Windows 10 being the cloud connected and Microsoft distributed OS that nearly permanently ties everything you do on the Operating System to Microsoft has some features which can help limit the data collection that Microsoft does from your PC. You access several by going into your Windows Settings and Privacy options.
Here you will want to disable anything that allows for personalization, localization, and “Send Microsoft Info” example being the “Send Microsoft Info about how I write to help us improve writing and typing in the future” is very much logging keystrokes for typing patterns and other information.
You will also want to click on Speech, inking & Typing and not allow your PC to get to know you.
Again, all of these functions are features are designed to seamlessly let your device know who you are and what you are doing to the point they can better suggest targeted advertisements, marketing, localized services and more. The whole point of all this is to market and try and make things more convenient and faster to serve up the information you may be looking for. This comes at a cost of Microsoft having to store all this personalization data however, which of course means very fine grained personal patterns of data about you and your computer usage are stored in Microsoft servers. While most people don’t care so much about ads being served and marketing data, most would be concerned more about potential hackers since Microsoft is a big target, but that isn’t likely to be the biggest challenge. The biggest is the government doing data collection, turnover requests and breach of privacy by taking and scanning your data possibly just mining it all from a source at some point.
Microsoft also stores your encryption key in the cloud if you use a Microsoft.com account to log into your Windows 10 PC, so there are concerns that this data can be handed over to governments letting them just access and scan your entire computer or system at any time without warrants. Or that hackers can steal your key, get access to not only your copy of Windows 10 license but read all the data on your systems. There is the “Internet” and there is privacy, and it is virtually impossible to have anonymity and have both, but if you truly don’t trust an organization with your data, then locking down with a secure Linux distro like Tails, Kali, or Qubes.
Has Microsoft gone too far with personal data collection? Do you think it is above Google, Facebook, Apple or any other organizations, or is it really just because Windows is the Operating System vs a service?
I have been obsessed with computers, tech, gadgets and games since the early 1980’s having grown up on the Commodore 64 and Amiga computers.
By day I work in the IT Security Industry and have been in IT for over 20 years. On my spare time I am a Vlogger, Blogger, Streamer, Gadget Reviewer, affiliate marketer, influencer and entertainer. I am also an avid movie fan, TV Show fan, Anime fan, video game fan and fan of trying anything and everything new.