Friday, July 31, 2015

Commentary: Windows 10's Dark Secret

By Nydia Tungsten
Edited by Brandi Tungsten

When I first heard Windows 10 was in the works, I was skeptical. We all knew that Windows would skip an OS version with quality for example, Win 98 was okay and then NT was a flop, XP was a good one then Vista. I have Windows 7 and I skipped 8 for just this reason. That is a personal opinion I share with quite a few other folks and we all thought okay, 10 should be the good one, then I heard they would be giving it away for free.....

Okay....these are the people that wanted to charge me $100 for a new copy of Vista because I reinstalled it so many times, the same ones that did that with my copy of MS Word. Then, when I bought it electronically and had to download it again, it said there was no record of me buying it.

Now out of the goodness of their hearts, they are going to give away their latest OS. Okay, I smell something fishy, so I looked and looked and was lulled into a false sense of hope. Then, last night, my friend, Lomgren, posted something in our family group chat about Microsoft's new privacy agreement and what they are helping themselves too in the process. I read that article then went looking for more, and dear Goddess, a scary thought popped into my head as I looked at article after article. Let me show you a bit of what I had found.

Microsoft has grabbed some very broad powers to collect things you do, say and create while using its software. Your data won’t be staying on your computer, that much is for sure. Sign into Windows with your Microsoft account and the operating system immediately syncs settings and data to the company’s servers. That includes your browser history, favorites and the websites you currently have open as well as saved app, website and mobile hotspot passwords and Wi-Fi network names and passwords. You can deactivate that by hopping into settings, but I’d argue that it should be opt-in rather than on by default. Many users won’t get round to turning it off, even though they would probably want to. ”

I read that and was shocked why would it need to send my passwords and history to the company? But then it got worse...

Turn on Cortana, the virtual assistant, and you’re also turning on a whole host of data sharing:
To enable Cortana to provide personalized experiences and relevant suggestions, Microsoft collects and uses various types of data, such as your device location, data from your calendar, the apps you use, data from your emails and text messages, who you call, your contacts and how often you interact with them on your device.
Cortana also learns about you by collecting data about how you use your device and other Microsoft services, such as your music, alarm settings, whether the lock screen is on, what you view and purchase, your browse and Bing search history, and more.”
Lots of things can live in those two words “and more.” Also note that because Cortana analyzes speech data, Microsoft collects “your voice input, as well as your name and nickname, your recent calendar events and the names of people in your appointments, and information about your contacts including names and nicknames.”

Realistically, Cortana can’t work in the semi-magical way it does without being able to gobble up all that information. But it’s worth being aware of just how wide-ranging its access to your and your friends’/contacts’ data is.”

Now I was more than a bit nervous when I read that then thought about it, yes for a virtual assistant to work it would need that info, but again it should stay on your system NOT the Microsoft servers. Advertisers will know exactly who you are:

"Windows 10 generates a unique advertising ID for each user on each device. That can be used by developers and ad networks to profile you. Again, you can turn this off in settings, but you need to know where to look.”

With that one it looked like Microsoft is in league with the spammers. I mean really? A custom ID for every one of us that don't know about this so advertisers can track us online more than they already do, and this would defeat any anti-spyware you already have because it would be authorized by the OS itself. But even with all of this mounting evidence of Microsoft digging their fingers into our PRIVATE systems, came this next piece, dear Goddess......

Microsoft can disclose your data when it feels like it
This is the part you should be most concerned about: Microsoft’s new privacy policy assigns it very loose when it comes to when it will or won’t access and disclose your personal data:
We will access, disclose and preserve personal data, including your content (such as the content of your emails, other private communications or files in private folders), when we have a good faith belief that doing so is necessary to protect our customers or enforce the terms governing the use of the services.”

Good Faith? Just who's good faith are they talking about? And why should we give them the back door when even the NSA doesn't have one …..yet? So, they would be able to peruse your system and look for things THEY think might be wrong is some way or another. They can even look at any networks you are connected to and the other systems there, so even if you are not on your home network you give them rights to look at others systems, not just your own.
So, here is my horrifying thought, we all know the music and entertainment industry has been pushing bill after bill after bill at Congress, as well as pushing the ISP's around trying to get access like this. What if they now have Microsoft in their pocket and paid them off to create an OS that would track us for them and give it away for free so EVERYONE could have one, so EVERYONE could be tracked, and EVERYONE would be under their thumb?

So it turns out the old adage is most likely true, if it looks to good to be true, it probably is. As for me, Windows 10 will not be touching my networks nor will I share my network with anyone that has a Windows 10 system anywhere that they interact with.

Am I being paranoid? Maybe.... but I now say this tongue in cheek:

Just because I AM paranoid doesn't mean they're NOT out to get me”

So, be careful out there on the World Wide Web. It CAN be a dark place, and a lot of things can be hidden from us. That said, below are a few of the sources I have read about this. I urge each and everyone of you to look into these deeply before you get Windows 10.

Windows 10, Microsoft and your personal data: what you need to know (only in French, 11.06.2015)

Microsoft provides privacy dashboard ahead of Windows 10 launch (04.06.2015)

Nydia Tungsten


  1. The invasion of privacy is indeed wrong but easily enough disabled with only a handful of things to do if they apply to you such as wifi as listed by a tech guru you know (Caigan) in the CR family Nydia: and


  2. yes it is possible to stop MOST of them, but not all, and you shouldn't NEED to opt out of should be opt in if anything