We’ve known that some of today’s biggest tech players have little regard for online privacy. Well, Microsoft is among them. Windows 10 users have every reason to be concerned about their privacy. Word has been getting around that Microsoft’s latest operating system (OS) has been recording everything you’ve been typing since you installed it. Microsoft’s pre-installed keylogger is a major cause for concern.
Breaching Your Privacy with Your “Consent”
It might sound unsettling, but Windows 10 users have been sending the contents of virtually every keystroke they do to Microsoft. Blame this on the fact that the OS enables a keylogger in its system by default. It’s nothing new, though. Techies and experts reveal that the keylogger feature has been around since the operating system’s release.
Clearly, this is an example why you should never trust when a software or OS recommends you to go through its default installation process.
This serious issue has gotten Microsoft in hot water. Even the French government has issued a strong warning against the software company: “stop collecting excessive data and tracking… users without their consent”.
Disable Keylogger on Windows 10 ASAP
Windows 10 users have technically given Microsoft their “consent” to record their every keystroke the moment they install the OS. Arguably, though, most would have probably refused such an intrusive request for information if they were properly informed of its consequences.
If you’re among those who strongly oppose Microsoft’s snooping, you should disable its keylogger. Here’s how you do it:
- Click Start on the Windows 10 home screen > Settings.
- Once you’re in, go to Privacy > General and switch off the Send Microsoft info about how I write to help us improve typing and writing in the future option.
Windows 10 Keylogger Records Voice Searches, Too
Besides recording everything you’ve typed on your keyboard, the aforementioned keylogger also takes note of voice commands. If you’ve ever done voice searches and message dictations, it may have already sent your voice search data to Microsoft.
If you’re not a big fan of Windows 10’s sneaky voice tracking, disable it immediately by navigating to Start > Settings > Privacy > Speech, inking & typing > and then clicking Stop getting to know me.
Reasonable Agenda behind Built-In Keylogger?
In the midst of Microsoft getting flak for its creepy practice, it offers this reason why it tracks your typing and speech patterns:
“To improve your device’s ability to correctly recognize your pronunciation and handwriting, Microsoft collects speech, inking, and typing information…”
“… Microsoft also collects information about your Calendar and People (also known as contacts) to help personalize your speech experience and helps Windows and Cortana better recognize people, events, places, and music when you dictate messages or documents.”
These quotes are the company’s official statement on its Microsoft Privacy website.
Arguments against Microsoft’s Keylogger
At first glance, the company’s grounds for acquiring your keystrokes and voice data seem reasonable. Nothing fishy about needing your info to improve Windows 10’s overall user experience, right?
Sure, their motivation is a sensible one. A good reason, however, doesn’t give them an excuse to employ methods that seem a little too underhanded. We’re sure there are more ethical ways to acquire honest feedbacks to improve Windows without sneaking a keylogger into your computer.
You may argue that Microsoft only has your best interest in mind when they require you to send such private information. What if crooks get their hands on such valuable data?
With hackers targeting (and successfully breaching) the likes of Google, Yahoo, and other big names in the technology industry, it isn’t farfetched to think that Microsoft could very well be their next target. And if cybercriminals get their hands on the company’s user database, Windows 10 users who have unknowingly passed on sensitive information up to this point could be compromised.
That’s pretty much everyone using the OS right now.
Maybe your inner cynic is telling you that perhaps people could just be making way too much fuss about brands taking privacy concerns for granted these days. Arguably, you may be right.
We’re no fans of these kinds of news either, but everybody has to understand that certain personal information has to remain anonymous at all times. There’s a reason why you don’t see anyone tweeting or posting their passwords or social security number publicly.
At the end of the day, safeguarding your right to privacy keeps what’s essential to you safe from malice and theft. And if you think Microsoft’s actions show how little they respect this fact, we won’t be surprised if you and many other Windows 10 users will seriously ponder switching to a Mac one day.
On a much lighter note, though, you should probably stick around to see the exciting stuff the upcoming Windows 10 update has in store for us.