Windows 10 Privacy Settings

Excerpt from the Windows end user license agreement which is part of the 45 pages of the terms and conditions:

“We will access, disclose and preserve personal data, including your content (such as the content of your emails, other private communications or files in private folders), when we have a good faith belief that doing so is necessary to:

  1. comply with applicable law or respond to valid legal process, including from law enforcement or other government agencies;
  2. protect our customers, for example to prevent spam or attempts to defraud users of the services, or to help prevent the loss of life or serious injury of anyone;
  3. operate and maintain the security of our services, including to prevent or stop an attack on our computer systems or networks; or
  4. protect the rights or property of (our company) , including enforcing the terms governing the use of the services – however, if we receive information indicating that someone is using our services to traffic in stolen intellectual or physical property of (our company), we will not inspect a customer’s private content ourselves, but we may refer the matter to law enforcement.”


Windows 10 brings with it some irritating privacy invading features

To install Windows 10 you must agree to the above and if you are part of the millions of people who have already updated their system, chances are that you have not read the full agreement.

According to the European Digital Rights Organization (EDRi): “Microsoft basically grants itself very broad rights to collect everything you do, say and write with and on your devices in order to sell more targeted advertising or to sell your data to third parties.”

Selecting the “Express install” option, while you are updating to Windows 10, will automatically selects the default settings that allow Windows to gather information about you from your files, location, browsing history, contacts and calendar etc.


These are the most important new features that you may want to switch off:

1) Your unique advertising ID – Windows will collect and use data in order to show you ads in your apps, which will be tailored specifically to your “needs”. Even classic games such as solitaire will be showing you unavoidable ads. To turn off the advertising ID go to Settings/Privacy/ General.

2) WUDO – It is short for Windows Update Delivery Optimization and it is a new way of giving users access to Windows updates. Traditionally users would download updates from the company’s servers. However, now other Windows users can download them directly from your computer in a process quite similar to torrents. Ideally you would not like other to have access to your computer and possibly your personal information and data. You may turn this off by following the steps below:

  • Launch Settings (Windows Key+I) and click on the ‘Windows Update settings’ option.
  • Then click on ‘Advanced options’.
  • Select the ‘Choose how updates are delivered’ option.
  • Now turn the toggle to ‘Off’.

3) WI-Fi Sense – This is a service that automatically opens up your Wi-Fi connection to all your contacts on Facebook, Outlook or Skype that are within your surrounding area. The idea behind this is that it eliminates the need to look for the Wi-Fi password every time a friend visiting. However, this raises the issue that you cannot select who is granted this convenience. You risk unintentionally letting people into your network. You may turn this off in Network settings > Manage Wi-Fi settings > Toggle to OFF.

4) Cortana – She is your new personal assistant but for her to do her job; she will need to gather information including your name, contacts, calendar events and more. You may can turn Cortana off here: Settings > Privacy > Speech, inking, & typing > Stop getting to know me.

In total there are 13 different subsections in the Privacy menu under settings offers. We recommend going through them all, to decide what and how much information you would like to share.

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