Microsoft is seemingly collecting Windows 10 users’ activity data, even when PC owners have expressly asked the company not to.
According to Reddit users, a feature deployed by Microsoft last year allowing users to opt out of their activity data being synced to the cloud, isn’t working properly.
The Reddit users say that even if they go to Settings > Privacy > Activity History in Windows 10 and uncheck “Let Windows synchronise my activities from this PC to the cloud” that data still appears in the online privacy dashboard (via betanews).
Even selecting “Clear activity history” from the same desktop menu isn’t doing the trick. Logging into the online Privacy dashboard and selecting “Activity History” still shows a list of recently launched applications.
Chris Hoffman of the How-To-Geek website says that Microsoft may not be claiming the activity data from users, but simply displaying diagnostics information. He believes Microsoft has simply named the ‘Activity History’ tab incorrectly.
Windows 10 users only have the options to select Full and Basic reporting of diagnostic data to Microsoft and Settings > Privacy > Diagnostics & Feedback. While Full reports “info about websites you browse and how you use apps and features,” Basic sends “only info about your device, it’s settings and capabilities and whether it is performing properly.”
Microsoft introduced the online Privacy dashboard in 2017 in order to be more transparent with users following multiple controversies.
As Windows chief Terry Myerson explained in a blog post at the time: “When you are signed in with your Microsoft account, you can go to account.microsoft.com/privacy to review and clear data such as browsing history, search history, location activity, and Cortana’s Notebook – all in one place.
“This is our first step in expanding the tools that give you visibility and control over your data spanning Microsoft products and services, and we will continue to add more functionality and categories of data over time.“
Unfortunately, whether it be through an error (as Hoffman suggests), or another less scrupulous reason, it appears that Microsoft is yet to get its house in order in this regard. The company is yet to comment.
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