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Windows 10 Privacy Policy Summary

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#1 Casey_boy


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Posted 11 October 2014 - 04:57 PM

On October 1, 2014 Microsoft released a Technical Preview of the latest version of its Windows operating system: Windows 10. It is freely available for anybody to download by joining the Windows Insider Program, you can find more details here.

Before you do though, you should be aware of those pesky terms and conditions in the program's Privacy Policy.

Of course, there are the usual policies: 

When you acquire, install and use the Program, Microsoft collects information about you, your devices, applications and networks, and your use of those devices, applications and networks.

Sounds fair. But thats not all:

Examples of data we collect include your name, email address, preferences and interests; browsing, search and file history; phone call and SMS data; device configuration and sensor data; and application usage.

Thats getting a lot more personal now. Microsoft then go on to explicitly state the sort of things they will collect:
  • information about your device and applications and use it for purposes such as determining or improving compatibility
  • use voice input features like speech-to-text, we may collect voice information and use it for purposes such as improving speech processing
  • open a file, we may collect information about the file, the application used to open the file, and how long it takes and use it for purposes such as improving performance
  • enter text, we may collect typed characters and use them for purposes such as improving autocomplete and spellcheck features.
That last bullet is important. Any text you enter may be recorded and collected. This is the definition of a keylogger.

Additionally, they may collect:

IP address, network status, operating conditions and information about devices and software used with the Program.

Just to reiterate by using the program you are explicitly giving Microsoft information which can be used to identify you, identify where you live and also your private information, communications and data.

Of course, Microsoft states that this information will only be used to further develop and improve the Technical Preview. By using the program you are trusting Microsoft to safely store all your personal data and to use it for the sole purpose of improving the program. You may be happy with this but you should definitely be aware of it.

Additionally, Microsoft go to great pains to stress that the Technical Preview should not be used on your daily system. So if you're just using it to test it out and "get a feel" for the next version of Windows then perhaps consider not linking your primary Microsoft Account to the OS - perhaps set up an account specifically for testing.

Run in to trouble while trying the new OS, or have questions you'd like answering? Or perhaps you just want to share your experiences with Windows 10? Then feel free to post here in our Windows 10 forum.

This topic was created to keep our users informed of what exactly they're signing up to by running Windows 10. We make no claims about how Microsoft may or may not use your data and we specifically do not advise our users to install or not install the Preview.

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