by Rachel Alexander | August 2, 2015 3:03 pm
Over 14 million devices are already running Microsoft’s new Windows 10, but hardly anyone bothers to read the 45 pages of terms and conditions. The contract effectively gives Microsoft permission to act as a keylogger of almost everything you’re doing, going far beyond collecting basic information — name, contact details, passwords, demographic data and credit card specifics.
Other information Microsoft saves includes Bing search queries and conversations with the new digital personal assistant Cortana; contents of private communications such as email; websites and apps visited (including features accessed and length of time used); and contents of private folders. Furthermore, “your typed and handwritten words are collected,” the Privacy Statement says, which many online observers  liken to a keylogger. Microsoft says they collect the information “to provide you a personalized user dictionary, help you type and write on your device with better character recognition, and provide you with text suggestions as you type or write.”
All this information doesn’t necessarily remain with just Microsoft. The company says it uses the data collected for three purposes: to provide and improve its services; to send customers personalized promotions; and to display targeted advertising, which sometimes requires the information be shared with third parties.
Unfortunately, this is becoming standard in the industry. Siri and Google require access to the user’s personal information to personalize responses and Google analyzes users’ emails in order to customize content. It is possible to opt out of Microsoft’s data collection, but it requires a lot of extra clicking. Journalists and bloggers need to keep up the exposure on practices like this.
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