MICROSOFT COULD BE giving members of its Windows Insider Programme for Windows 10 more attention than they might like.
"Microsoft collects information about you, your devices, applications and networks, and your use of those devices, applications and networks. Examples of data we collect include your name, email address, preferences and interests; browsing, search and file history; phone call and SMS data; device configuration and sensor data; and application usage."
In fact, so far, that's pretty standard stuff, though a bit disconcerting. However, if you go on a bit, it also says:
"We may collect information about your device and applications and use it for purposes such as determining or improving compatibility" and "use voice input features like speech-to-text, we may collect voice information and use it for purposes such as improving speech processing."
In other words, Windows can collect your voice and anything you say, which is quite intrusive.
But we're only just getting started. The killer statement says, "If you open a file, we may collect information about the file, the application used to open the file, and how long it takes any use [of] it for purposes such as improving performance, or [if you] enter text, we may collect typed characters, we may collect typed characters and use them for purposes such as improving autocomplete and spellcheck features."
In other words, in effect, you are giving permission for Microsoft to screen your files, and in effect keylog your keyboard input. Renowned Windows blogger Mary Jo Foley recently said, "I've heard Microsoft built a new real-time telemetry system codenamed 'Asimov' (yes, another Halo-influenced codename) that lets the OS team see in near real-time what's happening on users' machines."
It certainly appears that she is right. We've contacted Microsoft for comment and will update this story as soon as Redmond is awake. In the meantime, think twice before you download Windows 10. You're promising a lot.
Earlier this week, it transpired that a number of parents had agreed to give up their first born children after failing to read the terms and conditions of a free WiFi hotspot. This is not the first time a company has made a point this way. In 2010, 7,500 customers of erstwhile game retailer Gamestation signed over their "immortal soul" to the company in a hidden clause added as an April Fools gag. µ
You no longer need to cut the cord off
Before they start shipping on 24 October
Another fine mesh
But, er, it'll be available in pink