Microsoft says Windows 10 does not infringe on your privacy

Windows 10 has been criticized by some users over its privacy features since the OS launched on July 29. Now Terry Myerson, the head of Microsoft's Windows and Devices division, has written a blog post explaining the company's privacy policies for Windows 10, along with announcing that the company does plan to make some changes in the operating system's privacy settings based on feedback from users.

On those upcoming changes, Myerson wrote:

"As an example of direct response to feedback we've received, all Windows 10 customers will receive an upcoming update to family features, with default settings designed to be more appropriate for teenagers, compared to younger children. Additionally, we're working on ways to further enhance the notifications that kids and parents get about activity reporting in Windows. We'll also release updates for enterprise customers based on their feedback later this fall. This collaboration with Insiders is invaluable to our team, and we continue to welcome anyone who wants to work with us on the future of Windows 10 here."

Myerson stated that Microsoft has two basic themes it follows with regards to privacy on Windows 10:

  • Windows 10 collects information so the product will work better for you.
  • You are in control with the ability to determine what information is collected.

He added that the information that is collected includes things like "anonymous device ID, device type, and application crash data" but does not collect information about a Windows 10 user's content or files. He also wrote that it has "several steps to avoid collecting any information" that has personal data like names, email address and account IDs. He stated:

"A great example of how this data was used effectively was just last month, when aggregate data showed us that a particular version of a graphics driver was crashing on some Windows 10 PCs, which then caused a reboot. This driver was not widely used, but still the issue was impacting customers. We immediately contacted the partner who builds the driver and worked with them to turn around a fix to Windows Insiders within 24 hours. We used the data on Insiders' devices to confirm that the problem was resolved, and then rolled out the fix to the broad public via an update the next day – all-in-all, this data helped us find, fix and resolve a significant problem within 48 hours."

Users can, if they wish, offer more personalized information to Microsoft via Windows 10 that allows them to see things like local game scores, recommend apps and more. Myerson said:

"You are in control of the information we collect for these purposes and can update your settings at any time. Note that with new features like Cortana which require more personal information to deliver the full experience, you are asked if you want to turn them on and are given additional privacy customization options."

Finally, Myerson stated that Windows 10 won't scan the content of any emails or messages to offer targeted advertising. Additionally, the company is offering new guides to users explaining their policies in a more clear and consistent manner. You can find those sources below:

What do you think of Microsfot's blog post? Are they doing enough to satisfy user concerns over data collection? What more could they do? Let us know.

Source: Microsoft

John Callaham
  • People with tin-foil hats still won't be pleased.
  • Most of these tin-foil hat users are people in its 40's - 50's which started bashing Microsoft since 1990's on everything the company has launched. These users don't understand that Microsoft is not a monopoly anymore, actually the Android OS is now in an anti-trust investigation in US for trying to put Google services as mandatory on all phones (considering Windows Mobile /Windows Phone marketshare is almost zero, which is false).
  • The sad thing is I see more younger than older people bashing Microsoft. I see people in their 20s who bash Microsoft, while using Android and justifying privacy loss and problems, who them end up being reluctant fans of XBOX and wishing Microsoft didn't own the name. They have often times an unexplainable hatred for them even while justifying the actions of other companies. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I agree with you. It's more the younger people bashing Microsoft... You are spot on!
  • Ditto. It's a sad state of affairs that Microsoft even had to make such an announcement because that means people still have that unjust paranoia... and whatever degree of 'delusions of grandeur' that makes them think major corporations take time out of their day to get into home user's data.
  • Well in fairness to the tin foil hat idiots, there ARE some major corporations out to get their data. You can tell which corporations are doing this by looking at where the bulk of their revenue comes from. Microsoft just isn't one of the corporations that the to foil crowd should be worried about, but it's not like those types have much in the way of critical thinking skills and it's often seen as stylish to badmouth MS.
  • The reason I went with Windows Phone was because it wasn't Android, and the reason I didn't want Android was because I consider it spyware. But now, Cortana is spyware, plain and simple, in the same way that Google search or gmail are spyware. I will probably be switching to Apple as a result.  The difference between the privacy agreements for Siri vs. Cortana is like night and day.  Apple really does seem to be taking privacy seriously.  MS are well on their way to being Google Lite.
  • Not really.... Cortana is notebook based which is stored locally on your device. And you can tell her what to use or not use. And if you don't want to use Cortana then disable her. MS is only collecting telemetry data, BIG difference than what Google does.
  • Cortana's data is stored on Microsoft's servers.  This is why you can adjust your interests, etc. from the Bing Website and could do so several months before Winodws 10 was even released.  Cortana is basically a front-end for Microsoft's Bing and MSN Services.  Additionally, Microsoft collects much the same data that Google does.  Cortana is a Google Now clone.  If Cortana (Microsoft) worked the way you seem to be clearly cluelessly assuming it does, it would be about as useful as Proactive Siri in iOS 9 - not very useful at all. Both companies data mine, heavily.  Both do it for much the same reasons.  MIcrosoft still advertises to you in their apps, in your start menu, and on your home screen (by default).  The amount of data they collect is wide-reaching and significant.  As significant as what Google collects form Android and Chrome/ChromeOS users. Take the blinders off, please.  They are no different than Google.  People seem to take more offense to what Microsoft is doing because they are leveraging their PC marketshare to push their agenda.  It's not hard to just NOT install Google's apps on a Windows PC.  It's impossible to turn off Microsoft's data collection in Windows - period.  Unless you never connect to the internet. A paid product (and no, Windows 10 is not a free product, build a PC and ask Microsoft for a free license if you thin kit is... a free upgrade does not equate to a free product) should not demand users pay their data to the developer simply for installing it on their machine.  Adobe doesn't demand you send them telemetry data and disallow you from turning this off simply becasue you bought Lightroom.  The whole idea is preposterous.
  • Turn Cortana of, problem solved! And go to registry turn colecting data off. Problem solved. Now do that with crapple products and groogles. I know ms are not saints, but in front of crapple and groogle, they are the best at what privacy can offer. If their is no question, does not meen there is no function;).
  • @ n8ter#AC   This site probably will explain a lot. Like I said BIG difference between what Google is doing and what Microsoft is doing. Cortana is a personal digital assistant for a reason. She has to know enough about you to be relevant and give you good information. If you have a personal assistant at your job that person needs to know enough about your life to help you. Same thing here. She has to have the information to provide any kind of help. Now if you don't want a personal assistant then great, turn off Cortana and you're done. Maybe you shouldn't paint everything in a bad light simply because you don't know how or why you should use a product. As for the bing dashboard, yes the data is stored in the cloud. Your cloud. Microsoft doesn't actively search through it hoping to find that you said "NSA bad". That's not what it's for. It collects data about usage to improve the product. And again, don't want to do that? Turn off Cortana, but stop spouting off nonsense about Microsoft being Google when it's perfectly clear Google is way different using your data than Microsoft. (btw for Microsoft's ads you actually have to go in and tell them what you like. You manage exactly what kind of ads are displayed. They aren't reading your email and then targeting you.) Also, fwiw, I never said anything about Windows 10 being free so don't know where you're going with that..... I know I would have to purchase a license if I wanted to buy a full copy. Don't lecture me on something I never even said.
  • P.S. Siri uses Bing services...
  • It uses Bing for search and search only.  And Microsoft is not collecting the "real time search data" from Siri the way it is from the Windows Search input box, Cortana, Edge, etc.  So I am not sure what your point is actually supposed to be.  If Microsoft demanded that information, Apple is liable to go with Yahoo! or simply switch it to something like DuckDuckGo instead.  They are using their reluctance to data mine their users or give into those types of things as a selling point, and it's working. At this point, Windows (and likely Windows Mobile) is about as Scroogly as any Google Platform.  Mind as well use Google's services and mobile platform if you are gonna choose between them.  In many cases, Google's are superior, anyways.
  • If you compare the financial reports from MS and Google it's very clear that they are not using user data in the same way. If they were, MS would be making a whole lot more than a few percent of their revenue on ads or Google would be making a lot less than 95% of their revenue on ads. MS also just sold off most of their ad business to AOL. Odd thing to do for a company that you claim is so focused on data collection and ads don't you think? Its common sense really.
  • Everything you've just said is spot on. Everyone has an opinion, Daniel, other commentators, you - I share your view. All msft had to do was put in a toggle: In or out. Simple. Anyway, there's plenty out there for people, if they want to get rid of the msn/Cortana bloat. It's not that difficult lol.
  • Exactly. I work in that industry and people don't realize that it's my business to make sure no one knows your business.
  • But yet they can scan your onedrive/hotmail account for anything that the police might be interested in
  • No. They scan images for known child porn 'signitures'. Other cloud providers actually license and use the same MS technology. It's basically required because the liability of hosting that sort of content is so bad for business. They also have to comply with a court ordered search warrant for a specific account (although MS is currently fighting this more than any other company, it's high profile case, look it up). So how do either of these things qualify as proof that Windows10 is harvesting user content or personal data?
  • Exactly. Microsoft is actually fighting to protect privacy for users and everyone just loves to bash them without knowing any details.
  • Now things seem a little clear!
  • Of course Microsoft is not reading user private info, this is not ChromeOS. I have a Microsoft account that I use to login to my Windows 10 and 8.1 devices (PC, tablet) but it is optional, you still can create a local admin account and use the OS without the need to use Microsoft services. On the other side, in Chromebooks, you need a Gmail account to use the OS. Just my 2 cents.
  • Agree, but if you go read other forums and reddit and the sheer about of FUD out there is crazy. People are basically saying Microsoft is getting copies of your emails and passwords, etc. Really off the rails.
  • I think the issue is that it's a vocal minoraty. I work with a person who swears up and down that Windows 10 is a HIPPA violation due ot it's privacy poicies. These people are best left ignored in their own little corner. I just make it a point to educate those I care about and let them know W10 is worth using.
  • Yes, this is why I switched to this website, as a fan of Microsoft and it's services I am tired of seeing other anti MS bloggers/tech entusiasts bash whatever product Microsoft launches.
  • The fact remains whether they are or are not, I have nothing but their word to go on because I'm not a software or network engineer in order to check what traffic comes in/out of my computer. Same goes for any company that you interact with in a similar fashion. That doesn't mean I will stop using OneDrive, Windows or Office because "I think they are after me" but my background does not afford me the ability to verify what they say is true. While the comments I read here like to make out a vocal minority as tin-foil or crazy, you also have to realize just because it is on the internet does not make it true. There is a certain amount of faith I need to put into companies like Microsoft and sites like Windows Central(which I believe to provide reputable info) that they are telling me the complete story. It is just in this day of instant information, I have never been more skeptical of just about everything I read. 
  • In reality, from Banks and Financial Institutions to online shops and Software companies, there is no "privacy" any more. What we have is "responsible privacy", which as you say, is choosing the companies we trust to be responsible with the data we supply and the access they have to our devices.
  • While you might not have that skill set, I'm sure you can appreciate that there are lots of people and companies that do have those skill sets. If there was a real threat to privacy or data security it would be known by now and there would be proof available. Companies would be speaking out about it because their employees use Windows to handle sensitive company data. However, all that is available so far are conspiracy theories based on laymen's interpretations of legal speak.
  • That is one large assumption you are making there, Cleavitt. We still run into the same issue, we are just reading about it and many of us cannot verify it ourselves. Even if I did have that skillset and explained anything here. You don't know me or my reputation. Why do you put so much trust(faith) in these companies "that do have those skillsets"? What makes them anymore reputable than Google or Microsoft? 
  • No trust is involved. I work in IT for a healthcare company that does most of our business on MS platforms. My coworkers and I have the skills and it's our job, among other things, to validate stuff like this. We have a team of security experts that are dedicated to that type of work. Our only motive is to protect patient data in order to also protect our company and ourselves from liability. Certain platforms are not allowed in our environment due to security concerns, but Windows 10 has been validated by our IT security team. There is zero incentive for my company or most other big companies that use windows to help hide something for MS.
  • "I work in IT..." Ok, that is fine...but just for you. It is still the same issue. You are within that particular bubble of knowledge and can verify for yourself. That's great. How does that help the other 99% of the population that doesn't know what you know and even if you disseminate much of the info and your process, doesn't know you from a hole in the wall? Not to mention any technical info you provide may make little sense to the layman. You basically sound like me when I tell a family member where to find a particular function within Windows and don't get why they have so much trouble when it seems so clear to me. I find it curious you don't realize what your level of knowledge provides in regards to this article/discussion and you are assigning that implicit trust to everyone else when it should be obvious not everyone has your level of expertise.  
  • I don't think the "other 99%" think about this at all. 80% marketshare on Android proves that. The ones who are complaining have enough knowledge to be dangerous, but not enough to vet these things on their own. Neither do they spend the time researching anything. It's all about retweets and sharing headlines, not having inelegant conversions about things.
  • I get your point, but I'm not suggesting that you trust me specifically. I'm suggesting that if this were a real issue it would be proven many times over by reliable sources instead of just vague conspiracy theories. This is Windows we are talking about. The enterprise world runs on windows workstations and yet not a peep from any major company about privacy concerns. More than any other consumer tech company, MS has a vested interest in making sure their software is trustworthy because that same software is used in the enterprise. Enterprise environments have no tolerance for software/services that harvest data. The idea that Windows 10 has a key logger or that it is covertly transmitting your personal files back to MS is absurd. I have to deal with state a federal auditors as well as industry auditors nearly every month. There is no way this stuff would fly if it were real. There is a reason you are only reading about it in clickbait articles.
  • Yes, there are the conspiracy theorists.  That being said, I think there are some things that MS is now doing that, while it may not be a big deal to us "techies" with a deeper understanding of them, including how to turn them off or otherwise circumvent them, normal users may be subjected to a level of privacy invasion that they are largely unaware of, and may remian unaware of until such time that their perosnal data comes to light in a way they may never have anticipated. The big take-away is this:
    MS is now giving away it's desktop OS, and even it's mobile OS to manufacturers.  How does a company make money by giving their product away?  They could do it in much the same way that Google has been doing for years, which is to say collecting mountains of your personal data and metadata and using it or selling it in other ways.  The problem is that once the data leaves to confines of MS, all bets are off in terms of who may eventually end up with it and what they may use it for.  Couple this with how MS "snuck" Windows 10 installation files on to tens of millions of PCs, whether they had the HHD space to spare or not, and also couple this with the fact that MS seems to not want to allow users to turn off updates, and you start to paint a less than forthcoming picture of MS.  So...  User beware.  No, it's not as if the NSA is listening in on your private phone calls, but this type of data collection can have very real impacts in peoples' lives, and I think some cautionary prudence is in order.  I can tell you as an IT Pro, many of my fellow professionals (there are millions of us on Spiceworks) have some legitimate concerns, and are following MS's stance and reaction to this closely. If you haven't already seen it, I suggest watching "Terms and Conditions May Apply" on Netflix. Lastly, this is taken from the Windows 10 EULA.  Take from it what you will, but the verbiage is such that it allows for ambiguity at the very least, opening up holes through which your data may be used in other ways in the process of using it for more "above board" reasons.  I'm not saying they will, but this just brings it back to the forefront that we should all be cognizant of our online activities, and what we choose to store "in the cloud".  It's no secret that information is an extremely valuable currency in today's world, and if anyone thinks MS is unaware of that, or above doing what their competition is doing in that regard, I'd say that's a naive view.  Maybe not today, or next month, but a precedent has already been set and now the groundwork for MS has been laid.  And once you've adopted and become dependent on an OS that is marketed as a service, and the terms of service may be changed at any point in the furture... "Finally, we will access, disclose and preserve personal data, including your content (such as the content of your emails, other private communications or files in private folders), when we have a good faith belief that doing so is necessary to: 1.comply with applicable law or respond to valid legal process, including from law enforcement or other government agencies; 2.protect our customers, for example to prevent spam or attempts to defraud users of the services, or to help prevent the loss of life or serious injury of anyone; 3.operate and maintain the security of our services, including to prevent or stop an attack on our computer systems or networks; or 4.protect the rights or property of Microsoft, including enforcing the terms governing the use of the services – however, if we receive information indicating that someone is using our services to traffic in stolen intellectual or physical property of Microsoft, we will not inspect a customer’s private content ourselves, but we may refer the matter to law enforcement."
  • MS is a publically traded company. If they are adopting the Google business model, the ad revenue will be very obvious in their next quarterly report. All legal speak errs on the side of the company writing it. When you sign a waiver for some vacation tour and it says "we aren't responsible in any way for your death", do you conclude that the tour company wants to murder you? Probably not. BTW, it is widely thought that MS intends to recoup the lost revenue from the win10 upgrade through increased windows store app sales and through increased market share of other Windows 10 devices (tablets, phones, etc.).
  • Your last paragraph is actually NOT from the Windows 10 EULA but from the Privacy Policy that encompasses all of Microsoft's services, including OneDrive etc. Of course, that passage does not explicitly tell that the mentioned personal data refers to such stored on MS's servers ONLY (from OneDrive, Skype etc.) and not those on your device, which I'll grant you could be worrysome but it's still important to consider that in its context, which is a privacy policy that applies to a couple of online services and not just the operating system.
  • 1. Microsoft is not giving away it's OS, and people need to stop saying that. It's offering a free upgrade for personal machines with valid non-corporate licenses of Windows 7 and 8.1 as long as they upgrade within the 1st year. This is no different from what they have ever done every version since Vista. Microsoft has never made money off normal consumers upgrading their machines. They are still charging OEMs for licenses (most people upgrade their computer, not their OS), still charging businesses for volume license agreements, they will continue to make money off of Windows. They don't need to sell advertising to make money. 2. Speaking of which, yes Microsoft has Bing, but do you seriously think Bing will EVER be a serious source of revenue for Microsoft, especially as long as Google is around? Google makes ALL of their money off of search, which is why they invest so heavily in targeted ads. They offer all of their services for free because they make ALL of their money off of ads and search. Microsofts makes it's money off of services. That means VLA's, Office 365, and Azure IaaS subscriptions/services - which is, you know, the business model Satya Nadella developed, had major success with, and became the CEO because of. Why the hell would Microsoft want to invest time, money, and effort into developing targeted ads based on a search engine no one uses? Are you kidding me? 3. Take a close look at that EULA that you're so proud of finding? Do you seriously see problems with what they're asking for? Okay, if you are, that's fine, but look at literally any other digital/cloud based entity out there's EULA, and tell me if you find any EULA that's better than Microsoft's outside of a company like SpiderOak or Tresorit or something that goes to the extent of not only encrypting all data, but never having the encryption key on site. No-visibility cloud services can do this, but that's because they provide a relatively minor set of features and a limited user experience. When you're talking about someone like Microsoft or Google, who offer OSes, e-mail, productivity software, massive suites of various internet software, cloud technologies, etc., it is literally impossible for them to employ that level of privacy, especially in a privacy policy that covers the entirety of their services. In any case, you won't find many differences between MS's privacy policy and other similar companies because:​ Mandatory Disclosure 1 and 2 are mandated by law in some countries (like the U.S.) as long as Microsoft CAN access the data. ​The only way companies can get around this is if they cannot access the data because it's encrypted and they don't have the keys. Once again, some companies can do this, but if Microsoft employed these technologies, every single service they offer, including e-mail, Skype, Cortana, many functions of Windows, Windows Updates, the store, heck even Office would cease to function. So, since Microsoft can potentially access the data, they are required BY LAW (Patriot act - U.S.) to assist in National Security issues, investigations regarding the imminant mortal danger of yourself or someone affiliated with you, etc. This is NOT MICROSOFTS CHOICE - IT IS MANDATED BY LAW. If you were to move to Sweden or Switzerland or France, a 3rd party would have to contact you directly to request information from your Microsoft account. Once again, if you're pissed off by this, I totally agree. But don't bitch at Microsoft, bitch at your local congressman or vote or Bernie Sanders or something. Disclosure # 3 literally means that they pull anonymous telemetry data from your computer and use it to improve Windows via Windows Update. Once again, this information is anonymous. They use a randomly generated ID for each instance of data collection and it is not possible to trace that back to your IP address. On the other hand, Google Chrome pulls telemetry information which is not randomly generated and can absolutely be traced back to your IP address. In fact, if you use Google, the company has a pretty extensive view of your entire online life that can be traced back to you. All your searches, all your application launches, your Incognito mode sessions, how you use apps and services, etc. Disclosure #4 is to protect Microsoft. If you are trafficking stolen Microsoft IP through Microsoft services, first of all, you're an ideot and you deserve to be caught. But second of all, Microsoft has the right to REFER YOU TO LAW ENFORCEMENT. Key note here, they STILL will not inspect the data themselves. Nor will they actively seek out this stolen data. They will only act if someone else levvy's charges against you, at which point, law enforcement will be tasked with investigation, not Microsoft. So that's all four. Do you seriously see a problem with either option given that in mind? By the way, the section of the privacy policy right above the one you cherry picked explains all of this. It says that they will not share your data to 3rd parties unless either you explicitly allow them to or unless you are doing something like making a purchase. Because the reality about personal data is that the concept is thrown around a lot, but nobody takes the time to consider what it is. Microsoft has to "collect personal data" like your name or address in order to allow you to make a purchae and send a package to you. They have to "collect personal data" from your GPS in order to provide you mapping directions. They have to "collect personal data" when you answer a security question because you forgot your e-mail password. But as long as the company uses SSL, your data is protected. Next, I know that the Windows Update thing is contentious, and I understand your opinion, but I also understand that Microsoft is doing this to protect you. I personally have never had major issues with windows updates, but I know that updates are potentially an issue in an IT environment. This is why they're allowing a lot of flexibility with update deployment in the enterprise. But here's the thing, all the security experts I've talked to in the past (I've done testing for security software in the past and currently write reviews for cloud services, including testing their security and privacy protection) confirmed that the majority of security issues, viruses, worms, etc, can be prevented by keeping Windows up to date. Microsoft doesn't want to have to deal with non-updated machines that are having issues because some yahoo decided to turn off windows update. So while I understand how this can be contentious, I also understand that this is not malicious on Microsoft's part, it is, in fact, for your benefit. In my experience, EULA's and privacy policies are mostly useless pieces of information. All companies generally have the same wide-reaching TOS's and pointing out loopholes is more clickbait than anything else. These are written by lawyers, not engineers, and so they give company's the widest reach possible to prevent lawsuits. The biggest indicator of a company's privacy policy is their business model. Microsoft makes money off of charging for services. Furthermore, they do most of their business with large companies, who would not work with Microsoft if they did not respect security and privacy. Google doesn't charge for services, but they make money off of ads, therefore, it runs counter to their business model to provide excellent privacy. Finally, don't take it personally that I don't trust a Netflix documentary. I've seen enough awful, crackpotty, and ill-researched documentaries on Netflix to trust any of them any more than I trust the history channel.
  • I think u should update ur app, it's messing up on w10m. Or maybe its my L930, i don't know. Can u say something about that? (totally off topic)
  • The app runs pretty horribly on the latest Windows 10 Mobile build, you are not the only one with that problem. Not sure if it's an issue of the app or of W10M but I wouldn't worry too much about it since WC is surely writing a new Windows 10 app.
  • Lol there's a thread on silicondust that someone pointed out all the servers they use for ads to to telemetry
  • Those are the same people I have debated with who justify Google's intrusion by saying it's free while saying that Windows 10 isn't free because they spy on you and Microsoft just wants to trap you on their products? That logic defies common sense. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • I get this all the time actually. And when you point out the illogical statement they end up saying something like "Microsoft bad, Google free, good"
  • Your user experience is crippled without a Microsoft Account, and Windows still phones home the data it minds even if you do not sign in with a Microsoft Account.  SO basically it's a lose-lose proposition for the consumer.  Either you deal with a crippled user expeirence, and get data mined...  Or you deal with a better user experience, and still get data mined.
  • Agent mulder out there should stick to typewriter till kingdom come.
  • No, the spy camera in the lightbulb above his head reads everything he types!
  • I don't know who is coming up with these allegations but Microsoft it's great and collects data to improve it's software not to identify anyone. Been an insider for ages and know that for a fact. Microsoft is awesome and I keep telling people who have a misconceptions or don't know. Apple and google trace everything you do.
  • Well, part of me gets the concerns. There are a lot violations out there both in the private and public sector. Toss in what the US gov't does and I think users should be concerned. However, there is such thing as going too extreme and unfortunately, that has happened a bit with perception of Windows 10 and Microsoft.
  • Agree 100%. The one thing I find so frustrating with MS is that they know that the press and MS haters are just waiting for anything they can pounce on and destroy MS with and yet, they sure seem willing to keep giving those people plenty of ammunition. They did this with the Kinect and always on thing at the Xbox launch. Now, at a very critical time for Windows and WP, they are doing it again. You would think someone at MS would be smart enough to say you know guys, we know we aren't evil, but the press will jump all over this and at this point we can't afford for that to happen, lets take a step back with this stuff and get people to like us again first. Same thing with the forced updates, which by the way, is the one thing they are doing that I am completely against. I'm hoping that will change once they feel W10 is closer to what the final product will be.
  • I know 2 people who went tin foil hat over the Kinect always listening.....but have now bought the Kinect. I think it's a lot to do with the "media driven" world for obtaining information. They want to make money by click bait articles and hence some crazy "facts" being pushed to get the internet hits.
  • When google does it, they're innovative and cool. When Microsoft does it, they're evil. I wonder what bias the media has against Microsoft!
  • I think it's because Google does services, whereas Microsoft has a whole OS...feels...bigger, so bigger concerns.
  • Google gets as much flak for data mining as MS does. Windows 10 is just the latest privacy boogyman to hit the stage.
  • No, they really don't. Google has a bit of their own RDF as of late.
  • Yeah I'm going to call bull on this. Users stick up for the company and when pointed out they read emails to target ads they reply with one of 2 reasons - 1) flat out deny they do this or 2) say "yeah, but it's free" Then Microsoft comes along and collects telemetry data and everyone cries foul. There's something not right there.
  • And people tell them to accept it cause it's "free." (as in a free upgrade, not actually a free product...  they clearly fell for that marketing - not all of us did, fortunately)
  • @ n8ter#AC  And here we go again. Spouting off on lecturing me about free. Notice I put "free" from my comment in quotes. I know it's not free. Stop telling me what a free product is! I know what free means! That was my entire point. Google's products are not "free". You are paying a price by having your data mined by them to sell to companies and to target ads. How else do you think Google is making money? That's different than what Microsoft is doing. Microsoft is not targeting ads at you (unless you want to and you opt in to it and tell them exactly what you would like to see). The don't make a significant portion of their earnings from ads. That's what everyone has been telling you! Maybe you should take your blinders off and wakeup to the truth.
  • Doesn't make a difference if it does or not. When the XBox One was released, the Sony people made a big deal about how Kinect was going to spy on every bit of your life and send the data directly to MS HQ where any person who wanted to could see you and what you were doing, and the NSA could freely access that data at will. Microsoft released a statement that no, there was no data being viewed by Microsoft, that they did not store the data, that the NSA was not getting the data. It didn't make a difference, Microsoft freely lies and they were doing the opposite of what they say. Meanwhile Sony, in their TOS for their camera, plainly state that they can capture your data at will. They were asked about it, and refused to say they would not use their data. iPhone does send your data for Siri back to Cupertino (to be fair, in the same way that Cortana does - for voice reco). Apple has been caught storing and sending your GPS data back to Cupertino. Google stores data at will, they have been caught and admitted going to people's house, sitting outside in a vehicle and hacking into Wi-Fi routers. But that is perfectly fine, because they are Microsoft. All other companies are perfectly honest, while Microsoft is looking to find anything about you and exploiting it to control your life.
  • my BS radar is off the charts!! Never had a reading this high before...
  • It is good to see the anti-Microsoft crowd is out in full force. No rebuttal, no proof to the contrary, just personal attacks because I mentioned one or more of you favorite non-Microsoft companies. Of course, I can provide proof of what I wrote. For example, from the PlayStation terms of service: From section 14 of the PS TOS: "We reserve the right in our sole discretion to monitor and record any or all of your PSN activity and to remove any of your UGM at our sole discretion, without further notice to you." Elsewhere in their TOS: "Any information collected, for example, your UGM, the content of your voice and text communications, video of your gameplay, the time and location of your activities, and your name, your PSN Online ID and IP address, may be used by us or our affiliated companies" "This information may be passed to the police or other appropriate authorities. By accepting these Software Usage Terms, you expressly consent to this." And let's not forget this gem. While Sony fanboys and even Sony themselves made a big deal about how Microsoft was trying to control how you resold games, this is hidden in the PS TOS: "You must not resell either Disc-based Software or Software Downloads, unless expressly authorized by us and, if the publisher is another company, additionally by the publisher."   But hey, I give proof for my claims. That must mean that I am even more of hater. Down vote away Apple/Google/Sony fanboys, downvote away.
  • All disc based media has that disclaimer. When you purchase a game you are purchasing a license to use that game, you don't actually own it, it has been this way for the past twenty years. It's just that its a ludicrous, and pointless, breach to enforce.
  • With this reply, I literally have zero idea where you stand. Initially you said Microsoft lies, and "is looking to find anything about you and exploiting it to control you life." So on the one hand you are saying "Apple/Google/Sony" are awesome because they are honest about how they exploit your information, and Microsoft is terrible because they "lie" about what they actually do with it. On the other hand, you defend Microsoft saying that I am anti-Microsoft? I am confused, because I have not heard of Microsoft freely lying about how the Kinect sensor works, and yet you bash them about their "lies," meanwhile you are defending Microsoft? I truly think you just came across horribly unclear in your original post, if your intention was to defend Microsoft and Windows 10. Makes no sense to me at all. But if you were not sure, I do not believe Microsoft is doing any wrong with Windows 10, as some people seem to think.  
  • You stated the exact oposite of what I wrote. I never wrote Microsoft lies, I never wrote Apple/Google/Sony are awesome for exploiting my info, I never wrote that Microsoft lies. I never wrote that Microsoft is lying about what they do with Kinect data. What I was writing was Sony's, Apple's, Google's and their respective fanboy's comments towards Microsoft. Look at how everyone is attacking Microsoft for supposed privacy issues with Win10. This article specifically states that Microsoft does not do what it is said that they do. People are saying that Microsoft is lying to us, and at the same time defending everything that Google does, saying that if Google wants to take our info that is OK because they are giving us services for free. People are saying that Kinect is stealing our info, that Microsoft is lying to us when they say that they do not take our pictures and store it, but then saying it is not a problem that Sony specifically states they can take your info at will. It is the same thing over and over, Microsoft says they do not do XYZ, the users of products from other companies say that Microsoft is lying to us, generate false outrage, excuse their favorite company for doing worse and then start calling you a hater if you say anything about their favorite company doing the same or worse. Look at my first comment. I state that Microsoft is being attacked for something they do not do, and the competing companies that people are defending actually do what Microsoft is incorrectly being attacked for. I get downvoted and attacked for it. I then provide factual information showing what I said is true, and now those people are no where to be found.
  • So as I said above, clearly a misunderstanding. When you were making sarcastic comments in your original post, it sounded to me like you were being serious. I'm with you on this issue, just didn't understand your first comment. Thanks for the clarification!
  • Your phone camera record you and whatever you do. Now what was the importance of the information? Like hell my dialy life has anything to do with NSA
  • Funny how with the Kinect, that was the first thing the anti-Microsoft people were claiming - that they were going to give it to the NSA. But when all the other companies are part of it, such as iPhones or Androids using the camera to record, then it is no big deal, nothing to see here, why would the NSA want to see what I am doing, etc.
  • The only ones trying to twist things and make Windows 10 look like it's a spying machine, it's just some stupid tinfoil hat people that are happy hating on Microsoft and Windows. they probably are Linux users pretending they will stay on Windows 7 and say how Windows 10 sucks because it looks like a phone UI (even though it doesn't). And then, all they have to do, since Windows 10 is a great OS is complain about the EULA/TOS/MSA and all that. because they have no other things to complain about. even if other Operating Systems do the same, collect data to improve services, and just like other Operating Systems, Windows 10 settings about feedback and privacy can be disabled and controlled by anyone. Even software does this, and usually you can control it, like Autodesk products, you have two optiones to disable if you don't want your data to be shared with Autodesk. and not for that they infringe any privacy because I have control over it.
  • The Linux users don't care to come here and complain.  They're all on /. I don't even really see many of them on Reddit, TBQH.
  • Where's all the Enadget (& others) articles now?...
  • Give it some time.
  • Well it does takes time to weave another web of lies lol.
  • If they are listening to us then they should have changed the whole update process to a less forceful option. I know there are work arounds but i really hate the mandatory updates
  • The only people with concerns over privacy are those with something to hide... Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • Go ahead and tell us your entire life story then. Make sure not to leave out anything. After all, you don't have anything at all to hide, don't you?
  • Nope, nothing to hide. I don't care if you see the pictures of my cat or what I have for lunch, what music I buy and what I watched on tv last night. I haven't murdered anyone or made a bomb so I got nothing to worry about
  • ..based on what is currently important to hide.
  • This is probably going to fall on deaf ears to be honest as people are selective in what they hear or want to interpret.
  • This really shows the importance of being clear about what data they are gathering, what is done with it, and how users can control that process. Microsoft did a bad job of communicating those things with Windows 10, though to be honest they are not alone in that. This seems to be the trend with tech companies: the first thing that comes outy is huge EULA (or Privacy Policy) that ambuiguously outlines everything in the world they might possibly want to do at any point in the near or distant future. Because those policies are meaninglessly vaugue, people freak out when a few enterprising users actually take the time to read it and discover that it covers everyhting unde rthe sun. Then comes the clarifying statments in plain English about "This is what we sctually do and why we do it." The poeple who have followed along to that point end up reasonably satisfied, but most don't make it that far. Why can't you just give us better statements up front? Why can't you let users ask you questions, and answer them in plain language? Hey MS (and everyone else), you are offering information services in an age when we are all aware that (at least sometimes) powerful instutions can and will go to great lengths to get our private info. It might be time to step up the communciations game a little bit.
  • Good post and I mostly agree with you.  However, it is difficult for a company to "translate" a legal contract of any kind into simple terms. If they do, they run the risk that someone (lawyers) could argue that the simplified version was an official statement that invalidates the original legal terms by misleading the customer into agreeing to something other than what they thought they were agreeing to.  For example, MS could say "our EULA basically says that we aren't going to spy on you" and some lawyer could then file a class action lawsuit because his clients were tramatized and embarrased when MS "spied" on them by recording the average boot up time of their PC.  Legal documents are verbose and use specific words for a reason.  They are designed to be as immune to different interpretations as possible.  Consider the U.S. Constitution.  It is short, simply worded, and yet legal scholars have been arguing over it's exact meaning for over 2 hundred years now. It's one thing for MS to respond to misinformation and try to set the record straight, but it's problematic for them to try to translate their EULA into simple talk from the get go.  I'm sure they would love to do it (along with most other companies), but their legal department would freak out.    
  • No.  Microsoft just did a bad job of not having one section in settings with all of these privacy/data collection settings grouped together, and a switch to turn it all off. That's where they failed.
  • I've never read the details, but what I can say is at our fairly large consulting firm, our director of security will not allow Win10 Enterprise on our network yet due to security concerns.  I don't know all the reasons why but apparently there's an issue on how credentials are pass through for cloud services.  I'll see if I can get a more specific reason.
  • Did/does any country that goes to BOMB civilians kms and kms away from its boarders, do it for the civilians' convenience? Lies, lies damn lies.
  • The people's temple got away with it.
  • i think this whole thing of privacy will always be a big concern but i belive there are many thing to do to secure your privacy. first and for most dont put your personal data on the web, dont store very sensitive information on your computer since it has internet access. it may sound craxy but check this analogy: you have a gun but gonna tell your child not to touch and its in plain site on the dinner room table, fullly loaded and cocked. the best way to make sure you child doesnt touch first put a lock on it (PC: the most hardest password you can imagine so hard you have to write it donw and study it) and second keep the gun out of site (PC: dont leave sensitive stuf fon your pc especially if the pc has internet access, they still make CD roms USB stick or any other media storage). i may sound ridiculous but their are options, al lot of times ppl information gets taking because a lot is not in their hands and for the information they acutally have control over isnt properly protected. imnot saying everyone needs to be ont look out for big brother or wearing tin foils hats but i bet their are plenty of articles on how ppl can better protect their personal data and not depend on someone else to do it for them. to the most obvious thin to do if you feel your information is being seen and takingfor those believe thats what MS is doing, dont use Win10 wipe clean all of your data and use a system you feel is better or nothing. the less your information is on the digital world the easier to protect, sounds simple enough for me.
  • What they collect from your PC isn't on the web, so what is the point of that.  A lot of that has to do with Microsoft capturing keystrokes, PC search terms from the search box (even when you aren't searching the web), things you may or may not be doing in built-in softare like the mail client even if you are using it with a non-Microsoft email account, etc.
  • They aren't doing any of the things you describe. That is pretty much the point of this article. Don't let that stop you from astroturfing the same FUD everywhere though.
  • Sometimes it comes down to irrational paranoia. A new product with new 'smarts' that magically knows stuff about you.. the shock and horror of being 'spied on'. If security is such a concern, unplug the network cable, turn off WiFi, and disable BlueTooth and get a mechanical typewriter. I've been in the IT industry for the last 28yrs+, and Microsoft is one of the big IT companies that I trust moreover than any of the others. The other two big players have been legitimately caught out time and time again and little is done as they are favoured amongst celebs and other favourites. Some bloggers/internet journo's for some reason love them as they are the fad of this time. Some of the wannabe internet journos glean stuff from anywhere and everywhere in an attempt to 'break the news' and enjoy creating click bait headlines to attract hits. It becomes a hornets nest of these folk copying and pasting some half truths and 'exagerations' which cause the rest of the media to get stirred up in a frenzy. Always check out your sources. It's easy to spot one of those sorts of bloggers/journos. That's why I come here... WindowsCentral have been consistant and will independantly (from my observations anyway), seek the facts rather than flipantly reporting on 'stuff' to fill the gap. Thanks WC team.
  • Terry, Gabe, anyone at MS. Please offer some easy way to disable all information sharing. A powershell script doesnt seem like too much to ask for.
  • THIS! But they won't.  They want to be the next Google.
  • It can be done with a handful of settings that are easy enough to find and shown during installation. What one person considers "information sharing" another person might consider basic OS functionality. For example, an uninformed user (the type that is likely to believe MS built a key logger into windows) might turn on the "global privacy" switch that you are asking for and then wonder why OneDrive doesn't work right. After all, they put their file in the OneDrive folder manually so why isn't windows uploading it for them?
  • Finally. Thanks Terry for making things more clear. Thanks John for sharing this with us.
  • What they can do to prove they actually care about keeping you in control is to put an end to the stupid idea of forcing updates on our PCs. Automatic updates were always the defaults for the novice/average user, now forcing power/computer-literate users to bend over and take updates is FAR from "You're in control"! Would NEVER update to Windows 10 until that BS is removed along with other half-assed bugs that make the tablet experience crap comapred to Windows 8.1.1. My Surface Pro 2 is much better off with Windows 8.1.1, no desperation to install Windows 10...
  • All the arguments for and against are very interesting. For me personally, I'm savvy enough to scupper all the intrusive rubbish. An ad supported os for the free version is fair enough, but I pay for my things and I don't ever want to see ads and have zero use for the bing/msn rubbish - it's bloat and I remove all of that. Really, all MSFT had to do was have one slider that turns all the intrusive junk on or off. Simple. But things never are. Really, if people are bothered by the intrusive nature of the os: It can all be turned off! There is plenty floating round to indicate how this is done. If you want control of your stuff, take it, and be happy. Personally I like w10 Enterprise but some services don't play nice, yet, so it's money out on hold (bought Enterprise licenses but have uninstalled) but I believe it'll all pan out. MSFT would be stupid to neglect their cash cow lol
  • Are people really that clueless ? Once you connect your computer/phone/tablet to the internet your privacy goes out the window...  If you dont know this, put your tinfoil hat back on and live free.  Windows 10, nah, but, if your sending documents via hotmail, storing them on your ONE DRIVE and editing them with Web Word or Execl and expect 100% privacy. Please pack your computer up in the box it came in and return it to the store, you should not be on a computer.
  • But Edward Snowden said it did!!!!!!!11!11!!111!
  • sub.
  • Windows 10 Isn't Spyware but It Wants Your Data  I predited the first lawsuit against microsoft because windows 10 around 2017 now let's wait
  • Ok,Ok, I get it, I'll keep my tin-foil hat on. One question, a little bit of conversation. When the hell are they going to figure out how to support all the mistake? Oh that's right: Method 1 > Lets perform a clean boot LOL. When ever I need a good laugh I go to MS tech support.
  • Necro... Echo....