Microsoft Windows 10 Privacy With the introduction of Microsoft Windows 10, Microsoft by default gathers information about user preferences.

Microsoft Windows 10 Privacy With the introduction of Microsoft Windows 10, Microsoft by default gathers information about user preferences.


Microsoft Windows 10 Privacy

With the introduction of Microsoft Windows 10, Microsoft by default gathers information about user preferences. For example, Windows 10 assigns an advertising ID to users and then uses it to deliver customized ads and information. This has caused alarm among some users regarding intrusion into their privacy. Using the Internet, research the information gathered through Windows 10. What are the advantages of this data collection? What are the disadvantages? Is this any different from how other operating systems and websites gather information? Should Microsoft be more upfront about the collection of this data? Is there a way to turn the data collection off? If so, how is it done? Should it be easier to turn it off for users who do not want their data collected? Write a one-page paper on your research and opinions.

Answer & Explanation (1)

The information collected by Company M can be classified into the following categories:

Information about the device: Like device model, model number, and manufacturer of the devices types of information are collected.
Information of installed software: This information is collected to get details of software installed in the system and recent releases of updates.
Connectivity and configuration data: This information is collected to know about device connectivity capabilities and configuration details. It is required to maintain device performance.
Service-related information: This information is needed by Company M to deliver service to the user. For instance, if in case a user's device is lost, then the collected information about the location of user's device can help to get it back.
Optional data: To share this information, a user is free. This information may include optional diagnostic information, browsing history, crash dumps, and many more.
Benefits of data collection are:

Timely information about software updates: A user can keep his/her system up to date by getting notifications from Company M about new updates of installed software.
Monitoring of device health and performance: A user can know about the status of systems like the system processing capabilities and performance in terms of the network connection and more.
Accessing efficient services: Sharing of data makes the quality of Company M services better.
Customized user experience: More user-oriented services can be experienced by a user. For instance, based on user's browsing data, Company M can broadcast ads, recommendations for websites, software, and other products of a user's choice.
Cons of data collection are:

Privacy issues: A user may feel their privacy is invaded due to data collection. A user may feel bothered by getting notifications of updates and system cleanup. Also, data collected by Company M can leak due to a data breach attack.
Annoying advertisements and pop-ups: The data is collected for the purpose to know the users' likes or dislikes. Then, the pop-ups and various advertisements are sent. This may at times annoy the user as they may be distracted.
All the websites and OS collect almost the same type of data about the user to promote their services and give a more customized user experience.

Transparency about data collection by Company M can make this procedure better for a user. Many times, users are not even aware of this data collection, for which they have agreed during the installation process of Windows10. Company M requires to be more clear about its data collection policy.

Data collection by Company M cannot be shut from all the levels, it can only be reduced. A user can select parameters of Customized Settings to allow a minimum level of data sharing with Company M . Also, a user is required to select custom-install option for installation that helps the user to know, what kind of data is going to be shared with Company M . Then, users can get a bit of control over data collection.

It can be said that turning off data collection is not that easy for a user. But, there may be situations, when the users do not want to share the data that is being used by them. Also, the recommendations and advertisements may be annoying at some times. That is why, it is necessary that the user has the option to disable this feature easily.

Sample Response
Types of information collected:

Device-related information.
Installed software and updates.
Configuration and connectivity data.
Service-related data
Optional data that might be selected by a user to share with Company M.
Pros of data collection:

Timely information about software updates.
Monitoring the device performance.
Accessing efficient services.
Customized user experience.
Cons of data collection:

Privacy issues
Annoying advertisements and pop-ups
Data collection is not much distinct from the way by which other websites and OS gather data about users, except that Company M accesses some of the information with the users' consent.

Yes, Company M is required to be more clear to its user about the data collection.

No, data collection cannot be turned off completely because some of the data is required by Company M for executing its services efficiently.

However, a user can minimize this data gathering by using Customized Settings and electing the custom-install option, during the installation process of Windows 10.

Yes, the feature of data collection should be turned off easily, when users do not want to compromise their privacy.

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