Microsoft admits Windows 10 automatic spying cannot be stopped

“Last week changes to the Windows 10 upgrade path mean it is going to become increasingly difficult for any non-techy users to avoid being pushed to Microsoft’s new operating system,” Gordon Kelly reports for Forbes.

“Speaking to PC World, Microsoft Corporate Vice President Joe Belfiore explained that Windows 10 is constantly tracking how it operates and how you are using it and sending that information back to Microsoft by default,” Kelly reports. “More importantly he also confirmed that, despite offering some options to turn elements of tracking off, core data collection simply cannot be stopped.”

“So how concerned should users be about Windows 10’s default data collection policies? I would say very,” Kelly reports. “By default Windows 10 Home is allowed to control your bandwidth usage, install any software it wants whenever it wants (without providing detailed information on what these updates do), display ads in the Start Menu (currently it has been limited to app advertisements), send your hardware details and any changes you make to Microsoft and even log your browser history and keystrokes which the Windows End User Licence Agreement (EULA) states you allow Microsoft to use for analysis.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Last year, Apple CEO Tim Cook posted an open letter to customers on Here it is, verbatim:

At Apple, your trust means everything to us. That’s why we respect your privacy and protect it with strong encryption, plus strict policies that govern how all data is handled.

Security and privacy are fundamental to the design of all our hardware, software, and services, including iCloud and new services like Apple Pay. And we continue to make improvements. Two-step verification, which we encourage all our customers to use, in addition to protecting your Apple ID account information, now also protects all of the data you store and keep up to date with iCloud.

We believe in telling you up front exactly what’s going to happen to your personal information and asking for your permission before you share it with us. And if you change your mind later, we make it easy to stop sharing with us. Every Apple product is designed around those principles. When we do ask to use your data, it’s to provide you with a better user experience.

We’re publishing this website to explain how we handle your personal information, what we do and don’t collect, and why. We’re going to make sure you get updates here about privacy at Apple at least once a year and whenever there are significant changes to our policies.

A few years ago, users of Internet services began to realize that when an online service is free, you’re not the customer. You’re the product. But at Apple, we believe a great customer experience shouldn’t come at the expense of your privacy.

Our business model is very straightforward: We sell great products. We don’t build a profile based on your email content or web browsing habits to sell to advertisers. We don’t “monetize” the information you store on your iPhone or in iCloud. And we don’t read your email or your messages to get information to market to you. Our software and services are designed to make our devices better. Plain and simple.

One very small part of our business does serve advertisers, and that’s iAd. We built an advertising network because some app developers depend on that business model, and we want to support them as well as a free iTunes Radio service. iAd sticks to the same privacy policy that applies to every other Apple product. It doesn’t get data from Health and HomeKit, Maps, Siri, iMessage, your call history, or any iCloud service like Contacts or Mail, and you can always just opt out altogether.

Finally, I want to be absolutely clear that we have never worked with any government agency from any country to create a backdoor in any of our products or services. We have also never allowed access to our servers. And we never will.

Our commitment to protecting your privacy comes from a deep respect for our customers. We know that your trust doesn’t come easy. That’s why we have and always will work as hard as we can to earn and keep it.


Apple’s Privacy webpages are here.

Porsche chooses Apple Car Play over Android Auto because of Google’s rampant data collection demands – October 6, 2015
Apple acquires advanced artificial intelligence startup Perceptio – October 5, 2015
Apple takes a swing at privacy-tampling, personal data-guzzling rivals like Google – September 29, 2015
Apple reinvents the privacy policy – September 29, 2015
Apple selling targeted ads, but their new privacy policies shows they think different about tracking – September 29, 2015
Apple: Hey Siri and Live Photos data stays only on your device to ensure privacy – September 12, 2015
Apple issues iPhone manifesto; blasts Android’s lack of updates, lack of privacy, rampant malware – August 10, 2015
Edward Snowden supports Apple’s stance on customer privacy – June 17, 2015
Mossberg: Apple’s latest product is privacy – June 12, 2015
Apple looks to be building an alternative to the Google-branded, hand-over-your-privacy ‘Internet Experience’ – June 11, 2015
Understanding Apple and privacy – June 8, 2015
Edward Snowden: Apple is a privacy pioneer – June 5, 2015
Edward Snowden’s privacy tips: ‘Get rid of Dropbox,” avoid Facebook and Google – October 13, 2014
Apple CEO Tim Cook ups privacy to new level, takes direct swipe at Google – September 18, 2014
A message from Tim Cook about Apple’s commitment to your privacy – September 18, 2014
Apple will no longer unlock most iPhones, iPads for police, even with search warrants – September 18, 2014

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “russ” for the heads up.]


  1. This sounds like really useful progress from Microsoft.

    I would however recommend that Windows 10 ‘auto install’ function be extended to ‘auto recommend’, which will monitor a users frustration with Windows 10 and then ‘auto recommend’ that the user improve their health by purchasing a Macintosh to work seamlessly alongside their iPhone & iPad. This Macintosh would then have a completely non-Windows 10 environment, a better health outcome for the user, together with no spying!!

  2. So Microsoft admits to outdoing Google in the “You are our product.” department.

    Why am I not the least surprised?

    Next? Similar tracking and reporting back will be installed in all versions of MS Office.

    1. Very good–very good…from the company’s creator and long-time CEO (BGates) recently stated that capitalism has failed and that the govt needs to intervene to MAKE businesses act (re: global warming). He wasn’t just talking about laws–he was talking about central control–not a market based structure–socialism with a big “S”. 1983 makes more progress.

    2. Apple – Designs products so that NO ONE can invade the privacy of customers. Not even Apple itself.

      Microsoft – Designs products so that spying is automatic and cannot be turned OFF. Not even Microsoft can stop it.

  3. I work in healthcare..and this is not ok. Even if our proxy blocks it, it will be a configuration nightmare due to the way our network security works. Has MS forgotten their bread and butter is enterprise??

    1. This is not ok for banking, aerospace, energy, military, government, public utilities … retail, restaurants … you name it… and HIPPA, as you mention. Does MS work for CIA? Maybe they will allow a truck of W10 packages to overturn on a Hong Kong street corner …

    2. According to other reports, even a proxy/Vpn will not block the reporting to Microsoft.

      So glad I’m an apple guy. Only one PC in my house left, gaming and it’s still on win 7. And always will be.

  4. We are increasingly handing over our personal and private information to businesses and governments around the world. With this new “openness” we share our personal information, medical information, financial information, location, habits, interests, purchase history, budget, income, wealth, debt, credit history, identity information, passwords, home security and camera feeds and anything else digitally documented about us, or any friends, family, or associates we interact with.

    Following along these trends that welcome the digital Peeping Toms into our lives, when will we get rid of our curtains and install light switches outside our windows to welcome physical Peeping Toms to observe us in our private lives, interacting with our family and friends?

    I, for one, do not welcome this new kinky, creepy world that businesses and governments are telling use everyday will make life safer, easier, and better for us. I support Apple, and their privacy policies, but their competitors (Google, Facebook, Microsoft, etc….) have different policies and agendas and they have a lot of political and lobbying clout. A government that wants to access all the same private information on each of us, “For the greater good”, doesn’t need to be lobbied much. Last week the Senate passed their Peeping Tom legislation, and today the Brits are expected to introduce theirs.

    Sad times for personal freedom and privacy!

  5. Ok, let me get this straight, when Apple pushed 150Mb of music from the U2 albun, the media went crazy and mount a new inquisition against Apple for pushing that albun with out proper consent from the user who was able to delete those 150mb any time.

    But when Microsoft push 4Gb or more of data and screw your entire machine and requires you to backup, for,at and restore you computer and deactivate security in order to avoid that happening again.. Just one or two media organizations reported the issue.. Are we going to have impartial professional media and reporters some day?

    1. More importantly yet, is the information sent encrypted when YOUR data is sent to MS?

      If someone uses Win10 for business, they are nuts. I’m going to keep Win7, but not allow it to ever go on the Internet for my work.

      Macs market share is bound to keep going up with MS tactics.

  6. Like a poster above, I work in healthcare.

    Over the last decade, most companies that make medical equipment have abandoned Unix and variants for Windows of some flavor. A few use Red Hat LINUX, but that is the exception.

    There is no way in hell that I can see any IT department of hospital allowing anything like this in the door. Our standing IT policy can get an employee fired for connecting a personal USB device to ANY computer anywhere in our system. It is not an idle threat and has been used. The HIPPA law is for real and can expose companies to significant financial and legal pain.

  7. Ya ya my iPhone spies on me too waaaa waaaa waaa. How many iPhone users know about the usage and tracking info being sent to Apple and bother to turn it off ? Pretty much none of them

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