Skip to main content

The Dutch want to check that Windows 10 is not collecting more data than needed

The Dutch data protection agency expresses further doubts about Windows 10 and protecting the privacy of its users. Even if her suspicions are wrong, it's Microsoft's fault.

Windows 10 has made significant changes to the way Microsoft software is built and tested today. The creators of Windows have long used various telemetry mechanisms to test their software - anyone remember the times of Dr. Watson application? - but they have never been so ... accurate.

Windows 10 currently has four development channels. The first three - Fast Ring, Slow Ring and Release Preview - are for members of the Windows Insider program. These are future, experimental versions of Windows, and Insiders are tasked to test them. These editions report to Microsoft about almost everything we do on the computer. The last, fourth, is the production version of the system, and therefore the one intended for ordinary users. Also this one is equipped with a rich set of telemetric sensors.

These, however, do not collect data about the user, but only about the work of the system itself. So every time something goes wrong, Windows 10 collects information about it in the background and sends it to Microsoft technicians. This is a useful mechanism for the company. Thanks to this, he quickly finds out that the system used by customers has a specific defect that needs to be fixed immediately. There is only one problem: this mechanism cannot be easily turned off. For a typical user this is simply impossible.

No wonder doubts arise.

The Dutch Data Protection Agency has asked the Irish Data Protection Commission to investigate the collection of data by Windows 10. Why exactly? Microsoft with its main office in Dublin falls under the jurisdiction of this commission. This is not the first time a Dutch agency has expressed these doubts. Under the influence of a similar application from 2017, it was from the Dutch that Microsoft partially changed the wizard of the first launch of the system. The company's representative in a statement sent to TechCrunch once again expressed the will to cooperate.

The agency has no problem with telemetry itself. However, he has doubts about the amount of data collected. And it intends to check if Windows 10 does not collect more data than is required for its servicing. If they actually find something, Microsoft will face a penalty of up to 4 percent for violating European privacy laws. its global annual influence.

I bet they won't find anything. But that's Microsoft's fault.

I don't remember the occasion, but I remember defending telemetry in Windows 10 in the past. It's kind of a good idea. This, however, clearly does not work, because it will never free the company from suspicions or even accusations - right or wrong.

The argument "everyone will turn it off anyway" could have some value at the beginning. Today, however, I think that the choice should always belong to the user. And Microsoft can still count on a solid tester base, not only within the Windows Insider program. It is extremely doubtful that almost all of the 700 million active Windows users will immediately turn off telemetry. Especially since, at least in theory, it is harmless, so it could be enabled by default.

How is telemetry different from private data?

Exactly. Why does one form of data collection hurt us, and another we care less? Unlike private data, telemetry data is not related to us. We will not find information from our documents or personal data in them, but rather information such as "after connecting the Kindle Paperwhite to the USB port, a PC with such and such a configuration hangs". How do we know about this? Although Microsoft does not allow us to easily disable the telemetry mechanisms of Windows 10, but at least allows us to see what information is passed on.

windows 10 privacy investigation

To check it, go to Settings , there in Privacy , then to the Diagnostics and reviews section and there we can click Open Diagnostic Data Viewer . The file that will appear to us is formed in XML structure, so we will need some IT knowledge to understand what it contains. We can also use this tool to remove telemetry data from our computer from Microsoft's servers.

Windows 10 also collects personal data.

Fortunately, this can be turned off, and most controversial settings are turned off by default. In this matter, Microsoft is doing really well. The first time you start your computer or a freshly installed system, the wizard will welcome you with a series of boards clearly explaining what the setting is, what data is collected and whether we agree to it. The board cannot be omitted, intentionally or accidentally.

windows 10 privacy investigation

The system also has a very extensive (maybe too much) set of privacy settings. We can decide both what the system can collect about us and what individual applications can do. Each of the settings is described in detail. It's hard to fault the company here.

Choice is key.

And the argument I raised about the usefulness of telemetry loses its sense and meaning. Microsoft already has a gigantic Windows 10 user base, it doesn't have to force us on anything. The business model of this company assumes the protection of my digital security, there were no mishaps, so I trust that the telemetry data sent from my PC does not harm my interests.

Nevertheless, each user should decide about this trust himself. After all, all these controversies, FUDs, justified suspicions and everything else could be avoided with one simple button, even turned on by default: Enable / disable telemetry data collection . And so the affair is chasing the affair. In addition, who knows, it may turn out that our trust was misplaced. And the commission investigation will end with a painful financial penalty for Microsoft and a lesson for all of us.



The Dutch want to check that Windows 10 is not collecting more data than needed

Comments

Popular Questions This Week

Problems with Android Auto and your Xiaomi? So you can fix it

Unfortunately Android Auto continues to present certain problems on some Xiaomi . Errors such as error 16 that prevent our smartphone from correctly linking to this Google vehicle system. Still, these bugs are largely solvable. And it is that, in most cases the impossibility of using Android Auto through our Xiaomi is given by the dual applications themselves. In view of this and taking as a source this interesting article from Mi Community , below we will explain how to solve two of the most common errors that we usually find when linking or connecting our Xiaomi to a car with Android Auto. Fix Android Auto error on Xiaomi devices One of the main errors of the type « An error has occurred » that we usually find when connecting Android Auto to our Xiaomi is related to Google Play Services . In itself, this error shows the message « It seems that Google Play Services does not work at the moment «, making it impossible to connect Android Auto to our Xiaomi. To solve it we j

What is VoLTE and how can you activate it on your Xiaomi

In recent years, phone calls have evolved to achieve great sound quality. So much so that today we can find technologies such as VoLTE allowing us to make voice calls in high definition on our Xiaomi. Beyond the classic GSM networks, movistar, vodafone and other operators have integrated this technology, which in turn derives from the advantages of Internet access. Thanks to 4G or LTE networks, VoLTE allows us to make not only high-definition calls, but also to improve consumption and add other services . What is VoLTE and what are its advantages after activating it on a Xiaomi In detail, VoLTE is a technology capable of transmitting voice communications over the Internet . For this, whether we have a Redmi Note 8 Pro, a Xiaomi Mi A2 or any other smartphone from the firm, our voice will be encoded from analog to digital allowing its transmission in the form of packets through the network. With this, as we have already said, after activating VoLTE we will achieve higher sou

If your Xiaomi disconnects only from the WiFi it may be because of that MIUI setting

One of the most common problems in Xiaomi smartphones is usually related to the WiFi connection and its automatic disconnection . A quite annoying problem, which in most cases is usually caused by a bad MIUI configuration . If you have a Xiaomi, Redmi or POCO and you notice that sometimes your smartphone disconnects only from the WiFi without having taken any action, do not miss this article where we tell you how to solve it in most cases. Disconnection of WiFi on your Xiaomi, how to solve it Although it is true that the problem may be caused by some other failure, in most cases the spontaneous disconnection of the WiFi connection is caused by a bad MIUI configuration, specifically, its automatic connection to the networks with better signal . By having this option activated on our smartphone, if the WiFi signal drops at any time, it will automatically disconnect to use the data connection . To deactivate it enough to do the following steps: Go to Settings> WiFi> Wi-Fi

How to exit the FASTBOOT mode of your Xiaomi if you have entered accidentally

Although, the fastboot mode of Xiaomi phones with MIUI allows us to solve bugs or change ROMs, it is also common to enter without wanting to. If this has been your case, you most likely want to get out of Xiaomi's fastboot without spoiling anything. In general, leaving this mode that includes all Xiaomi, Redmi and POCO with MIUI is extremely simple. Even so, on certain occasions, exiting fastboot mode is more complex , either because Recovery starts or because our smartphone does not work correctly. In view of this, below we are going to explain how to exit the fastbook mode of your Xiaomi if you have entered without wanting to . In addition, if the conventional mode does not work, we will also give you other tips to exit this mode without causing any damage at the software level. How to exit Xiaomi fastboot If we have accidentally entered the Xiaomi fastboot , to exit this way we will only have to perform the following steps: Press and hold the power button for about 10

Does your Xiaomi charge slowly or intermittently? So you can fix it

Does your Xiaomi charge very slowly or intermittently? This error is usually very common when our cable is in poor condition, we use a low-quality charger or even when the USB or USB Type-C port of your Xiaomi is dirty or obstructed. With a view to this, below we will explain the main steps or solutions to take if your Xiaomi charges slowly , if the charge is intermittent or if in the worst case, your mobile does not detect the USB that is connected to the socket electric. 1. Clean the USB port Although it may sound simple, in most cases slow charging problems are usually caused by a piece of paper or a speck of dust that obstructs the pins of the USB port . Taking into account the nature of this connector, it is normal that after repeated use dirt accumulates inside. A dirty USB C port is usually the main cause of slow or intermittent charging. To solve this charging problem and clean the USB C port of your Xiaomi, it is recommended to blow lightly inside the port itself.

So you can check the battery status of your Xiaomi smartphone and how many cycles you have performed

Today, our smartphone has become one of the most important tools in our day to day. That is why the duration of its battery and the state of it is very important if we want to be able to use it with total peace of mind and in a continuous way. In view of this, MIUI includes a secret menu that allows us to verify the state or health of the battery of our Xiaomi smartphone and also check the cycles that we have performed . Let's not forget that each cycle represents a full battery charge from 0% to 100% Since lithium batteries degrade with the passage of time , use and recharges that we have made, knowing these two data will give us a vision of the general state of your state and with it knowing if it has worsened considerably with the passage of weather. How to check the battery status and cycles performed on our Xiaomi smartphone To access this hidden menu in MIUI and check the battery status of our Xiaomi smartphone we will only have to perform the following steps:

Improve and amplify the volume of your Xiaomi and / or headphones with these simple adjustments

With the evolution of technology and the arrival of content on demand, many of us spend much of the day with our headphones on, playing music or watching series and movies. That is why many of you have asked us how to increase the volume of the headphones in Xiaomi smartphones or even how to improve the sound quality in Xiaomi AirDots or Redmi AirDots S wireless headphones. How to improve the sound and increase the volume of the headphones in MIUI of Xiaomi If what we want is to increase or amplify the volume of our headphones on a Xiaomi smartphone with MIUI we must perform the following steps: Go to Settings app> Region We will change our region to Andorra, India or any other country outside the EU. With this adjustment we will be able to "skip" the European restrictions that limit the sound volume, obtaining greater amplification , both in headphones, and through the speaker itself. Headphones with cable and jack connector Xiaomi Mi Hybrid Pro HD. In add

How to calibrate the proximity sensor of your Xiaomi

The proximity sensor forms one of the fundamental parts of a smartphone. Whether it is in a Xiaomi Mi A3 , a Redmi Note 8 Pro or any other smartphone from the firm, this allows the screen to turn off when we are making a voice call. In addition, if the proximity sensor is correctly calibrated, it will allow us to listen to WhatsApp voice messages through the terminal's speaker . The same happens with the rest of messaging applications, since this sensor is in charge of detecting that we have our Xiaomi stuck to our ears. Of course, the proximity sensor fulfills a highly important functionality such as that our Xiaomi does not turn on accidentally if we have it stored in our pocket . Calibrating the sensor correctly will make the system itself automatically detect that it is stored in our pocket, bag, backpack, etc. How to calibrate the proximity sensor of your Xiaomi, Redmi or POCO If what we want is to calibrate the proximity sensor of a Xiaomi mobile device, whether i

How to change the font in MIUI and thus further customize your Xiaomi: so you can change the type, color and size of the letters of MIUI

Among the multiple options that MIUI offers us we find the possibility of changing the source of our Xiaomi . This option will not only allow us to change the font , but also change the font color and size . For this it is necessary to make use of some Asian region, be it India, Hong Kong or any other. In addition, it should be noted that this adjustment that allows us to change the source is only available for MIUI 9 , MIUI 10 and MIUI 11 , so if we have a Xiaomi Mi A2 or Xiaomi Mi A3 we will not be able to do it. How to change the font in MIUI To change the font in MIUI we must perform the following steps: Go to Settings> Additional settings> Region Next we select India or Hong Kong as a region. Go to the Themes application, download the font that we like the most from the new lower option that will appear with hundreds of fonts and then apply it. After applying it, it will be necessary to restart our Xiaomi mobile. Once done , we will have installed the ne

What is the Safe Mode of your Xiaomi, what is it for and how can you activate it

In addition to the typical options that we find in the MIUI settings, Xiaomi also adds a mode called " Safe Mode " or " Safe Mode " to its smartphones. We will talk about this below, explaining its usefulness and how to activate or deactivate it on your Xiaomi, Redmi or POCO. Safe Mode allows us to start a special boot, loading only the system itself and the applications that were installed on our Xiaomi when we bought it. That is, starting the Safe Mode or Safe Mode our smartphone will start loading only the essential applications . This mode is a temporary state of our smartphone and does not make any important modification on the device. In itself, Safe Mode does not delete our data , it just starts our Xiaomi, loading the basics and essentials for its operation. Safe Mode only starts essential MIUI applications. Thanks to this, the Safe Mode will help us to rule out failures in our Xiaomi derived from the installation of an application or the modific