Along with the recent rollout of Microsoft’s newest OS, Windows 10, has been a flurry of privacy concerns due to the amount of data that Microsoft collects on each of its millions of users. As it turns out, the data collection enables those features than makes Windows 10 most convenient. According to an article in CNN Money, the main gripe that users had about privacy with Windows 10 is that it shares your information with Microsoft by default. You can go in and adjust about 13 different privacy screens in order to stem the flow of the majority of data sharing, but there is no way to turn off the tap completely with Windows 10.
Additional privacy concerns include:
- Windows 10 can borrow bandwidth from your internet connection to help other people download apps or update their PCs using a feature called Windows Update Delivery Optimization. This can be turned off on the advanced options on the privacy settings screen
- Uses “wi-fi sense” to automatically log your friends in to your wi-fi without you having to give them your password. You can opt-out of wi-fi sense on the privacy settings screens.
- Even after you have disabled data sharing you will still be sending information to Microsoft
If you want to go in and change your privacy settings on Windows 10, go to the Start menu and select Settings and then Privacy. Microsoft has a full complement of Windows 10 privacy FAQs on their website.
While it can feel a bit unnerving to know that Microsoft is gathering data on you, it is not nearly as intrusive as the data Facebook collects about who you know, interact with, where you go and what you do when you are there. It is also not as intrusive as Gmail, which reads your emails, photos and documents in order to better target the ads you will see on their platform.
It is important to note that Windows 10 does not introduce a lot of new privacy changes over what already exists in Windows 8 or 8.1, according to an article in The Guardian. What is new in Windows 10 is Cortana, which is a conversational personal assistant that uses artificial intelligence and deep learning to provide useful functionality for you. Similar to Apple’s Siri and Google Now, there is a trade-off of taking privacy risks in order to take full advantage of the features it offers.