Windows 10 Data Collection to Rival the NSA

Windows 10 data collection to rival the NSA

Many probably have heard that Microsoft installed quite a bit of spyware onto their newest installment of Windows.  This data collection scheme has been built carefully by Microsoft to allow for the collection of keystrokes, words and personal data, not that different from what the NSA has been accused of recently.  With 110 million devices running this data collection program called Windows 10, they may the next target for data collection by governments as well.

Windows 10 was supposed to the perfect combination of Windows 7 and Windows 8, but many have downloaded the “free” upgrade offered from Microsoft.  Everybody knows in this world, nothing is free, and you are paying Microsoft with your personal data that is collected by this operating system.  If you download the 12 page End User License Agreement (EULA), is tucked this paragraph if you read carefully:

“Finally, 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…4.protect the rights or property of Microsoft, 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 Microsoft, we will not inspect a customer’s private content ourselves, but we may refer the matter to law enforcement.”


There have been many blogs a buzz throughout the internet on how to supposedly “disable” this spying features that come default on Windows 10.  However according to Swati Khandelwal of The Hacker News, the spying features simply don’t “turn off.”  Eventually, you must ask yourself, “Is Windows 10 worth the loss of privacy?”  If you notice, you will see that Microsoft will make the decision to look through your personal files at its discretion.  This includes possibly searching your system for what it deems as “pirated” software or hardware.  This could lead to criminal or civil charges against a person who might be guilty of anything in the first place.  You might think this is crazy, but it’s right there in the EULA.

Our Analysis

From a privacy perspective, we recommend not downloading this new “free” upgrade, until there has been a verified method developed for disabling these data collection features.  Microsoft is not making any friends in the cybersecurity industry with these underhanded methods.  The only thing between your data and Microsoft obtaining this data for anything they wish, is good faith, and that is not trustworthy.  We hope by spreading this information, it will force Microsoft to allow users to disable these features or opt out them being installed completely.



Here are some of our blog posts to read in the meantime:

Potential Amazon Password Leak
Top 5 Cybersecurity Threats in 2015
Top 5 Cybersecurity Myths that May Surprise You
Microsoft State of Security Address Experian (includes T-Mobile)
Trump Hotels
Tesla and Chrysler (unrelated to each other)
Apple App Store
U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM)
Kaspersky & FireEye (unrelated to each other)
Excellus Blue Cross Blue Shield
Ashley Madison
Ashley Madison (follow up)

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About Matthew Eliason

Matthew Eliason was born in Houston, Texas.  Upon graduating from high school, he joined the Navy.  His first tour was as an Information Systems Technician of a 130 client DOD network where he developed the documentation and maintenance procedures from 2007-2012.  In 2012, he transferred shore duty where he serves as a system and security administrator. He graduates with a Bachelor’s of Science in Information Technology from American Military University in November of 2015. He holds the CompTIA Security+ certification and has extensive experience in DOD Information Assurance (IA) and Cyber Security compliance and procedures.  He enjoys golf, hiking, watching football in his spare time.