Information Technology Services
Information Technology Services

Understanding Presence & Privacy Relationships

Lync is available to all students, staff and faculty. It has great potential as a communication tool across the campus and beyond. To make it available to everyone on campus, a default environment has been configured.  Your presence status will be based on your Microsoft Outlook Calendar or your Lync activities.  For example, if you have a meeting scheduled in Outlook, your Lync status appears as not available.


Your presence information is information about you.  At Queen's your presence information is turned on so others can see it. Anyone at Queen's can see your presence. How much of your presence is seen is controlled by you through Privacy Relationships and you can control what your status, notes and location say.

Your Presence includes:

  • Your name - as shown in the PeopleSoft database 
  • Your availability status (Available, busy, etc.) Your availability status will be displayed in Outlook as a colour-coded square (i.e.: green, yellow, red, grey - not using Lync.)
  • Your schedule - are you in a meeting, are you free?
  • Your location - empty until you choose to populate it  (not available in Lync for Mac 2011)
  • Personal or out-of-office notes

Privacy Relationships

Privacy Relationships are used to control how much of your presence (personal information) others can see. There are five privacy relationships, and each relationship gives access to different amounts of information.

  1. Friends and Family
    • Can see my name, title, email address, company and picture
    • Can see my note, location, and all my contact information
    • Can see my work, mobile, home, and other phone number
    • Cannot see meeting details
  2. Workgroup
    • Can see my name, title, email address, company and picture
    • Can see my note, location, and all my contact information
    • Can see office and other phone number
    • Can interrupt a Do Not Disturb status
    • Can see meeting location
    • Can see meeting subject
    • Can see whether you are free or busy, working hours, office location 
  3. Colleagues (default for new contacts) 
    • Can see my name, title, email address, company and picture
    • Can see my note, location and all my contact information
    • Can see other phone number
    • Cannot see meeting details
    • Cannot see home, other, or mobile phone numbers
  4. External Contacts
    • Can see my name, email address, company and picture
    • Can see my other phone number
  5. Blocked Contacts
    • Can see my name and email address
    • Cannot reach me via Lync

View and Change the Privacy Relationship for a Contact

The Privacy Relationship for a contact by default is set to Colleagues. To view the Privacy Relationship for a contact:

  • Click on the Relationships tab
  • All contacts are sorted by their Privacy Relationship 
  • Also, right mouse click on a contact. From the flyout menu, select Change Privacy Relationship
  • All Relationships will be displayed. A check mark will be visible beside the current Relationship
  • To change the relationship, click on the Relationship you want to assign to the contact

Note: You can arrange your contacts in groups, but the groups do not determine what Privacy Relationship is assigned to a contact. For example, if you add a contact to Friends and Family, they will still have the default Privacy Relationship of Colleagues. To change the Privacy Relationship, right mouse click on the contact and select Friends and Family.

Show Your Location (or Hide your Location)

When you log in to Lync, beneath your name and availability there is a drop down menu for Set Your Location. Click the down arrow and you will see is a check beside Show Others My Location. If you do not want others to see you location, click to uncheck. Now there will be a red circle with a line through it indicating that your location is not available.

If you want others to see your location, click on this field to enter your current location. For example, "Office" or "Home."  If you use Lync in multiple locations, you can set a different location for each place. Lync will remember the network on which you created the location and use it next time you sign in. So when you work from home, "Home" would appear; if you were working from the office, "Office" would appear.