Pay careful attention (and I have) to the things like:
- "features you use, the items you purchase, and the web pages you visit. This data includes your voice and text search queries or commands to Bing, Cortana, and our chat bots."
Since I have never purchased from the Windows store, do not use Edge, do not have any of the Cortana PDA features turned on, and don't use Microsoft chat bots there's nothing to collect of a personal nature.
- "to connect to our products"
Of course, if you are connect to Microsoft products,
- "We collect content of your files and communications when necessary to provide you with the products you use."
but if you don't connect to a multitude of Microsoft products or services there's not much to collect. If you used Outlook.com under any version of Windows then Microsoft has had access to your e-mail messages and attachments throughout. The same for other services. There is nothing really new here.
The list of provisos, all directly related to specific product/online service use, goes on and on. It's almost all connected to using Microsoft Services, not Windows itself, and that was made very clear even in the early EULA. Of course if I were to use Microsoft services to manage my data I pretty much have to grant access to my information to use them, but I don't.
I have told people before that if they wish to have some idea of what the volume of data is that is sent back to Microsoft under their current settings they should install a monitoring program such as Glasswire. I have posted on these very forums about what I found about my own system on multiple occasions, and that amount was minimal.
Also, anyone who doesn't think that system health telemetry is involved in their Windows 7, 8, or 8.1 systems hasn't been paying attention to the fact that this telemetry has been installed in them, too. It is also separate from the data collection for the various services, if you use those.
If you are doing what most people do in cyberspace, using any company's infrastructure to transmit your information, you have granted them access to it, at a minimum. They'd have to be crazy, from both a PR perspective and a business trust perspective, to hand it out to anyone else at a personally identifiable level. The ship of data aggregation, and mining of aggregate data, sailed ages ago as did trading strong privacy for "free" (the cost is information) services.
There are choices to be made, and people should be aware that they're making them, and providing the information in writing is about as "black and white" as it can get, even if it's not simple to slog through.
This all applies to entities besides Microsoft, too.
I do not delude myself that the kind of privacy that was common in prior generations has applied to me for decades now, even though I was born when it was common. A great deal of privacy was not because scads of information was not available via public records, but because those public records were not easily accessed. The days of having to go to the county courthouse (as one example) to dig through records is, as a general rule, long over. As everything becomes digitized from its creation forward and accessible from any computer the public record becomes, in the truest sense of the word, public. That's the biggest change to privacy that I've observed during my lifetime of a bit over 50 years.
Targeted marketing/advertising has, of course, become infinitely easier than it once was, too, and largely for very similar reasons. But, I find the kind of tracking that occurs (unless you take measures to block it) to be particularly loathsome. It's one of the reasons I use adblockers, tracking blockers, and similar. My travels through cyberspace shouldn't be available for random companies to mine for their benefit, not mine.