Although people got really excited abut Windows 10 for being free for every user that had a previous version of the OS installed on their machine, some experts warn that there may be a hidden price to pay – privacy.
At a first glance, Windows 10 seems a sheer success since it was installed on 67 million devices in just a couple of days since it launch. Yet, critics say that that may have something to do with it being free and people getting really tired of Windows 8.
But giving away the operating system made tech experts wonder whether Microsoft turned into a charitable organization overnight or it simply changed its business plan. When Apple decided to offer free upgrades, it knew that money would come from selling hardware (iPhones, smartwatches, and so on). But when Microsoft does a similar move, it can only monetize the only thing it had at hand – the software itself.
And it is all written on the Terms and Condition page you need to accept before upgrading to the new version of the OS. Sadly, most of us accept them usually without reading. But this time you should really make an effort and have a look. You may find some interesting if not shocking things.
Indeed, everything has a price. You get the upgrade for free, but Windows 10 is tweaked by default to collect private information about you and your online and offline actions and beam them to its parent company without even ask for your consent. In fact, you had already given your consent when you accepted the Terms and Conditions.
“Microsoft basically grants itself very broad rights to collect everything you do, say and write with and on your devices […]”
noted privacy watchdog Digital Rights on Monday.
We know for sure that Windows 10 collects, organizes and share personal data “including content” from messenger apps, e-mails, and web-search. It even monitors and shares keystrokes with Microsoft because it allegedly wants to improve auto-correct and spell check functions of Office suite apps.
The company will also use the operating system to virtually send information to governments whenever there is suspicion that you are involved in illegal activities including infringing the company’s rights and properties. Every user of Windows 10 would get a unique ID number which the company will use to tailor targeted ads while you surf the internet. Cortana will be also collecting data on you to improve your “online experience.”
Yet, there is an option to turn off the data collection feature or at least keep it to a minimum, but you will need to go through more than a dozen separate screens to do it.
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