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Microsoft using Windows 10 to pry on users’ data, report claims

Microsoft using Windows 10 to pry on users’ data, report claims
More than 14 million devices may be running Windows 10, but Microsoft is under fire for collecting users’ information without their consent.
The tech giant angered privacy watchdogs with an updated privacy statement saying it can access private emails, address books and other files.
Now, a report suggests the system will even send identifiable information to Microsoft if a user activates the software’s privacy protection settings and switches certain features off completely.
Microsoft, however, insists “no query or search usage data is sent to Microsoft, in accordance with the customer’s chosen privacy settings”.
Microsoft has previously said it does not collect data without users’ consent, but work by Ars Technica could be interpreted as contradicting the statement.
The technology website’s report seems to show that Windows 10 still contacts Microsoft even when certain internet-reliant features such as Bing and its Cortana personal assistant are are turned off.
While this is partly to test for an internet connection, OneDrive data seemed to be transmitted even when the feature is not active, said Ars Technica.
Data sent and requested from Microsoft to its OneDrive cloud storage service has a user ID attached,The Guardian reported.
The experts used a local login to Windows 10 rather than a Microsoft account and had every privacy protecting setting switched on.
“Windows 10 seems to transmit information to the server even when OneDrive is disabled,” Peter Bright writes.
“...The exact nature of the information being sent isn’t clear - it appears to be referencing telemetry settings -and again, it’s not clear why any data is being sent at all.”
 He noted that while some of the traffic looks harmless, it probably shouldn’t be happening.
For example, despite disabling live tiles on the system’s home page, the researchers still found Windows 10 downloaded information from its MSN news service.
While the request had no identifiable information in it, it was not encrypted.
Kirsten Fiedler, EDRi’s Managing Director told MailOnline: “Unlike Microsoft’s promise, the company’s new 45 page-long terms of service are not straightforward at all.
“Online companies should finally start explaining their terms in an understandable manner so that we can make informed choices about the services we want to use.” A spokesman for Microsoft said: “Windows does not collect personal information without your consent.
“To effectively provide Windows as a service, Microsoft gathers some performance, diagnostic and usage information that helps keep Windows and apps running properly.  Microsoft uses this information to identify problems and develop fixes.”

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