Privacy for Microsoft Defender for Endpoint on macOS

Applies to:

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Microsoft is committed to providing you with the information and controls you need to make choices about how your data is collected and used when you're using Microsoft Defender for Endpoint on macOS.

This topic describes the privacy controls available within the product, how to manage these controls with policy settings and more details on the data events that are collected.

Overview of privacy controls in Microsoft Defender for Endpoint on macOS

This section describes the privacy controls for the different types of data collected by Microsoft Defender for Endpoint on macOS.

Diagnostic data

Diagnostic data is used to keep Microsoft Defender for Endpoint secure and up-to-date, detect, diagnose and fix problems, and also make product improvements.

Some diagnostic data is required, while some diagnostic data is optional. We give you the ability to choose whether to send us required or optional diagnostic data through the use of privacy controls, such as policy settings for organizations.

There are two levels of diagnostic data for Microsoft Defender for Endpoint client software that you can choose from:

  • Required: The minimum data necessary to help keep Microsoft Defender for Endpoint secure, up-to-date, and performing as expected on the device it's installed on.

  • Optional: Additional data that helps Microsoft make product improvements and provides enhanced information to help detect, diagnose, and remediate issues.

By default, only required diagnostic data is sent to Microsoft.

Cloud delivered protection data

Cloud delivered protection is used to provide increased and faster protection with access to the latest protection data in the cloud.

Enabling the cloud-delivered protection service is optional, however it is highly recommended because it provides important protection against malware on your endpoints and across your network.

Sample data

Sample data is used to improve the protection capabilities of the product, by sending Microsoft suspicious samples so they can be analyzed. Enabling automatic sample submission is optional.

When this feature is enabled and the sample that is collected is likely to contain personal information, the user is prompted for consent.

Manage privacy controls with policy settings

If you're an IT administrator, you might want to configure these controls at the enterprise level.

The privacy controls for the various types of data described in the preceding section are described in detail in Set preferences for Microsoft Defender for Endpoint on macOS.

As with any new policy settings, you should carefully test them out in a limited, controlled environment to ensure the settings that you configure have the desired effect before you implement the policy settings more widely in your organization.

Diagnostic data events

This section describes what is considered required diagnostic data and what is considered optional diagnostic data, along with a description of the events and fields that are collected.

Data fields that are common for all events

There is some information about events that is common to all events, regardless of category or data subtype.

The following fields are considered common for all events:

Field Description
platform The broad classification of the platform on which the app is running. Allows Microsoft to identify on which platforms an issue may be occurring so that it can correctly be prioritized.
machine_guid Unique identifier associated with the device. Allows Microsoft to identify whether issues are impacting a select set of installs and how many users are impacted.
sense_guid Unique identifier associated with the device. Allows Microsoft to identify whether issues are impacting a select set of installs and how many users are impacted.
org_id Unique identifier associated with the enterprise that the device belongs to. Allows Microsoft to identify whether issues are impacting a select set of enterprises and how many enterprises are impacted.
hostname Local device name (without DNS suffix). Allows Microsoft to identify whether issues are impacting a select set of installs and how many users are impacted.
product_guid Unique identifier of the product. Allows Microsoft to differentiate issues impacting different flavors of the product.
app_version Version of the Microsoft Defender for Endpoint on macOS application. Allows Microsoft to identify which versions of the product are showing an issue so that it can correctly be prioritized.
sig_version Version of security intelligence database. Allows Microsoft to identify which versions of the security intelligence are showing an issue so that it can correctly be prioritized.
supported_compressions List of compression algorithms supported by the application, for example ['gzip']. Allows Microsoft to understand what types of compressions can be used when it communicates with the application.
release_ring Ring that the device is associated with (for example Insider Fast, Insider Slow, Production). Allows Microsoft to identify on which release ring an issue may be occurring so that it can correctly be prioritized.

Required diagnostic data

Required diagnostic data is the minimum data necessary to help keep Microsoft Defender for Endpoint secure, up-to-date, and perform as expected on the device it's installed on.

Required diagnostic data helps to identify problems with Microsoft Defender for Endpoint that may be related to a device or software configuration. For example, it can help determine if a Microsoft Defender for Endpoint feature crashes more frequently on a particular operating system version, with newly introduced features, or when certain Microsoft Defender for Endpoint features are disabled. Required diagnostic data helps Microsoft detect, diagnose, and fix these problems more quickly so the impact to users or organizations is reduced.

Software setup and inventory data events

Microsoft Defender for Endpoint installation / uninstallation:

The following fields are collected:

Field Description
correlation_id Unique identifier associated with the installation.
version Version of the package.
severity Severity of the message (for example Informational).
code Code that describes the operation.
text Additional information associated with the product installation.

Microsoft Defender for Endpoint configuration:

The following fields are collected:

Field Description
antivirus_engine.enable_real_time_protection Whether real-time protection is enabled on the device or not.
antivirus_engine.passive_mode Whether passive mode is enabled on the device or not.
cloud_service.enabled Whether cloud delivered protection is enabled on the device or not.
cloud_service.timeout Time out when the application communicates with the Microsoft Defender for Endpoint cloud.
cloud_service.heartbeat_interval Interval between consecutive heartbeats sent by the product to the cloud.
cloud_service.service_uri URI used to communicate with the cloud.
cloud_service.diagnostic_level Diagnostic level of the device (required, optional).
cloud_service.automatic_sample_submission Whether automatic sample submission is turned on or not.
cloud_service.automatic_definition_update_enabled Whether automatic definition update is turned on or not.
edr.early_preview Whether the device should run EDR early preview features.
edr.group_id Group identifier used by the detection and response component.
edr.tags User-defined tags.
features.[optional feature name] List of preview features, along with whether they are enabled or not.

Product and service usage data events

Security intelligence update report:

The following fields are collected:

Field Description
from_version Original security intelligence version.
to_version New security intelligence version.
status Status of the update indicating success or failure.
using_proxy Whether the update was done over a proxy.
error Error code if the update failed.
reason Error message if the updated filed.

Product and service performance data events for required diagnostic data

Unexpected application exit (crash):

Collects system information and the state of an application when an application unexpectedly exits.

The following fields are collected:

Field Description
v1_crash_count Number of times V1 engine process crashed every hour on client machine
v2_crash_count Number of times V2 engine process crashed every hour on client machine
EDR_crash_count Number of times EDR process crashed every hour on client machine

Kernel extension statistics:

The following fields are collected:

Field Description
version Version of Microsoft Defender for Endpoint on macOS.
instance_id Unique identifier generated on kernel extension startup.
trace_level Trace level of the kernel extension.
subsystem The underlying subsystem used for real-time protection.
ipc.connects Number of connection requests received by the kernel extension.
ipc.rejects Number of connection requests rejected by the kernel extension.
ipc.connected Whether there is any active connection to the kernel extension.

Support data

Diagnostic logs:

Diagnostic logs are collected only with the consent of the user as part of the feedback submission feature. The following files are collected as part of the support logs:

  • All files under /Library/Logs/Microsoft/mdatp/
  • Subset of files under /Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Defender/ that are created and used by Microsoft Defender for Endpoint on macOS
  • Subset of files under /Library/Managed Preferences that are used by Microsoft Defender for Endpoint on macOS
  • /Library/Logs/Microsoft/autoupdate.log
  • $HOME/Library/Preferences/com.microsoft.autoupdate2.plist

Optional diagnostic data

Optional diagnostic data is additional data that helps Microsoft make product improvements and provides enhanced information to help detect, diagnose, and fix issues.

If you choose to send us optional diagnostic data, required diagnostic data is also included.

Examples of optional diagnostic data include data Microsoft collects about product configuration (for example number of exclusions set on the device) and product performance (aggregate measures about the performance of components of the product).

Software setup and inventory data events for optional diagnostic data

Microsoft Defender for Endpoint configuration:

The following fields are collected:

Field Description
connection_retry_timeout Connection retry time out when communication with the cloud.
file_hash_cache_maximum Size of the product cache.
crash_upload_daily_limit Limit of crash logs uploaded daily.
antivirus_engine.exclusions[].is_directory Whether the exclusion from scanning is a directory or not.
antivirus_engine.exclusions[].path Path that was excluded from scanning.
antivirus_engine.exclusions[].extension Extension excluded from scanning.
antivirus_engine.exclusions[].name Name of the file excluded from scanning.
antivirus_engine.scan_cache_maximum Size of the product cache.
antivirus_engine.maximum_scan_threads Maximum number of threads used for scanning.
antivirus_engine.threat_restoration_exclusion_time Time out before a file restored from the quarantine can be detected again.
antivirus_engine.threat_type_settings Configuration for how different threat types are handled by the product.
filesystem_scanner.full_scan_directory Full scan directory.
filesystem_scanner.quick_scan_directories List of directories used in quick scan.
edr.latency_mode Latency mode used by the detection and response component.
edr.proxy_address Proxy address used by the detection and response component.

Microsoft Auto-Update configuration:

The following fields are collected:

Field Description
how_to_check Determines how product updates are checked (for example automatic or manual).
channel_name Update channel associated with the device.
manifest_server Server used for downloading updates.
update_cache Location of the cache used to store updates.

Product and service usage

Diagnostic log upload started report

The following fields are collected:

Field Description
sha256 SHA256 identifier of the support log.
size Size of the support log.
original_path Path to the support log (always under /Library/Application Support/Microsoft/Defender/wdavdiag/).
format Format of the support log.

Diagnostic log upload completed report

The following fields are collected:

Field Description
request_id Correlation ID for the support log upload request.
sha256 SHA256 identifier of the support log.
blob_sas_uri URI used by the application to upload the support log.

Product and service performance data events for product and service usage

Unexpected application exit (crash):

Unexpected application exits and the state of the application when that happens.

Kernel extension statistics:

The following fields are collected:

Field Description
pkt_ack_timeout The following properties are aggregated numerical values, representing count of events that happened since kernel extension startup.
pkt_ack_conn_timeout
ipc.ack_pkts
ipc.nack_pkts
ipc.send.ack_no_conn
ipc.send.nack_no_conn
ipc.send.ack_no_qsq
ipc.send.nack_no_qsq
ipc.ack.no_space
ipc.ack.timeout
ipc.ack.ackd_fast
ipc.ack.ackd
ipc.recv.bad_pkt_len
ipc.recv.bad_reply_len
ipc.recv.no_waiter
ipc.recv.copy_failed
ipc.kauth.vnode.mask
ipc.kauth.vnode.read
ipc.kauth.vnode.write
ipc.kauth.vnode.exec
ipc.kauth.vnode.del
ipc.kauth.vnode.read_attr
ipc.kauth.vnode.write_attr
ipc.kauth.vnode.read_ex_attr
ipc.kauth.vnode.write_ex_attr
ipc.kauth.vnode.read_sec
ipc.kauth.vnode.write_sec
ipc.kauth.vnode.take_own
ipc.kauth.vnode.link
ipc.kauth.vnode.create
ipc.kauth.vnode.move
ipc.kauth.vnode.mount
ipc.kauth.vnode.denied
ipc.kauth.vnode.ackd_before_deadline
ipc.kauth.vnode.missed_deadline
ipc.kauth.file_op.mask
ipc.kauth_file_op.open
ipc.kauth.file_op.close
ipc.kauth.file_op.close_modified
ipc.kauth.file_op.move
ipc.kauth.file_op.link
ipc.kauth.file_op.exec
ipc.kauth.file_op.remove
ipc.kauth.file_op.unmount
ipc.kauth.file_op.fork
ipc.kauth.file_op.create

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