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EU Privacy Groups Say Windows 10 Still Has Security Problems

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If your computer is running Windows 10, it may not be as secure as you think. Privacy watchdogs in the European Union have warned the popular operating system from Microsoft is still collecting user data despite the company making changes to its installation process.

The watchdogs, known as the Article 29 Working Party, are pressing Microsoft to reveal more information about its data collection practices within the operating system and are warning users of the possibility their information is being gathered.

According to the group, Microsoft’s new installation screen for Windows 10 presents users with five option to limit or cut off completely Microsoft’s ability to process their data. What the screen fails to inform users of is to what extent their information will be collected and how they will be informed of the practice.

The group acknowledged Microsoft collects user data through Windows 10 for a number of different purposes, including advertising. However, the group argued, “Microsoft should clearly explain what kinds of personal data are processed for what purposes. Without such information, consent cannot be informed, and therefore, not valid.”

Several nations within the EU have started their own, individual inquiries into the data collection practices of Windows 10. France ordered Microsoft to stop collecting what it deemed to be “excessive user data” last July.

Despite those national efforts, the group—which is made up of 28 authorities within the EU responsible for data protection law—has opted to demand answers from Microsoft. According to the watchdogs, the company has been willing to cooperate.

The concern surrounding data collection is not new for Microsoft, nor Windows 10. The same privacy group came after Microsoft last year over the default security settings of the operating system.

The group was joined by privacy advocates, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), over its aggressive methods of encouraging users to upgrade their computers to Windows 10—which the groups claimed grabbed an “unprecedented amount of usage data.”

According to the EFF, Windows 10 collected location data, text input, voice input, touch input, webpages visited and telemetry data regarding general computer usage, including which programs are run and for how long.

Microsoft addressed concerns regarding its collection practices by launching a privacy dashboard and a simplified privacy setup that allows users to change their settings to adjust the type of information Windows 10 can collect.

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