The Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) has taken issue with Microsoft over the telemetry in Windows 10, taking issue with the software giant’s collection of data from users.
In an EFF blog, intake co-ordinator Amul Kalia suggests that the company’s strategy for user adoption has “trampled on essential aspects of modern computing: user choice and privacy”.
Microsoft’s ambitious goal of 1-billion devices running Windows 10 by the end of 2018 was undoubtedly behind the campaign, Kalia adds. “In its quest to reach that goal, the company aggressively pushed Windows 10 on its users and went so far as to offer free upgrades for a whole year.”
Microsoft employed a number of tactics to get users of earlier versions of Windows to upgrade to Windows 10.
But the main concern, Kalia says, is that Windows 10 sends a huge amount of usage data back to Microsoft, particularly if users opt-in to “personalise” the software using Cortana. This includes location data, text input, voice input, touch input, web pages visited, and telemetry data regarding general usage of the computer, including which programs are run and for how long.
Users can disable the relevant settings, but telemetry data is still sent back, according to the EFF. And, although Microsoft says it aggregates and anonymises this data, Kalia says the company doesn’t say how it does this.