Windows 10 privacy concerns are legitimate

Microsoft Corporate Vice President Joe Belfiore has finally admitted what we’ve known all along: Windows 10 talks to Microsoft servers even if you’ve disabled every available privacy-related setting.

Of course, Belfiore says that this is nothing to worry about, since it’s being done to make Windows 10 work better for everyone. He’s probably not lying about Microsoft’s intentions, but all the same, I don’t want my O/S to do this kind of thing. And I don’t care if blocking this unwanted communication makes Microsoft’s work more difficult.

Unless Microsoft relents and provides a method for disabling all of this anti-privacy communication, your choices are: a) give up and stop worrying about it; b) avoid Windows 10 completely; or c) use one of the available third-party methods, such as Spybot Anti-Beacon, to block all of this ‘phone home’ behaviour.

Normally, I’d go for option C. But I’m running Windows 10 as part of the Insider Preview program, and blocking all communication to Microsoft would almost certainly result in my being kicked from the program. So it’s option A for me.

About jrivett

Jeff Rivett has worked with and written about computers since the early 1980s. His first computer was an Apple II+, built by his father and heavily customized. Jeff's writing appeared in Computist Magazine in the 1980s, and he created and sold a game utility (Ultimaker 2, reviewed in the December 1983 Washington Apple Pi Journal) to international markets during the same period. Proceeds from writing, software sales, and contract programming gigs paid his way through university, earning him a Bachelor of Science (Computer Science) degree at UWO. Jeff went on to work as a programmer, sysadmin, and manager in various industries. There's more on the About page, and on the Jeff Rivett Consulting site.

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