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Author Topic: Microsoft blast over 'blatant disregard' for Windows 10 user privacy  (Read 324 times)

Offline newspostng (OP)

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The Electronic Frontier Foundation has slammed Microsoft for its "blatant disregard" for user privacy with Windows 10 and has called on the company to formally acknowledge that its update programme was flawed.

In a damning editorial published on 17 August, EFF staff member Amul Kalia blasts Microsoft for misguiding users as part of its attempt to push Windows 10 to machines and calls attention to the "unprecedented" volume of user data it collects.

This includes location data, text input, voice input, touch input, webpages visited and telemetry data regarding how customers use their computer.

Kalia claims Microsoft gathers this information without giving users the tools to properly opt-out and provides no explanation as to how it anonymises user data, nor how long it stores it for. He also accuses Microsoft of providing a "false choice" to customers by claiming that users are putting their security at risk if they lower data-sharing settings on Windows 10.

"Windows 10 sends an unprecedented amount of usage data back to Microsoft, particularly if users opt in to 'personalise' the software using the OS assistant called Cortana," says Kalia.

In France, Microsoft has been threatened with legal action for collecting excessive amounts of data and bombarding customers with ads.

Kalia points out that while some of Cortana's awareness features can be disabled, this doesn't necessarily stop the computer sending usage data back to Microsoft's servers. The company's reasoning behind this is sketchy at best.

"Microsoft has tried to explain this lack of choice by saying that Windows Update won't function properly on copies of the operating system with telemetry reporting turned to its lowest level... But this is a false choice that is entirely of Microsoft's own creation," explains Kalia.

"There's no good reason why the types of data Microsoft collects at each telemetry level couldn't be adjusted so that even at the lowest level of telemetry collection, users could still benefit from Windows Update and secure their machines from vulnerabilities, without having to send back things like app usage data or unique IDs like an IMEI number."



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