap as a starting point for articles, downloads, scripts, and videos that help you assess Office 2013 compatibility.

In this article:

Data that is shown in Telemetry Dashboard is collected by a component known as Telemetry Agent. The agent collects inventory, usage, and telemetry data and uploads it to a shared folder, where it is processed by a service known as Telemetry Processor and inserted into an SQL database. This is the database that Telemetry Dashboard connects to so that it can show the usage of Office files, add-ins, and solutions.

Telemetry Agent is built into Office Professional Plus 2013 and Office 365 ProPlus editions of Office 2013 and is installed separately on computers that run Office 2003, Office 2007, and Office 2010. Regardless of whether it's built in or deployed separately, Telemetry Agent never generates or collects any telemetry or inventory data until you enable telemetry logging. You can do this by using either the registry or the Group Policy Administrative Templates as described in Deploy Telemetry Dashboard. After logging begins, telemetry data is stored on the local computer under %LocalAppData%\Microsoft\Office15.0\Telemetry\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Telemetry\ and is uploaded periodically to a shared folder.

For a visual representation of the Telemetry Dashboard components and how they work, see Telemetry in Office 2013. This poster includes a description of all components, a list of what Office files are monitored, how data collection works, and more.

Thumbnail image of the Office Telemetry poster

Telemetry Agent collects inventory-related data, hardware and software data, and user data in Office 2003, Office 2007, Office 2010, and Office 2013 for the following applications:

  • Access

  • Excel

  • OneNote

  • Outlook

  • PowerPoint

  • Project

  • Publisher

  • Visio

  • Word

For Office 2013 only, Telemetry Agent collects telemetry data for the following applications:

  • Excel

  • Outlook

  • PowerPoint

  • Word

Here is a partial list of the data that Telemetry Agent collects. The full list is available in Appendix: Data that Telemetry Agent collects. We also recommend that you review the Privacy Statement for Microsoft Office.

  • The file names of Office files that are in the Most Recently Used list.

  • The names of add-ins and solutions that interact with Office.

  • System information such as user name and computer name.

Telemetry Agent also collects the following telemetry data for Excel 2013, Outlook 2013, PowerPoint 2013, and Word 2013:

  • Whether the document has specific metadata for a particular file, such VBA macros, data connections, or ActiveX controls.

  • Whether the document has encountered compatibility issues or critical errors while it is being used.

  • How Office files and solutions are used on a user’s computer (Sessions).

Telemetry Agent doesn’t collect any of the following kinds of information:

  • The contents of files.

  • Information about files that are not in the Most Recently Used list.

There are several ways that you can configure the level of detail that is displayed for Office files, add-ins, and solutions in Telemetry Dashboard. Some methods, such as changing the reporting threshold, prevent certain information from being shown in Telemetry Dashboard. Other methods prevent Telemetry Agent from uploading data so that it is never added to the telemetry database. Setting a threshold and preventing certain data from uploading can also help improve the performance of the telemetry database and custom reports.

Telemetry Dashboard tracks the number of users who use an Office file that has the same name. Typically these are files that are shared and accessed by multiple users and might have greater business value than files that are used by a single user. As part of your compatibility planning, you might decide not to view inventory and compatibility events about files that are used by a single user and instead monitor files that are used throughout a department. Configuring Telemetry Dashboard to report files that are used by, say, three or more users also helps avoid displaying personal files, such as resumes. This setting also reduces the data set that is returned in custom reports in Telemetry Dashboard, which can help you work around the 2-GB memory limitation in the 32-bit version of Excel 2013.

To prevent Telemetry Dashboard from displaying files that have a single author, you run a script that adjusts the minimum reporting threshold in the telemetry database. Specifically, you use the Telemetry Dashboard Administration Tool (Tdadm) to filter out files that appear on two or fewer clients. To do this, set the Threshold value to 3 (or to a larger value, if you want) as shown in the following example.

tdadm.exe -o settings -databaseserver dbserver -databasename dbname -threshold 3

For more information about Tdadm, see the Tdadm wiki.

It's common for users in an organization to save Office files by using file names that contain sensitive or confidential information. Although these files might have high business value that justifies monitoring them for compatibility issues, business groups such as legal and human resources might object to having their computers monitored to avoid revealing confidential file names to administrators who use Telemetry Dashboard.

To allow yourself and other administrators to identify the owners of Office files that have compatibility issues without revealing file names or specific locations, you can enable file obfuscation, which disguises Office file names, titles, and file paths. This setting is configured on the Telemetry Agent, which performs the obfuscation task before uploading data to the shared folder. The data that is stored on the local computer is not obfuscated.

The following table describes different ways in which file information is disguised.

Examples of obfuscated file names, file paths, and titles

File name File path Title

Actual file details on the monitored client computer

Resume_Contoso.xlsx

C:\Users\John\Documents

Resume_Contoso.docx

Merger_Contoso.docx

\\FileShare\Operations\FY2012

Merger_Contoso.docx

FY2012_Layoff.xlsx

http:\\sharepoint\sites\HR\SharedDocuments

FY2012_Layoff.xlsx

10 cures for diseases.pptx

Outlook:C:\Users\John\AppData\Local\Microsoft\Windows\Temporary Internet Files\Content.Outlook\1234ABCD

10 cures for diseases

Data that is sent to the shared folder after you enable file obfuscation

Re********.xlsx

C:\********

********

Me********.docx

\\FileShare\********

********

FY********.xlsx

http://sharepoint/********

********

10********.pptx

Outlook:********

********

The following example enables file obfuscation in the registry of a client computer. Save this code sample as a .reg file and then run it on the monitored client computers.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Office\15.0\osm]
"EnableFileObfuscation"=dword:00000001

For more information about how to use .reg files, see How to add, modify, or delete registry subkeys and values by using a registration entries (.reg) file.

The following table describes the name and path of the Group Policy setting that enables file obfuscation. You can download the Office 2013 Administrative Templates from the Microsoft Download Center.

Group policy setting that enables file obfuscation

Setting name Path

Turn on privacy settings in Telemetry Agent

User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Microsoft Office 2013\Telemetry Dashboard

For business groups that employ lawyers, executives, or other employees who work with trade secrets or sensitive data, you can prevent information about specific Office applications or Office solution types from being collected and uploaded to the shared folder. For example, a business group might decide that Excel files are too sensitive for monitoring. Another group might decide that they care only about Access-related solutions and that they don't want to monitor other applications.

The following table describes the registry values that prevent specific applications from being reported to Telemetry Dashboard.

Telemetry Agent registry settings under HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Office\15.0\OSM\preventedapplications

Value name Value type Value description and data

accesssolution

olksolution

onenotesolution

pptsolution

projectsolution

publishersolution

visiosolution

wdsolution

xlsolution

REG_DWORD

Prevents telemetric data for specific Office applications from being reported to Telemetry Dashboard. The agent won't report any data that interacts with the specified application. This includes document files that are used by the application and COM add-ins that are loaded the application. The value names correspond to Office applications as follows:

accesssolution: Access solutions

olksolution: Outlook solutions

onenotesolution: OneNote solutions

pptsolution: PowerPoint solutions

projectsolution: Project solutions

publishersolution: Publisher solutions

visiosolution: Visio solutions

wdsolution: Word solutions

xlsolution: Excel solutions

Value:

1 = Prevent reporting

0 = Allow reporting

Default = 0 (Allow reporting)

The following table describes the registry values that prevent specific solution types from being reported to Telemetry Dashboard.

Telemetry Agent registry settings under HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Office\15.0\OSM\preventedsolutiontypes

Value name Value type Value description and data

agave

appaddins

comaddins

documentfiles

templatefiles

REG_DWORD

Prevents telemetric data for specific solutions from being reported to Telemetry Dashboard. The value names correspond to Office solution types as follows:

agave: apps for Office

appaddins: Application-specific add-ins. These include Excel add-ins such as .xla and xlam, Word add-ins such as .dotm, and PowerPoint add-ins such as .ppa and .ppam.

comaddins: COM add-ins

documentfiles: Office document files

templatefiles: Office template files

Value:

1 = Prevent reporting

0 = Allow reporting

Default = 0 (Allow reporting)

The following example disables reporting for all solution and application types. Save this sample as a .reg file and then remove any applications or solutions that you want to allow reporting for. Otherwise they will all be disabled because their value will be set to 00000001.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\microsoft\office\15.0\osm\preventedapplications]
"accesssolution"=dword:00000001
"olksolution"=dword:00000001
"onenotesolution"=dword:00000001
"pptsolution"=dword:00000001
"projectsolution"=dword:00000001
"publishersolution"=dword:00000001
"visiosolution"=dword:00000001
"wdsolution"=dword:00000001
"xlsolution"=dword:00000001
 
[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\microsoft\office\15.0\osm\preventedsolutiontypes]
"agave"=dword:00000001
"appaddins"=dword:00000001
"comaddins"=dword:00000001
"documentfiles"=dword:00000001
"templatefiles"=dword:00000001

For more information about how to use .reg files, see How to add, modify, or delete registry subkeys and values by using a registration entries (.reg) file.

The following table describes the name and path of the Group Policy settings that exclude reporting for selected Office applications and solutions. You can download the Office 2013 Administrative Templates from the Microsoft Download Center.

Exclusion policy settings under Configuration\Administrative Templates\Microsoft Office 2013\Telemetry Dashboard

Setting Description

Office applications to exclude from Telemetry Agent reporting

Prevents telemetric data for specific Office applications from being reported to the Telemetry Dashboard.

Office solutions to exclude from Telemetry Agent reporting

Prevents telemetric data for specific Office solutions from being reported to the Telemetry Dashboard.

To stop collecting data on the local computer, update the registry or set Group Policy settings as follows.

The following example stops logging and uploading by Telemetry Agent. Save the example as a .reg file and run it on the client computer.

Windows Registry Editor Version 5.00

[HKEY_CURRENT_USER\Software\Policies\Microsoft\Office\15.0\osm]
"Enablelogging"=dword:00000000
"EnableUpload"=dword:00000000

For more information about how to use .reg files, see How to add, modify, or delete registry subkeys and values by using a registration entries (.reg) file.

The policy settings that are listed in the following table are available in the path User Configuration\Administrative Templates\Microsoft Office 2013\Telemetry Dashboard. Set these policy settings to Disabled to turn off data collection and uploading for Telemetry Agent. You can download the Office 2013 Administrative Templates from the Microsoft Download Center.

Telemetry Agent policy settings that disable telemetry logging

Setting

Turn on telemetry data collection

Set this setting to Disabled to turn off data collection.

Turn on data uploading for the Telemetry Agent

Set this setting to Disabled to stop uploading data to the shared folder.

Disabling logging does not delete the data that has already been collected. To delete this data on the local client computer, delete the files evt.tbl, sln.tbl, user.tbl that are located under %LocalAppData%\Microsoft\Office15.0\Telemetry\Microsoft\Office\15.0\Telemetry\.

Earlier in this article, in Introduction to Telemetry Agent and the data it collects, we described a partial list of data that Telemetry Agent collects. Here is the full list.

Telemetry Agent collects the following data for all computers that it monitors. You can find the list of Office versions and operating systems that Telemetry Agent supports in Telemetry Agent.

Telemetry Agent collects the following data about recently opened Office documents and templates. This data is sorted by the worksheet where it appears in Telemetry Dashboard.

Documents worksheet:

  • File name

  • File format (extension)

  • Total users

  • Number of Office 2013

Document details worksheet:

  • User name

  • Computer name

  • Location

  • Size (KB)

  • Author

  • Last loaded

  • Title

  • Office version

NoteNote:
  • For OneNote, Telemetry Agent collects only Notebook name and location.

  • For Outlook, Telemetry Agent doesn’t collect any inventory data of document files.

  • For files that are stored in a network share or SharePoint site, Telemetry Agent collects only the file name and location.

  • If the list of most recently used documents is disabled on a user’s computer (by Group Policy or the user disabled it by themselves), Telemetry Agent doesn’t collect inventory data for document files and templates.

Telemetry Agent collects the following data about recently loaded add-ins and apps for Office. This data is sorted by the worksheet where it appears in Telemetry Dashboard.

Solutions worksheet:

  • Solution name

  • Total users

  • Number of Office 2013 users

Solution details worksheet:

  • User name

  • Computer name

  • Solution version

  • Architecture (CPU architectures: x86/x64/ARM)

  • Load time

  • Description

  • Size (KB)

  • Location (.dll/manifest file path)

Telemetry Agent collects the following user data. This data appears in the Agents worksheet.

  • User name

  • Level (Telemetry Agent status)

  • Computer

  • Last updated

  • Label (1-4)

  • Version of the agent

Telemetry Agent collects the following data about hardware and software. This data is sorted by the worksheet where it appears in Telemetry Dashboard.

Telemetry Processor worksheet:

  • Computer name

  • Level (Telemetry Processor status)

  • Users

  • Computers

  • Last updated (date and time)

Deployments worksheet:

  • Office versions

  • Number of 32-bit deployments

  • Number of 64-bit deployments

  • Number of ARM deployments

Telemetry Agent also collects the following telemetry data for Excel 2013, and Outlook 2013, PowerPoint 2013, and Word 2013. This data is sorted by the worksheet where it appears in Telemetry Dashboard.

Documents worksheet:

  • Success (%)

  • Sessions

  • Critical compatibility issue or crash

  • Informative compatibility issue or load failure

Document details worksheet:

  • Last loaded date and time

  • Has VBA? (true/false)

  • Has OLE? (true/false)

  • Has external data connection? (true/false)

  • Has assembly reference? (true/false)

NoteNote:
VBA, OLE, external data connection, ActiveX control, and assembly reference information are logged starting from the second time that the user opens the document. This information won't be collected if the user opens the document only one time.

Document sessions worksheet:

  • Date and time that the critical or informative event happened

Solutions worksheet:

  • Success (%)

  • Sessions

  • Critical compatibility issue or crash

  • Informative compatibility issue or load failure

  • Load time (time taken to load add-ins or apps for Office)

Solution issues worksheet:

  • Event ID

  • Title

  • Explanation

  • More info

  • Users

  • Sessions

NoteNote:
Telemetry data is collected during application run time. If the inventory data was collected by Telemetry Agent, but the application hasn’t started collecting telemetry data, then some data, such as Success (%) and Load time, won't be shown in the dashboard until the user opens documents or loads solutions during application run time.

Was this page helpful?
(1500 characters remaining)
Thank you for your feedback
Show:
© 2014 Microsoft