Microsoft 365 Usage Analytics data is becoming anonymous by default

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Microsoft has announced that it’s making some privacy changes to its Microsoft 365 configurations starting next month. This update will begin rolling out to business customers on September 1, and it will make all user-level information anonymous by default in Microsoft 365 usage analytics.

“At Microsoft, we’re committed to both data-driven insights and user privacy. As part of that commitment, we’re making a change to Microsoft 365 usage analytics on September 1st to pseudonymize user-level information by default.,” the company explained.

For those unfamiliar, Microsoft 365 usage analytics provides access to a dashboard that provides analytical capabilities to measure adoption trends within an organization. It lets IT Admins analyze usage data of Microsoft 365 services, generate custom reports, as well as share insights. Microsoft says this change will allow companies to comply with local privacy laws, and it will impact user-level information stored and accessed across:

  • 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
  • The reportRoot: getSharePointSiteUsageDetail API (1.0 and beta) for SharePoint site detail

Microsoft noted that global admins will need to head to the Microsoft 365 admin center to revert this change and show personally identifiable information in their respective tenants. To do this, go to Settings, Org Settings, Services, and choose the “Reports” option. Once there, select the “Show identifiable user information in reports” option available under the “Choose how to show user information” section.

Once enabled, the personally identifiable information (PII) will be visible to both administrators and report readers, but it won’t be accessible to the Usage Summary Reports Reader as well as Global reader. Let us know in the comments below if you think that these changes will help to improve privacy within your organization.