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France gives Microsoft three months to stop Windows 10 from collecting "excessive" user data

By midian182 ยท 6 replies
Jul 21, 2016
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  1. Many US tech companies haven’t found France to be a very welcoming place recently. Authorities in the country told Facebook it must stop tracking non-users and sending data to the States earlier this year, and Google had its Paris headquarters raided by Police in a tax evasion probe last May.

    The latest firm to incur the wrath of France’s data protection commission is Microsoft. It seems the Commission Nationale de l'Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL) isn’t very happy with Windows 10, and it’s nothing to do with (thankfully now expired) upgrade nagware.

    The CNIL has issued a formal notice to Microsoft stating that Windows 10 “must stop collecting excessive user data” from the ten million people in France who have the OS installed without their consent. The watchdog highlighted the fact that Microsoft records which apps users download and how long they spend on them.

    Additionally, the CNIL wants Microsoft to stop using cookies to serve up ads without properly informing users and without offering a way to opt out. It also takes issue with the 4-digit PIN system that lets users access their Microsoft accounts; the Commission says it is insecure as it allows an unlimited number of login attempts.

    Finally, there’s the problem of Microsoft continuing to transfer French account holders’ personal data to the US under the Safe Harbor agreement, despite the European Court of Justice ruling it invalid back in October last year.

    The CNIL has given Microsoft three months to comply with the notice; if no action is taken, an internal investigator may be appointed who could issue sanctions against the company.

    In a statement to Reuters, Microsoft vice president and deputy general counsel David Heiner said the company would work closely with the CNIL over the next few months to understand its concerns fully and "to work toward solutions that it will find acceptable."

    Image credit: ricochet64 / Shutterstock

    Permalink to story.

  2. mbrowne5061

    mbrowne5061 TS Evangelist Posts: 715   +336

    1) Android and iOS monitor which apps users download and how much they use them (daily active users)
    2) I doubt all 10 million had Win10 installed without their consent
    3) You can opt-out of ads, it is actually pretty easy to do (Unlike Android and iOS)
    4) Previous-gen passwords allowed for unlimited login attempts, but by using a pin for your device, you can set a more secure (longer to type) password for your account
    5) I got nothing on the Safe Harbors bit. If its illegal, its illegal.
    Reehahs likes this.
  3. 1) So because others do it, it is o.k. if I do it too. Faulty reasoning.
    2) Yes, seems high, France has a population of about 70 million, but who am I to dispute what they know more about.
    3) Default is ads, IMHO they have NO business being there in the first place. Just because you can avoid it doesn't mean it's o.k.
    4) I'm sure every Mom and Pop even know what you are talking about much less how to do it. Again, shouldn't be default
    5) If the French gov't has problems with all of the above and even wants to make them illegal, it's their right. If MS wants win 10 there, they must comply or leave.
    Reehahs likes this.
  4. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,647   +3,270

    "to work toward solutions that it will find acceptable."
    In other words, a healthy bribe may do the trick.
  5. Teko03

    Teko03 TS Evangelist Posts: 396   +179

    Nope, just as they did with China, that'll make a modified version of Windows 10 for France.
  6. Darth Shiv

    Darth Shiv TS Evangelist Posts: 1,800   +460

    If they make another version, I'd be interested
  7. mbrowne5061

    mbrowne5061 TS Evangelist Posts: 715   +336

    My point with 1) is that iOS and Android have been doing it for over a decade now - why have they gotten a pass? As for 2) "10 million" just sounds like they estimated how many upgraded from 7/8.1 to 10 by looking at OS reportings from ad tracking agencies, and they assumed that all of them were upgraded against their will. I just can't picture 10 million people writing to their govt., complaining about an OS.

    3)-5) are all good counter points.

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