Windows 10 Privacy Settings

by Volker Weber

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I suggest you visit the Settings app after upgrading to Windows 10 April 2018 update. Microsoft has consolidated all privacy settings in one place. Example Activity: if you want to use the Timeline feature, you need to let Windows collect what you are doing. If you want to use that data across computers, you need to sync those activities through the cloud. Another example is Location: You can switch it on or off, and if you switch it on, you can control exactly which applications have access to location information.

What you want to allow is a matter of trust. When I meet somebody after midnight in a dark alley, I am going to trust him more, if he is walking a dog or pushing a pram with a crying baby. Both would appear to have a business that makes sense to me.

The same holds true for any service I use. I would trust Apple and Microsoft more than Facebook and Google. Any piece of software that you use is a potential threat and you can't really see what it is doing. Like you cannot see what that other person in the alley is thinking, but you can assume the best until you see certain pattterns that signal danger.

I don't freak out when Apple or Microsoft want diagnostic information or app telemetry from my computer. I know what it is used for. But if I can help it, then I won't let Facebook have anything at all. The alarming pattern isn't that Facebook is collecting all that data, but that they will lie to me about the extent of data collection and that they will leak the data collected. This sets them apart from Google. Google makes an effort to be transparent and show you what they have. And unlike Facebook which has often "un-deleted" things I have "erased", this has never happened to me with Google. Gone seems to be gone.

One of the reasons I keep my Facebook account is to creep on people who trust anything with Facebook but nothing with Microsoft. I find this behaviour hilarious.

Comments

I couldn't agree more.

Frank van Rijt, 2018-05-02

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I explain difficult concepts in simple ways. For free, and for money. Clue procurement and bullshit detection.

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