Thursday, October 1, 2020

Microsoft doesn’t see Windows 10’s mandatory data collection as a privacy risk

In the run-up to the launch of Windows 10 earlier this year, users noticed that Microsoft’s operating system would be collecting more data on them by default than it had in the past — including information about their location and what they’re typing — and sending it off to Microsoft.

Understandably, some folks were concerned about the privacy implications of such a move, especially given disclosures around government surveillance, and the fact that Microsoft previously hadn’t built this kind of data collection into its operating system.

Those concerns weren’t helped by Microsoft, which was slow to clarify exactly what it takes from users, and to explain how to disable much of that collection. It’s possible for users to opt out of things like tracking of contacts and calendar items — information used by Cortana, Microsoft’s personal assistant — but people who use Windows 10’s express settings will toggle them on immediately.

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