We welcome the opportunity to continue to work with the Dutch DPA on their comments related to Windows 10 Home and Pro, and we will continue to cooperate with the DPA to find appropriate solutions.
Although collection of data is a generally unpopular practice from a consumer standpoint, Microsoft does have valid uses and benefits from collecting extensive metadata. Further, the agency claims that Microsoft makes it very hard for the users to approve their personal data for processing.
Microsoft is offering some cool features in the mobile version of its Edge browser. Microsoft has indicated that it wants to end all violations.
According to the Dutch DPA, the goal of telemetry is two-fold.
Microsoft previously released a preview version on iOS-actually, iPhone-only, first to Windows Insiders only and then, a few days later, to any interested party. With Voice Search, you can simply use your voice to perform a web search, a feature that could come in handy at times. These data are called "telemetry data". With telemetry Microsoft - as it were - takes pictures of the behavior of Windows users, and continuously sends these pictures to itself. Because of the company's approach to data collection, the users can't provide valid consent to Microsoft, according to the European Union data protection legislation. They are not informed which data are being used for what goal, neither that based on these data, personalised advertisements and recommendations can be presented, if those users have not opted out from these default settings on installation or afterwards. The DPA is lead to believe that this telemetry data "take pictures" of the way Windows 10 users behave in the OS, creating an "intrusive profile". "What does that mean?" "They are not informed which data are being used for what objective, neither that based on these data, personalized advertisements and recommendations can be presented, if those users have not opted out from these default settings on installation or afterwards". We also told you that the Android version of the app would be coming soon.
Microsoft offers users an overview of the categories of data that it collects through basic telemetry, but only informs people in a general way, with examples, about the categories of personal data it collects through full telemetry. Inkpad document contents can also be collected when full telemetry is enabled. "Through this combination of purposes and the lack of transparency Microsoft can not obtain a legal ground, such as consent, for the processing of data". Microsoft Edge will pull up the reading and information right onto your screen. Another new feature is the Continue on PC that lets you view the photos directly on PC without making major changes to any of your devices. Microsoft, however, has also raised some concerns with the Dutch agency "about the accuracy of some of its findings and conclusions". Microsoft uses opt-out options.
While conventional attacks using vulnerabilities and exploits in the operating system or application software are still used routinely, due to increased vigilance from vendors on this matter attackers have started gravitating towards exploiting the user in order to carry out their nefarious activities.