X Marks The Spotted: Windows 10 Is Watching You

As citizens of the cyber-community, we've unfortunately become conditioned to seeing ads that are eerily targeted to things we say, emails that appear from long-forgotten websites, and other evidence of deep data gathering made manifest for use of moneymaking.  Now, with the launch of Windows 10 becoming a necessity for some users, Microsoft seems to have pulled out even more stops to speed up their spying...

Seriously, what ISN'T spying on us these days?
(Image courtesy hackread.com.)

According to theinquirer.net,  Windows 10 uses "basic telemetry" data to adjust your web browsing habits for your location.  Fair enough.  However, the company has openly admitted to using this new browser platform to gather more data on users than ever, all under the auspices of excuses that prey on laziness and/or lack of knowledge.

The Windows 10 operating system has already made headlines by downloading itself to machines regardless of user preference, which is straight-up creepy.  It can also wreak havoc on devices with data caps, such as iPads.  The very fact that the system is so pushy makes it suspicious to begin with, to say nothing of the hidden folders that need to be navigated before any changes can be implemented to the system.  Numerous complaints have been made about glitchy and/or dramatically slower computers that have been afflicted by repeated failed download attempts by the system.

According to Forbes, the system itself is, by Microsoft's own admission, also spying on your personal actions.  Your usage of the system is reported back to Microsoft as part of their "core data" collection, which can include browser history data, system performance, and even keystrokes logged on your machine.  It can provide unasked-for software updates with no explanation of function, display ads in the Start menu, control your bandwidth usage, and report on hardware usage to Microsoft.  So basically, it knows everything about you.

Just wait until it starts writing you creepy love notes on those little desktop Post-Its.
(Image courtesy easysecurityonline.com.)

Microsoft Corporate Vice President Joe Belfiore explained that the company will take users' opinions into consideration regarding this technology, stating, “We’re going to continue to listen to what the broad public says about these decisions, and ultimately our goal is to balance the right thing happening for the most people – really, for everyone – with complexity that comes with putting in a whole lot of control.”

Sorry, all we heard was that bit about listening to the broad public and goals of a whole lot of control.  

If you suspect Windows 10 has been downloaded onto your machine sans consent, check your privacy settings and edit them via Start menu > Settings > Privacy.  It's a start, despite all the insidiousness.  Better yet, educate yourself on why this is bad for the safety of society, and don't be afraid to use your voice against it...if you're going to be listened in on, be heard as a cause for good.

Dammit Clippy, I never figured you'd turn snitch.  What has the world come to?!
(Image courtesy networkworld.com.)

No comments:

Post a Comment