Dutch DPA says Windows 10 breaches privacy laws

Greg S

TS Evangelist

According to the Dutch data protection authority, Windows 10 is in violation of local privacy laws concerning the use of automated data collection. Since the release of Windows 10, metadata has been transmitted to Microsoft using the built in telemetry feature with no clear option to completely opt out of all information sharing.

The Dutch DPA asserts that users are not well informed that their use of Edge browser and other apps is being logged and shared. DPA Vice-Chairman Wilbert Tomesen expresses that it is difficult for users to know the extent of personal data being shared creating "an intrusive profile" of individuals using the operating system.

Currently there are two options for telemetry data in Windows 10. Basic telemetry shares only very basic statistics on usage and is unlikely to contain any personally identifiable information. Full telemetry is considered highly intrusive by many and collects detailed app usage reports in addition to web browsing behaviors within Edge. Inkpad document contents can also be collected when full telemetry is enabled.

Although collection of data is a generally unpopular practice from a consumer standpoint, Microsoft does have valid uses and benefits from collecting extensive metadata. Finding and correcting errors as well as determining which features are most used helps improve the operating system. For users that have not opted out of personalized recommendations, Microsoft can display targeted advertising in the start menu, Edge, and other apps.

As a resolution to the matter, the DPA proposes that Microsoft clarify the extent and use of all data being collected. Displaying a brief description on installation pages is not detailed enough for a compliance endorsement by the DPA. A request has been made to change the default setting from full telemetry to force users to choose a setting for themselves.

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seeprime

TS Guru
I thought the US acted slowly. It took the Dutch almost 2 1/2 years to figure out that by default Microsoft collects more information than it needs. The Basic setting is not the default, Full is. 70% (per MS) of Windows 10 PCs still have send full telemetry to Microsoft. All MS need do is make Basic the default, which they don't want to since they use data to sell ads.
 

Cal Jeffrey

TS Evangelist
Staff member
I thought the US acted slowly. It took the Dutch almost 2 1/2 years to figure out that by default Microsoft collects more information than it needs. The Basic setting is not the default, Full is. 70% (per MS) of Windows 10 PCs still have send full telemetry to Microsoft. All MS need do is make Basic the default, which they don't want to since they use data to sell ads.
You literally took the words right out of my mouth.
 
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Uncle Al

TS Evangelist
I must admit that I was kind of wondering when somebody would speak up about that .... I am afraid that we have all been lulled to sleep and allowing corporations like Microsoft, Google, and the like to take advantage of us ....
 

Underdog

TS Addict
I must admit that I was kind of wondering when somebody would speak up about that .... I am afraid that we have all been lulled to sleep and allowing corporations like Microsoft, Google, and the like to take advantage of us ....
And that is becoming our sole purpose on this earth......... or so the big corporations would have us believe.
 

Nobina

TS Evangelist
This should've been done a lot lot earlier but I'm still dissapointed nothing was done about it, they just want Microsoft to clarify what they're using it for and to give option for users to choose what level of spying they will agree to. It should be something much harsher because someone needs to protect users from these *******s.
 

Jennifer87

TS Rookie

Kenrick

TS Evangelist
Too bad I have to bite windows 10 when I will upgrade to coffee lake. That was a nice tactic to partner with intel to lock down chips not to use windows 7.