MICROSOFT IS BACK under the scrutiny of the European Union once again, as fresh claims of privacy breaches emerge.
EU regulators have their sights set, this time on the way Windows 10 gathers its data from users. If found at fault, it faces a fine of up to four per cent of its global annual turnover.
Irony being what it is, the new problems were found as a result of testing the changes Microsoft made the last time it was accused of privacy violations in Windows over its telemetry collection.
The new investigation was headed up by the same Dutch authorities that have already come down on Microsoft like a ton of bricks in recent months. They are now warning of a number of suspect choices in Windows setup which it says represent "new, potentially unlawful" uses of personal data harvesting.
Under GDPR rules, the investigation is headed up by the country which holds the European HQ of the company in question, in this case, Ireland.
A number of big tech companies use Ireland as a base (because reasons, let's not look under that rock right now) so its regulators are getting rather good at all this - albeit with the caveat that it already has a lot on its plate already.
Microsoft, in amongst the PR flannel, confirmed that: "We will work with the Irish Data Protection Commission to learn about any further questions or concerns it may have, and to address any further questions and concerns as quickly as possible."
Advice from the Dutch authorities points at several danger points in the process. Firstly, it asks what "non-diagnostic" data it is collecting and why - and is it too much?
It also points to one of those irritating interjections that Cortana makes during setup - specifically agreeing to the T&Cs with the warning: "If you don't agree, y'know, no Windows!" which is exactly what a glazer will tell you when he demands a cup of tea. μ
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