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Saturday, February 13, 2016

Windows 10 is collecting your data whether you like it or not

Posted by David Bernstein
With everything being “connected” these days we all expect there to be some loss of privacy when we are online with our computers, smartphones and tablets. But for the most part we assume control over what our devices are sending to who…or at least some control.

With the new Windows 10 out in full force Microsoft is pushing hard to get it on as many devices as possible as you may have noticed from the constant upgrade popups on your Windows 7 or Windows 8 computer. But with the new operating system comes some new privacy concerns it seems. If you do a clean installation yourself you will notice that there are many privacy settings you can turn off or on to help keep your data to yourself. There are settings for location data, contact information, error reporting and so on. If you turn all these off you would think that your information is not going anywhere. Apparently that is not the case.

Even with all the privacy setting in place it seems that Windows 10 is talking to Microsoft servers and sending them information thousands of times per day. Even when using a third party tool called DisableWinTracking Microsoft was still able to “phone home”. So you may be thinking that you didn’t sign up for this but apparently you did. The Microsoft end user license agreement (EULA) you sign to when you install Windows 10 states they have the right to collect user data from your computer and we all know that nobody reads those to begin with. But this doesn’t mean that Microsoft should have the right to track our computer usage especially after saying they aren’t.

Microsoft claims the tracking is to gather data on how Windows is running and to report on things such as performance and system crashes. But only they know the whole story of exactly what kind of data they are collecting and for what purpose.

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