Is Windows 10 a free upgrade because its terms and conditions allow Microsoft to collect your private data

Windows 10, officially release on July 29, 2015, has terms and conditions, which consist of a Privacy Policy and Service Agreement that users have to agree to before they can use it. It is 45 pages long, too long for most people to be bothered reading through, no doubt by design. There is currently a drive to force companies such as Microsoft, Google, Facebook and Apple to make their policy statements as short and clear as possible because of this sort of psychological manipulation.

In short, the terms and conditions allow Microsoft to collect information from its users’ emails, email address books and other data files stored on their computers.

The user requires to have a Microsoft account, as has been the case with Google since 2011, before apps and downloads can be obtained from the Microsoft Store. The company then has the user’s name, contact details,location, credit-card information, passwords, the search queries entered into Bing, Microsoft’s search engine, visited websites and even conversations between the user and Cortana, Microsoft’s voice-recognition assistant. Amazingly, even the the contents of private folders and “your typed and hand-written words” are collected, according to the Privacy Statement, which, as you might know, is what the keylogging software used by cyber criminals does. However, according to Microsoft, this is done to provide the user with a personalised dictionary, to aid typing, etc. In short, done to make Windows 10 work as well as possible for the user.

The part that really irritates me is that Microsoft says that it uses your information to send you personalised promotions, targeted advertising that may require sharing the information with third-parties, such as advertisers.

Each customer is assigned a unique advertising ID, which Microsoft states “does not use what you say in email, video calls or voice mail, or your documents, photos and personal files to target ads to you.” However, the same promise is not made for the other types of data collection. That said, Microsoft is being far clearer and upfront about its policies than its main competitors, Google and Apple.

Microsoft is in line with Apple, Google and Facebook in stating that it will provide information it obtains to governments in “response to valid legal process”.

In my opinion, this invasion of our privacy by such huge companies as Microsoft, Apple, Google and Facebook should be completely illegal. No one should be able to obtain your private information unless it is essential to make paid-for or governmental services function, not merely to be able to deliver customised ads across your path on the web. No one should be allowed to collect your private information to be able to do that.

Users (customers to Microsoft) can opt out this outrageous invasion of their privacy, but, as might have been expected, it is a tediously involved process to do so, requiring effort and technical ability of the kind that software developers have relied on for decades to ensure that the typical user won’t be bothered to undergo.

Are you going to be one of them?

Support for Windows 7 ends in 2020, so I will be sticking with it until then.

Windows 10: Microsoft under attack over privacy –

http://www.theguardian.com/technology/2015/jul/31/…

Visit the following page on Microsoft’s site to find out about what the Privacy Statement is about and how to control it under: “How to Access & Control Your Personal Data”.

Microsoft Privacy Statement –

http://www.microsoft.com/en-us/privacystatement/default.aspx

About Eric Legge 269 Articles
I am an experienced PC technician who has been the owner and sole writer of the PC Buyer Beware! website since 2004. I am learning all the time in this very dynamic, ever-changing field.