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How private is what you share if you use Microsoft Windows? Dutch DPA states every website visited is tracked with default settings in Edge

How private is what you share if you use Microsoft Windows?  Dutch DPA states every website visited is tracked with default settings in Edge

After investigating several versions of the OS (including Windows 10 Home and Pro), the Dutch data protection authority (DPA) said today it has identified multiple breaches of data protection law.

“Microsoft does not clearly inform users about the type of data it uses, and for which purpose. Also, people cannot provide valid consent for the processing of their personal data, because of the approach used by Microsoft. The company does not clearly inform users that it continuously collects personal data about the usage of apps and web surfing behaviour through its web browser Edge, when the default settings are used,” it writes.


Personal data being harvested by default by Microsoft can include the URL of every website visited if the Windows 10 user is browsing the web with Microsoft’s Edge browser (and has not opted out of full telemetry)...


if users have not opted out it also uses data from both a basic and full telemetry level to show personalised advertisements in Windows and Edge (including all apps for sale in the Windows store), and also for showing personalised advertisements in other apps.

Microsoft’s Windows 10 breaches privacy law, says Dutch DPA (Techcrunch)


How to reclaim your privacy in Windows 10, piece by piece - PC World


(The video gives a quick visual guide, but more is covered in the article.)

So how could this impact you if you don't bother changing the Windows 10 default security settings?

Edge is the default Windows 10 browser and Microsoft make it very hard to switch away from it to other browsers like Firefox, Chrome (which Google also uses to track your Internet activity), Opera, etc. In addition to Microsoft learning about your CLL, if you don't want those passing by you to wonder why you are getting cancer related ads, you need to make the changes recommended.

Don't forget the privacy features associated with HealthUnlocked either - such as selecting 'Only followers in my community' in response to the question 'Who can see my post?' if you don't want information you have shared with this community discoverable via Internet searches. Also don't forget to change your username so that anyone finding your posts online won't identify them as coming from you: support.healthunlocked.com/...

Note that if you joined this community via Facebook or Google+, you will need to create a new HealthUnlocked login, or you may find information you post here shared on Facebook and Google+.

There are lots more privacy tips in the pinned post on Security and Community Guidelines: healthunlocked.com/cllsuppo...

For your privacy's sake, read them now!


2 Replies

I use Firefox for this reason but still get some ads for holidays etc Grrr!

1 like

More general information on protecting your privacy can be found here: healthunlocked.com/cllsuppo...


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