Windows 10 might be free, but your privacy is priceless

Credit: Ben Franske

Beware of geeks bearing gifts

Although free, Windows 10 comes packed with some concerning new ‘features’.

As Windows 10 is launched and downloaded across the globe by early adopters eager to experience the new operating system, a word of caution is needed.

Microsoft, who are no stranger to privacy issues, have installed some worrying new features as default on Windows 10.

You may recall that in 2013 it was revealed that Microsoft worked closely with the National Security Agency (NSA) to allow them to access encrypted messages in Outlook and Hotmail.

It granted NSA and FBI access to SkyDrive, and after purchasing Skype the company actually tripled the amount of video calls the NSA were recording via the service.

So what are the problems with Windows 10?

Firstly, it will automatically sync with the Microsoft servers and silently pass along and store information about you including; your browser history, favourites and the websites you’re currently viewing.

Mobile hotspot passwords and Wi-Fi network names and passwords are also logged. Cortana, the new personal virtual assistant records and shares everything you do – which allows it to function properly.

The Microsoft privacy statement says:

To enable Cortana to provide personalized experiences and relevant suggestions, Microsoft collects and uses various types of data, such as your device location, data from your calendar, the apps you use, data from your emails and text messages, who you call, your contacts and how often you interact with them on your device.

Cortana also learns about you by collecting data about how you use your device and other Microsoft services, such as your music, alarm settings, whether the lock screen is on, what you view and purchase, your browse and Bing search history, and more.

The company also says it has the right to pass on your information to third parties:

We will access, disclose and preserve personal data, including your content (such as the content of your emails, other private communications or files in private folders), when we have a good faith belief that doing so is necessary to comply with applicable law or respond to valid legal process, including from law enforcement or other government agencies… [or] to enforce the terms governing the use of the services.

These settings can be turned off, but that may effect the performance of the operating system – in particular Cortana.


  • Bruce9

    So, when 9 is shut down, then what?

    • Anton

      Why wait. Upgrade to Ubuntu today.

      • Nelson Tibbitt

        Kubuntu 15.04 is pretty awesome

        • Bruce9

          Kub excuse you? Free too?

      • Bruce9

        Ubun excuse you? Free too?

  • James Gundlach

    So basically, windows is evil for compliance with the law and any subpenas sent it’s way in regard to potential illegal activity done by yourself, but why no mention of Google, Apple, or ANY other such companies who also must legally abide by the laws?

    Moronic fear mongering at it’s finest.

    • Billy Carlin

      What law are you talking about – legal or lawful? Do you mean our governments/secret services who are ignoring and involved in all of the paedophilia, fraud and corruption and FAKE “terrorism” etc etc etc and who are ignoring the law or changing it to spy on ordinary citizens to build a database on those who are aware of all of this so that they can take them to court under fraudulent charges in order to jail them to silence them as is happening all over this country and others now because of people like you who defend what they are up to because you are too lazy to use Critical Thinking and research what is really going on in this world just now instead of believing all of the lies put out by our governments/political parties and media all controlled by the same few elites working to their NWO – One World Government DICTATORSHIP agenda.

      • James Gundlach

        The law where when you commit a crime online, the ISP has to legally give all available information when subpenaed in order for the investigators to properly do their job. God forbid our government has the necessary tools and means to catch criminals, get the hell over it. They don’t care about what animal porn you watch on Tuesdays, your secret is safe. But if you hack a bank, bet your left nut your ISP is giving away what you did. They care more about protecting their ass and complying than they do about your criminal activity.

        • mr khan

          what this has to do with window 10? microsoft is not a isp. why you so jelly if some one is telling the reality about window 10. i updated to window 10 and what i saw in the setting, it concern me and i am already thinking to go back to window 7 or may go to ubuntu.

        • Billy Carlin

          They can already get your details for criminal activity like as you say hacking banks etc by court orders – this is nothing to do with criminal activity – it is to spy on the general public to see what they are saying about the government etc and to shut them down for exposing what corruption etc I mentioned above that they are involved in – the ISP’s are all part of this control grid anyway and only pretend that they are concerned about the publics privacy considering they sell your data to advertisers etc anyway.

          • James Gundlach

            I assume then that you don’t use computers at all, cell phones, have cable/fios, etc? Social media accounts? Email?

            Tin foil hat is on way to tight buddy.

        • Paul Bosse

          does that include ‘lawfull’ activity such forced adoption of our kids for money, or baatant abuse of powers by authorities? such as police, etc

          wake up my friend their only agenda is themselves not the law nor us… the laws arent made with them in mind, they are made to control us the masses and keep us compliant…

      • itsme

        Bang on mate…. keep fighting the fight!

    • PJ London

      “The only power any government has is the power to crack down on criminals. Well, when there aren’t enough criminals, one makes them. One declares so many things to be a crime that it becomes impossible for men to live without breaking laws.”

      Ayn Rand

      Your “legal” activity today (contributing to a legal charity) may well become terrorism tomorrow. You sent a donation to feed the children of Palestine! Go to jail, go directly to jail, do not pass go, do not collect your toothbrush.

      You are a fool.

    • Jonny Alpha

      Compliance with evil laws is evil.

  • Paul Panza

    Choose linux as your OS; no virus protection needed and use Protonmail it’s double encrypted stop being a sheep.

    • uwatm9

      how do i play games?

      • Whe3ze

        Steam and other digital vendors now sell Linux compatible games. Sometimes they are just pre-packaged with WINE. Use WINE to get games running which aren’t sold as Linux compatible. It’s much more involved but it does have security/privacy/performance/customization benefits, and it’s a lot more fun for nerds than screwing around with windows

        • Pravda01

          I agree Linux works fine – but still one should acquire a little bit OS knowledge which is not hard to do.

  • Tonino

    And what eles to expect from Jewmerika and her handler Israhell, the epicenter of evil?

  • barkway

    Most privacy-invading settings can be turned off, and for apps that share by default exclusive of such settings, just don’t use them. Who still uses Outlook anymore??

  • Anonymous

    Linux makes this all go away.

    I will NEVER run another OS unless it’s sandboxed in a VM on my Ubuntu box. And even then I’m super careful.

    • Pravda01

      You can even run Solaris Linux or Mac OSX in a VM – if it is Intel – AMD needs to run in a hardware emulation patch.

  • Arthur Mosswood

    For all you folks recommending linux BEWARE! followwing the wide adoption of secureboot and uefi, it should be noted that increasingly, computers will only boot MICROSOFT APPROOOVED operating systems, this is bacause if a linux dostro wants to boot on a pc which would normally be running windows. they have to pay a $99 fee for a verification certificate. guess who owns the keys? you guesssed it MICROSOFT!! quess who the ca is, VERISIGN, quess which CA got compromised, VERISIGN!! don”t just grab the first pc that you see, make sure there is an option to turn off uefi/secureboot! the down side of ths is that computers with this option are going to jump up in price.!!!

    • Pravda01

      Not true! The Linux kernel is already certified for newer hardware. Moreover I can install even the Mac OS f. e. Leopard on any Intel platform.

      Secure boot? Rubbish. …and even so – one can install VMware f. e. – the VMware player is free and runs on any computer and one could ignore the Windows pre-installed crap system – by just not using or maintaining it.

      XP is still alive and you know why? Many IT operations have to do something else than reinstalling Microsoft crap.

  • Pravda01

    I tried it and it is lousy! The tile design sucks, the graphical user interface sucks and is annoying I don’t want sliders and ballons while I typing popping up here and there.

    Windows 8.1 is still the better alternative if you have to use Windows. I prefer Linux Ubuntu or Suns Solaris. I do run Windows OS’s only in virtual environments like VMware or Virtualbox which both run now on Linux.