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Windows 10 preview lets Microsoft collect private data in frightening ways

Published Oct 3rd, 2014 1:35PM EDT
Windows 10 Privacy Policy

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Microsoft’s Insider Program that offers access to the first Windows 10 preview version is already available to interested users, but they should know the company’s privacy policy for Windows 10 contains some strange permissions that allow Microsoft to collect user data in unexpected ways, The Inquirer reports.

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Many computer users usually ignore terms of service or privacy policy documents, but they should pay attention to what the Windows 10 privacy policy has to say. The document reveals that Microsoft can collect and use voice information and even record text input for some applications, suggesting that Windows 10 can at any time send such data to the company without the user knowing what is happening.

“We may collect information about your device and applications and use it for purposes such as determining or improving compatibility” and “use voice input features like speech-to-text, we may collect voice information and use it for purposes such as improving speech processing,” the company says about voice data collection.

“If you open a file, we may collect information about the file, the application used to open the file, and how long it takes any use [of] it for purposes such as improving performance, or [if you] enter text, we may collect typed characters, we may collect typed characters and use them for purposes such as improving autocomplete and spellcheck features,” Microsoft writes about this unexpected Windows 10 key-logging feature.

To further improve its upcoming desktop operating system, Microsoft says it may collect even more data about users. “Microsoft collects information about you, your devices, applications and networks, and your use of those devices, applications and networks,” the Windows 10 preview terms state. “Examples of data we collect include your name, email address, preferences and interests; browsing, search and file history; phone call and SMS data; device configuration and sensor data; and application usage.”

Chris Smith Senior Writer

Chris Smith has been covering consumer electronics ever since the iPhone revolutionized the industry in 2008. When he’s not writing about the most recent tech news for BGR, he brings his entertainment expertise to Marvel’s Cinematic Universe and other blockbuster franchises.

Outside of work, you’ll catch him streaming almost every new movie and TV show release as soon as it's available.