Windows 10 privacy concerns draw criticism from the EFF

By: Costea Lestoc
2 minute read

The Electronic Frontier Foundation openly accused Microsoft of violating user privacy by unlawfully retaining user data with Windows 10, advising the company to “come clean with its user community”.

According to the EFF, “a significant issue is the telemetry data the company receives,” stating that even if some settings are disabled, “it is not a guarantee that your computer will stop talking to Microsoft’s servers.” This is not the first time Windows 10 comes under fire for privacy concerns.

Many privacy advocates are criticizing Windows 10 for sending back location, text input, voice input and other telemetry data to Microsoft, and EFF wants the company to explain how exactly it does this.

Microsoft also won’t say how long this data is retained, instead providing only general timeframes […].Microsoft has tried to explain this lack of choice by saying that Windows Update won’t function properly on copies of the operating system with telemetry reporting turned to its lowest level.

While Microsoft allows users to turn telemetry reporting down to its lowest level, the EFF is worried doing this jeopardizes system security with less updates.

Microsoft is also being criticized for its aggressive Windows 10 upgrade tactics after terrorizing Windows 7 and Windows 8.1 users to upgrade to its latest OS for free.

The tactics Microsoft employed to get users of earlier versions of Windows to upgrade to Windows 10 went from annoying to downright malicious.

By now, everyone has heard about the story of the businesswoman who was forced to upgrade to Windows 10 and couldn’t work for several days. She sued Microsoft and received $10,000 as compensation for lost wages. Many other users also complained that even clicking on the X button to dismiss the Windows 10 upgrade pop-up didn’t stop the installation of the new OS.

For the time being, Microsoft hasn’t issued any comment regarding the EFF’s accusations. If you’re worried about your online data privacy, we recommend you install one of these privacy tools to limit the amount of data Microsoft can collect about your online activities.

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