Windows 10 Privacy Policy

Using Windows 10? Microsoft Is Watching

More than 14 million devices are already running Microsoft’s Windows 10 after its global launch, but it’s unclear how many of their users read the company’s Privacy Policy and Service Agreement before downloading. Tucked away in the 45 pages’ worth of terms and conditions (effective August 1) is a substantial power grab: The company is collecting data on much of what you do while using its new software.

While users are given the choice to opt out of Microsoft’s various data collections, critics claim this isn’t enough. “The Windows 10 upgrade experience...strips users of their choice by effectively overriding existing user preferences,” claims Chris Beard, CEO of the Mozilla Corporation, a Microsoft competitor. “It now takes more than twice the number of mouse clicks, scrolling through content and some technical sophistication for people to reassert the choices they had previously made in earlier versions of Windows.”

Microsoft didn’t respond to requests for comment about specifics of the privacy terms, but in a blog post introducing them, Microsoft’s deputy general counsel, Horacio Gutierrez, calls the Privacy Statement a “straightforward resource for understanding Microsoft’s commitments for protecting individual privacy.” Alex Meer of the gaming website Rock Paper Shotgun countered, “There is no world in which 45 pages of policy documents and opt-out settings split across 13 different Settings screens and an external website constitutes ‘real transparency’.”

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