Microsoft has come under fire from a Dutch privacy watchdog over claims the tech giant collected data from personal computers using its Windows 10 package.
The Dutch Data Protection Authority (DPA) alleges that Microsoft has been using its marquee operating system to collect information on users’ web surfing behavior so as to target them with personalized ads and recommendations.
The watchdog found that during the installation of Windows 10, users are encouraged to accept default settings that enable ‘full telemetry’ rather than the more limited ‘basic’ option.
At the basic level, the telemetry service sends diagnostic and usage data about the user’s computer to the software giant. Full telemetry, meanwhile, sends detailed data on app usage and browsing histories through Microsoft Edge.
“If a person does not actively change the default settings during installation, it does not mean he or she thereby gives consent for the use of his or her personal data,” the DPA said in a statement.
Vice-Chairman of the Dutch DPA, Wilbert Tomesen, called on Microsoft to give users the “fair opportunity” to decide whether they want their data collected.“It turns out that Microsoft’s operating system follows about every step you take on your computer. That results in an intrusive profile of yourself,” Tomesen said.