New Windows 10 and its Privacy Policy

This year Microsoft brought a lot of improvements and conveniences with its new OS Windows 10 but people started analyzing its privacy policy and became concerned over how the operating system is using their data.

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There is no doubt that Windows 10 revolutionized the operating systems for PC’s, both for its fully free version, and for its ambitious aim to become the software of all kinds of technological devices – including smartphones and tablets. The new platform offers you not only the opportunity to have all the information you need anytime anywhere, but also to have a quick and easy access to all the devices you use. And if that doesn’t sound so amazing when it comes to smartphones and tablets, it is definitely an innovation in the computer industry.

Of course, the convenience comes at a price. The price you pay for the mobility of the information you need and the personalization that Windows 10 offers you is, once again, your privacy. That spying eyes, we have heard of, are everywhere in the network, but whether the paranoia of the conspiracy theory lovers is justified or not is another matter. First of all, the policy of Microsoft’s collection of personal data is not something new. In fact, the collection of anonymous telemetry started back in 2009 with the sole aim of improving the company’s products. Secondly, Windows 10 gives access to the same information that Apple iOS and Android have on the owners of smartphones. So the three tech giants continue to walk the thin red line between improving services and their (mis)use of our personal data.

Like many other big companies Microsoft collect your browser history, your passwords for the websites and can see the things you do, say or create using the platform thanks to its innovations like Cortana, Windows Hello, Microsoft Edge, Continuum, and more.  If you sign in with your Microsoft account, all the information will be synced by default to its servers. Fortunately, you can limit, more or less, this access by making some changes in the settings. There are plenty of sites that have published lists of all the features you should turn off to protect better your privacy while using Windows 10. Here’s one of them. And of course, users should have in mind that reading from time to time the Services Agreement before clicking the button “I Agree” is not such a bad thing.

The thing that bothers me most is that Microsoft can disclose your personal data whenever it feels like, and by personal data I mean emails and private communications. Here’s what I am talking about:

 “We will access, disclose and preserve personal data, including your content (such as the content of your emails, other private communications or files in private folders), when we have a good faith belief that doing so is necessary to protect our customers or enforce the terms governing the use of the services.”

What does Microsoft mean by the term “good faith”, we can only guess… One thing is sure – its interpretation could be extensive. So before updating Windows 10 think about it first and take into account the pros and cons. And my advice:  read carefully the policies of each software you use to protect your personal data.

 

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Etudiante en Master 2 Droit de l’économie numérique et titulaire d’un Master Droit international et droit de l’Union européenne, je suis inspirée par l’évolution des NTIC et leurs problématiques juridiques. J’ai un vif intérêt pour le droit de la propriété intellectuelle appliqué aux nouvelles technologies.

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