EVERYONE LOVES FREE CRAP RIGHT??!! And of all companies, it seems as though Microsoft the arch-villain of tech companies is the one distributing the FREEBIES!!! That’s RIGHT, grab that FREE UPGRADE to Windows TEN (they skipped 9, because THE NEW UPGRADE IS JUST SO AWESOME….. Annnnd FRREEEE). Let’s forget that debacle over Windows 8, which was basically another FREEE downgrade to force you to use their App store and their Metro-whatever interface and was universally hated. WINDOWS 10 IS FREEEE.
Thing is though, most people don’t read that all-important fine print. You know, that unimportant extremely long-winded bit of legalise designed specifically to bore you to tears before getting through the first paragraph… You see, in a Newsweek report, it seems that Windows 10’s SPYWARE IS ALSO 100% FREE OF CHARGE. Get that extra bit of unnecessary bloat ware 2.0 so that Microsoft, that awesome company that is CERTAINLY LOVES GIVING FREE STUFF, actually gets to profit off of your private information!
Think those nude pics were going to get stolen by Hackers, Facebook and even the NSA?? Well, Microsoft intends to beat them ALL to the punch by getting your nude pics as soon as you click that Webcam on!
Windows 10 starts monitoring your activity as soon as you sign up for an account. It begins by saving all your basic info: your contact details, name passwords, race, religion and credit card details….
And then it starts doing what it was really programed to do (and I don’t mean provide you with really awesome features for FREE). Finding out this true purpose was certainly not easy, as one privacy expert stated, “there is no world in which 45 pages of policy documents and opt-out settings split across 13 different Settings screens and an external website constitutes ‘real transparency’.”
From the moment an account is created, Microsoft begins watching. The company saves customers’ basic information – name, contact details, passwords, demographic data and credit card specifics – but it also digs a bit deeper.
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.
Though possibly surprising to some, the company’s data collection practices fit within the industry’s new normal.
Also like its competitors, Microsoft says it will disclose content of private communications or files in saved documents to “respond to valid legal process.” In the company’s latest bi-annual transparency report released in late March, it disclosed that of the 31,002 government requests for information received between June and December 2014, it disclosed content of personal communications in 3.36 percent of cases and non-content data in 73.17 percent.
Microsoft didn’t respond to requests for comment about specifics of the privacy terms, but in a blog post introducing them, Microsoft’s deputy general counsel, Horacio Gutierrez, calls the Privacy Statement a “straightforward resource for understanding Microsoft’s commitments for protecting individual privacy.” Alex Meer of the gaming website Rock Paper Shotgun countered, “There is no world in which 45 pages of policy documents and opt-out settings split across 13 different Settings screens and an external website constitutes ‘real transparency’.””
Basically, Microsoft gains access to your entire hard-drive. Your entire search history. Your PRIVATE email correspondences to other people. The words you type, even if you don’t save them. THEN, it intends to SELL ALL THAT DATA TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER (your government probably, or a large corporation). Hell, if your government hates you enough, Microsoft will GIVE your information to them FREEEE. Orwellian nightmare, eat your heart out. Oh, yeah, you get a “personal assistant” with the same name as the one from that video game franchise. To be fair, there are “options” you can pick to “reduce” the amount of data Windows 10 collects…. But I’m hardly convinced that there’s any way to be sure that Microsoft honors this decision other than to unplug from the Net.
Big Brother is watching, and he’s being invited into our homes, all because he comes free of charge. Better be careful about what you watch online…. what you write online… and what you download for your own personal uses while you’re offline. What you write online…. Wait, that’s ME.
As the article points out, this IS the new normal, because people are being tricked into signing away their privacy for…. free stuff. Snowden would be so proud, living in Russia, away from home and family lest he gets turned into Bradley Manning 2.0…. So you can sign your data away willingly. I can imagine the NSA directer going ” yeah, well, we had to use dragnet spying and that Snowden thing was a mess… But who knew you could get all that data just by giving them free stuff? Microsoft just sold us a hard drive with everyone’s nude pics on it for 4 bucks, so we decided to discontinue the dragnet program. Way cheaper this way.”
And by the way, Microsoft actually offers versions of Windows 10 that is spyware lite; designed for corporations (who clearly don’t want to lose their secrets to the highest bidder) these versions must bebought. I’m sticking to Windows 7, and might switch to open source Linux if Microsoft keeps this up.