Microsoft has received great amount of criticism about privacy concerns on their new operating system. Windows 10 constantly shares data and sends feedback to Microsoft servers for software improvement. The forceful implementation of Windows Live ecosystem, for e.g. One Drive cloud also poses a significant risk to user’s data. Even if you disable the data sharing from the settings, Micorsoft still has authority (as mentioned in EULA) to access your Computer, anytime anywhere as long as it is connected to the Internet. I have highlighted a list of invasive techniques Microsoft has adapted on Windows 10.

1. Windows 10 can search and disable pirated content and harware

Windows Defender


Windows 10 has built-in functionality (Windows Defender) that can search and disable illegal-pirated games, movies, music and content. It can prevent also prevent illegal hardware from working as stated in End User License Agreement.

Under the Section 7-B of Microsoft services agreement, it makes everything clear.

We may automatically check your version of the software and download software updates or configuration changes, including those that prevent you from accessing the Services, playing counterfeit games, or using unauthorized hardware peripheral devices. –  Microsoft

This is a good initiative against piracy but the question arises:

How Microsoft will determine which content is pirated? Which hardware is illegal?

This will cause problems to many users who are using genuine software especially the Steam gaming community.

2. Windows Updates is stealing your Internet Bandwidth


The Windows 10 updates and security option uses your internet bandwidth to share Windows Update patches to PC’s around you. Thus, slowing down your upload speed. You can learn how to turn it off.

3. Microsoft can remotely manage your PC anytime


Windows 10 gives liberty to Microsoft techies to access and modify your data anytime. One redditor reported the Microsoft employee (CSR) remotely restarted his PC over an argument on licensing terms.

4. Windows 10 still sends data to Microsoft even when you disable it.

Windows 10 Privacy Options

If you have read the Service agreement, you will see that Microsoft still holds an upper hand when it comes to user data. Win 10 can monitor your devices even though you disable it.

Windows 10 has default access to user’s data through the following:

Your Location, Camera and Microphone – They can check where you live, how you look and what you sound like.

Advertising ID – Windows assigns you an ID which can later be used to serve you ads based on your interest.

Keylogging – Windows 10 records your keystrokes and where you tap on touchscreen, all data is sent to Microsoft servers using a service called Telemetry.

Websites you visit – every URL is sent for monitoring through Smartscreen

Your WiFi passwords – WiFi sense stores your network passwords to your Windows Live account

This was just a short list, even though you can disable some of the data sharing. Still, there are dozens of data mining that is done on background, you will need advanced knowledge of Windows Registry Editor (regedit) to disable them.

5. What users can do about Windows 10 Privacy Concerns?


As for me, I will probably stick to Windows 7, it is slowly becoming the next Windows XP of Operating systems.

For users who are worried about privacy in Windows 10

You can disable most of the data-collection through settings.  For in-depth blocking, you will need to use Local Group Policy Editor and Registry editor, you might have to search tutorials for it. Alternatively, you can stick to Windows 7 or get one of the Linux distributions such as Ubuntu.

Bottom line:

Such practices are already in place with Google’s Android, Apple iOS devices. But Microsoft has also joined the team and now it is being practiced on a bigger scale. Surely, there are benefits of data-collection, you get your Data synchronized on multiple devices through Cloud services. I am not against this, but I’m worried about how they will handle our data, is it in safe hands?


  1. Thank God Justin is paying attention, getting Windows 10 is like getting a legal contract from an unscrupulous vendor. Skip reading all of the fine print at your peril. I have a bandwidth cap with my ISP and didn’t know that MS made me a P2P server without even asking

  2. Not surprising.

    I turned everything off and used a sniffer to figure out what was left and copious amounts of personal data was still being sent to microsoft. Windows defender, smartscreen and “security and maintenance” were the biggest culprits.

    It is not an operating system if it doesn’t let you operate it as you wish. Microsoft is turning it’s back on straight productivity in favor of data harvesting.

    Everything takes more clicks to accomplish, settings are scattered across dozens of different panels and windows, making it more difficult to control your own machine that you bought with your own money, it is using your bandwidth that you are also paying for with your own money as it wishes without asking permission for anything, etc etc.

    I’m not a gamer, I’m a productivity/power user. I don’t need or want all that stupid fluff that is basically trying to transform your expensive PC into a stupid tablet. I bought a PC because I hate tablets.

    Microsoft already lost my trust with the Xbox one debacle, then Windows 8 and now that I bought a new computer I thought I should give 10 a try, but as soon as it connected to the net, dozens of garbage apps flood my bandwidth with my data, sending it wherever it wants, using it to update stranger’s computers.

    My own PC is trying to tell me where I can or cannot save my own files, I have to fiddle around to “take ownership” of things I already own, etc etc. It’s is a straight nightmare.

    I’m moving back to windows 7, as I’ve done many times in the past. I got it down to a science.

  3. Privacy is absolutely integral to freedom and human rights. While it may be true that the government and Microsoft already had the means to spy on people, it was illegal for such spying to occur. Even only 10 years ago in 2008, people would have reacted with outrage if they knew companies were stealing data from their computers. Consumers used to be asked for permission to update our computers or before installing completely new software. Windows 10 is the turning point in history because it is an overt start in violating consumer privacy. This will be seen as the beginnings of overt population surveillance.

    Computers are now a necessity in life. To force a person to sign away their right to privacy for simply using a computer is like a grocery store forcing a person to sign their right to privacy for buying food to eat. It is extremely coercive especially since Microsoft dominates the market.

    Microsofts’ actions show they do not value privacy which means they do not value human rights nor freedom. Now Microsoft shows they believe it is acceptable to update your computer whenever they want, install completely different software on a product you already purchased. It is mere weak individuals against a powerful company.

    I will never want to support injustice, so I cannot support Microsoft, a company that violates human rights. I am very happy to see there are people who share this outraged against this terrible injustice. I was beginning to think I was the only one to see the problems with Windows 10 and everyone around me was blind to these ethical violations. I will never buy Microsoft Windows computers.


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