Windows 10 Draws Negative Attention Over Data Collection, Privacy Concerns
There's a lot to love about Windows 10, but as it happens, there are a bunch of caveats to be aware of, as well. In fact, as soon as the OS released last week, security experts the world over began to raise a stink about how this is the OS that basically throws away your privacy, and in some cases, even your control.
One example of the lack of control relates to Windows Update, something we've covered multiple times in the past. In effect, even those using the Pro version of the OS have less control over how updates are handled versus previous versions, and while an add-on tool has been released by Microsoft itself, it's not ideal. It's not just with Windows Update that we're losing control over; Windows Defender can only be disabled for a time. If you don't reenable it yourself after a while, the OS will "take care of that" for you.
From the privacy standpoint, there are many different features of Windows 10 that continually fetch data and Cortana is a big one. In the Settings menu, it explicitly states what's going to be captured: "We'll collect info like contacts, recent calendar events, speed and handwriting patterns, and typing history." That is a lot of stuff.
The flip-side of this kind of information gathering is that it will result in making the overall experience better. It's a matter of giving up some of our privacy for the sake of convenience, which is never ideal. Some might be fine with it, while those who are not are rightly miffed at the fact that so many of these tracking options are turned on my default.
As if the privacy and control situation couldn't be any crazier with Windows 10, there's also been a discovery that shows that your PC can be used to help distribute updates to other people without your knowledge. That means that your Internet bandwidth will be used to help Microsoft out, which is hardly ideal for those with either slow or bandwidth capped connections. To disable this, you merely have to enter the advanced options of the Windows Update screen and click on "Choose how updates are delivered."
Yes, Windows 10 is excellent. Yes, Windows 10 is "free". But boy, does Windows 10 give us a lot to think about and fuss over.