Latest OS Takes User Data for Ads, Cortana
Windows 10 users are reeling from the changes that the latest upgrade to their OS makes to their privacy settings. Windows 10 has a number of new features which directly integrate with a user’s private data, ostensibly for advertising and to help Cortana, the Windows digital assistant, learn user preferences. Users note, however, that the operating system can even share WiFi passwords with online friends and a number of other openings in data preferences. In fact, the OS uses up WiFi data that is then sent to Microsoft. While most of the services can be shut off, it is not kept silence by default.
Users of Windows 10 may be disconcerted to see just how many changes are in the new upgrade: even one of the basic standards of Windows, the single-player game Solitaire, has been transformed into a freemium app that displays targeted advertising based on user data. Many Microsoft programs are now unfortunately following this trend, tethering the user through their own user data. Cortana will take data from your address book to determine contact priority, among other things such as reading email and text messages. Meanwhile, the user is left to sift through over 45 pages of documentation to understand how Microsoft’s new policy relates to you, the user: no effort is made on the company’s part to simplify how much user data is at risk or will be studied and or retained by the software manufacturer.
Verdict: While most of the privacy settings can be shut off, the new set up for Windows 10 is a huge step backwards when it comes to user and data privacy. While it will take time, it’s worth learning which privacy settings are in use at any given time.