How to turn off employee level data for Productivity Score reports

EDIT: Microsoft is turning off the employee level data.
See the Press Release here.

Microsoft released Productivity Score a few weeks ago: a report that gives you insights in how your organisation performs in communicating, meetings, content collaboration, teamwork, …

Jussi Mori and me did a Blame the end user session around Productivity Score just a few days ago.

Yesterday, Wolfie Christl, a security researcher tweeted (here) that this can be used as a spying tool on your employees. A lot of news sources, like The Guardian and Business Insider took that message over.

Productivity Score is turned off by default and needs to be turned on in order to get the data.

Who has access to this information?

It was said that your manager can now see if you turn on your camera in meetings, or how long you are working in Outlook.

Only people with these roles have access to the Productivity Score:

  • Global admin
  • Exchange admins
  • SharePoint admin
  • Skype for Business admin
  • Teams admin
  • Global Reader
  • Reports Reader

I wanted to provide you with the steps to take in order to de-identify this information, which you can do.

Turn off employee level information in Productivity Score

Microsoft gives you the steps in their documentation, you must be the global admin in order to do this:

  1. In the admin center, go to the Settings > Org Settings, and under Services tab, choose Reports (or use this url: https://admin.microsoft.com/Adminportal/Home?source=applauncher#/Settings/Services ).
  2. Select Reports, and then choose to Display anonymous identifiers for user, group, and site names in Productivity Score and Usage Reports. This setting is applied both to the usage reports and to the template app.
  3. Select Save changes.
The 5 steps you need to take to turn off identification of employee data

You can also completely turn off information logging (opt out) on this page, so that Microsoft can’t use your data for any of the calculations.

Summary

While it might be spooky to some, the information in the Productivity Score is actually super helpful for adoption managers or anyone occupied with the setup of Office 365, helping people do their job better.

When you want to improve something, you need to measure it. I get that. But if you want to hide the employee level data, you can.

About: Marijn

Marijn Somers (MVP) has over 14 years experience in the SharePoint world, starting out with SP2007. Over the years the focus has grown to Office 365, with a focus on collaboration and document management. He is a business consultant at Balestra and Principal Content Provider for "Mijn 365 Coach" that offers dutch employee video training. His main work tracks are around user adoption, training and coaching and governance. He is also not afraid to dig deeper in the technicalities with PowerShell, adaptive cards or custom formatting in lists and libraries. You can listen to him on the biweekly "Office 365 Distilled" podcast.

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