Is Windows 10 a privacy concern?

David Wilson - Aug 13, 2015

The long-awaited Windows 10 came out as a free upgrade after endless bemoaning and complaints from Windows 8 users, which was massacred by the online tech community. After all that, it seems that not too many people have rushed to the defence of Windows 10 either.

What is interesting about Windows 10 is that it’s a free upgrade for Windows 8 users, which immediately begs the questions – what’s the catch?

At a very basic level, Microsoft knows that it needs to build engagement and usage with the new software to keep up with Google and Apple before it can look at ways of monetising parts of the ecosystem. This will most likely go 2 ways: 1. you will find yourself in a Microsoft app store buying add-ons, Excel updates etc; and 2. they will serve targeted advertising through the personal data they collect from their users.

This is the crux of the freemium model. Eventually, targeted ads start popping up in your Instagram feed or you find yourself buying more lives via in-app purchases. As a free upgrade, Windows 10 has already been installed on 67 million machines which means that after a few (read: a lot) of big fixes, Microsoft will be ready to start monetising its system.

The cyberverse went into privacy meltdown when it was uncovered just how much personal data Microsoft would be collecting and logging from its Windows 10 users. So much so that there are lengthy tutorials that assist users in setting up the the privacy permissions on the new operating system to be in control of just how much data Microsoft can collect. However, there are still reports that despite enabling privacy-protecting options, your operating system could still be contacting and sending information to Microsoft.

Here is a great, easy-to-read article that was written by LifeHacker that covers what all the different privacy settings do, and which ones you should consider turning off.

Our advice? Anytime you set up a profile, account, or download software/apps – be sure to run over the default privacy settings and be mindful of those that tend to share a little more of your personal data than you’d be happy with.

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