Windows 10 and the collection of your data
Windows 10 has numerous functions that enable Microsoft to collect and analyze your data. This is not restricted to sharing WLAN passwords with friends and acquaintances on Facebook and Skype, which has been widely reported, but goes as far to include the actual transfer of personal data such as contacts and calendar entries. This is then used to improve the recommendations from the new Windows 10 assistant “Cortana”, for example.
In theory, users can have an influence over these settings. In practice however, they are either so scattered among the system settings or in part described in such a cryptic fashion to make them way too tricky for most users, who feel they have no choice but to accept the standard settings (in essence then, those settings which share a lot of their data).
Subtle pressure to share!
A little pressure is also applied to users to move them in the direction of data sharing. When rejecting this with Cortana, for example, “she” then tells the user that she sadly cannot help – unless the user would care to reconsider their decision. While this may be technically legitimate and correct, it puts a major doubt in the mind of an average user as to whether they should simply accept settings that share their personal data. Life is simpler that way, so to speak.
The following examples illustrate clearly the “enthusiastic” data collection aspects of Windows 10.
Cortana wants to get to know me
Here you see clearly which data is collected for Cortana: contacts, calendar entries, language and handwriting samples.
The advertising ID identifies the user and his or her devices so that all Apps can aim their advertising and promotional activities specifically at that user.
Windows 10 can connect automatically with public networks and also share user-defined networks with the users “friends” on facebook, Skype and Outlook. If this option is used carelessly, a user can quickly find themselves a victim of data or identity theft or even be subject to unwanted access on their own system.
Decide for yourself how important your “comfort” is when weighed up with your privacy and how to protect it. O&O ShutUp10 presents you with all important settings in one location – you need no previous IT knowledge and there is no need to manually change the Windows 10 system settings.