Windows 10 Ignores User Privacy Settings, Still Sends Possibly Identifiable Info To Microsoft [Updated]

Concerns surrounding the security and privacy of Microsoft's latest OS continue to grow today with the revelation that even when using aggressive privacy settings, Microsoft still phones home with certain information.

This came to light via Ars Technica, which put the many different privacy-related settings in Windows 10 to the test. It was discovered that even if an offline user account was used, some identifiable information was sent to Microsoft, notably some related to OneDrive. In one case, an ID number was sent to a mysterious content delivery network. In some cases, the information sent even managed to bypass a secure proxy.

Ars Technica Windows 10

In another example, even if Cortana is disabled, a search in the Start menu will send a request to Bing. It seems this information is directly related to Cortana, which is strange given it'd be useless if the AI assistant was disabled.

The article does make one thing clear: most of the information sent to Microsoft's servers is harmless. That's the good. The bad is the simple fact that if someone goes the extra mile in configuring their OS to best protect their data and information in general, the OS shouldn't ignore that, or use loopholes to send information anyway. Microsoft is taking it upon itself to decide what information gets sent, when ultimately, that should be up to the user.

Privacy issues in Windows 10 were almost nonexistent up until the time the OS launched. Since then, we've discovered a number of caveats, with a great example being forced updates (even in the store). If there's one upside, it's that Microsoft is ramping up its security efforts, but I think I can speak for many when I say that it'd be really nice if the company took our privacy just as seriously.