Microsoft is not collecting data illegally, blames poor name choice


Radu Tyrsina
by Radu Tyrsina
Founder & Editor-in-Chief
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Microsoft has released a statement addressing the issue of collecting data illegally from its Windows 10 users by saying that it doesn’t. Well, that’s okay then. Everyone carry on as normal.

For those of you who are catching up, you can read the original article here and the follow up here.

What’s in a name?

Apparently, all this nastiness has been caused by a simple naming issue, which Microsoft is going to sort out in the future. This is what Microsoft said:

Microsoft is committed to customer privacy, being transparent about the data we collect and use for your benefit, and we give you controls to manage your data. In this case, the same term “Activity History” is used in both Windows 10 and the Microsoft Privacy Dashboard. Windows 10 Activity History data is only a subset of the data displayed in the Microsoft Privacy Dashboard. We are working to address this naming issue in a future update.

Collecting Data Illegally

Why the difference between settings?

There are really two problems concerning collecting data illegally as I see it, so permit me to expand on them. The first is that, while I am willing to give Microsoft the benefit of the doubt (well, sort of), this does not explain why my advertising settings were different from my PC settings.

As I said in my last article, I am convinced that my advertising settings were off on my PC, and they were definitely on in my account settings. If that was a naming issue, then I am very confused.

A serious lack of trust

But the second problem is a bigger one. Why did we all assume that Microsoft was guilty? I read quite a few different websites when researching my article. Yet not once did I read an article where the writer leapt to Microsoft’s defence.

And this isn’t just about Microsoft allegedly collecting data illegally. We will happily give others the benefit of the doubt. So why is it that when it comes to tech companies, we generally think the worst?

It used to be cool to tell people you worked for Microsoft, Google, and even Facebook. Now people who work in big tech are like lawyers and real estate agents – we understand why we need them, but we wouldn’t want one as a friend.

If you would like o head over to this page, you can read all about general privacy settings in Windows 10.

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