Windows 10 Privacy: Microsoft Again Faces Scrutiny Over How It Uses Your Data

Microsoft again manages to trick the Congressmen and avoids being in negative headlines, not only that it also schemed somehow to dodge the biggest fines from the European Privacy and Data Protection Board which was charged on Microsoft as a monetary penalty.

But Microsoft could have to deal with issues and heavy fines from the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) after the Netherlands ‘ data protection agency asked the Irish counterpart to start investigating Microsoft’s Windows 10 data collection measures and scales.

This doesn’t end here. The Dutch Data Protection Agency (DPA ) investigated Microsoft in pre-GDPR 2017. They found out that Microsoft didn’t bother to inform Windows 10 users both Pro and Home, which personal data it gathers and how they use the data and moreover they didn’t provide customers a way to come up with specific consent.

Did Microsoft Comply with the DPA?

Definitely they had to comply. Microsoft rolled out a new Windows 10 update last year on 10 April 2018  to let the Users understand why and when it was collecting the telemetric data. The Dutch Data Protection Agency assessed the privacy of the new release the same month the update was released. And they found out Microsoft has greatly improved the protection of privacy due to its inquiry.

The Dutch DPA recently said Microsoft may have complied with the Windows 10 telemetry data collection agreement but they failed to comply completely with European Union’s privacy rules and several breaches have been made.

This made Microsoft realize how to predict the concerns of Regulators. He then thought of how to reorganize the entire operation keeping anti-trust concerns satisfied and to make Privacy an basic and essential part of its organizational framework.

Microsoft took massive actions against the charges which were pressed against it and it seriously changed the operational structure of the organization as a consequence. Microsoft will now deal with privacy issues from a Legal standpoint, Software standpoint, and computer interaction standpoint.

The Dutch DPA Actions on Microsoft

 The Dutch DPA told the news agency that” Microsoft has complied with the agreements made”, but it also disclosed that Microsoft is still remotely collecting other kinds of data from Users.

They also notified that a single breach potentially could penalize Mircosoft to GDPR fines up to 4 percent of the organization’s global revenue and that is a lot. 

Authorities of the Netherlands in 2018 mentioned 8 undocumented privacy issues with ProPlus versions of office 2016 and Office 365. Both of them used to collect Dutch user’s content from the applications that were stored on U.S servers. And after that, it was possibly exposed to the U.S law enforcement agency.

Netherland is suggesting enterprises and agencies avoid Office Online and Office Mobile apps and confining Windows 10 data collection at the same time to the lowest possible level. Dutch Government official continues to negotiate so that Microsoft integrates both Windows and the mobile apps as a part of new privacy terms. Government Officials also said that these terms should be carried out as technical improvements for Office online.

More Insight

Though it is not clear how Microsoft could have breached General Data Protection Regulation rules, the Dutch Data Protection Agency also mentioned that Windows 10 is collecting diagnosed and non-diagnosed data and here the main concern is if the users know that this data is being collected.

Nonetheless, the Dutch DPA on the Month of July requested Ireland’s Data Protection Agency to look into the case and this has to be the plan because this is the place where most US tech giants have established Non-US headquarters, including Microsoft.

Tech Crunch later confirms that Ireland’s DPA is the lead privacy manager of Microsoft in Europe and it agrees that they accept Netherland’s request.

Brill an associate of Microsoft said, that they will take additional steps to make it easier for customers to know what data of yours should Microsoft have to run the services and where data sharing is optional.

ZDNet contacted Microsoft for statement

A spokesperson form Microsoft said that “the Dutch DPA has always brought data protection concerns to our attention, which is directly related to the Windows 10 consumer version, Windows 10 Home and 10 Pro.

He further added that” We will work with the Irish Data Protection Commission to know and acknowledge any other concern they have regarding Data Privacy and Security.

Moreover, he said “ Microsoft is dedicated to protecting our customer’s privacy and letting them have control over their information. We have added many new privacy features in co-ordination with Dutch DPA in order to serve them with clear privacy choices and easy-to-use tools for every individual and small enterprise users of Windows 10.

Coming to a conclusion

Having discussed Windows 10 privacy: Microsoft again faces scrutiny over how it uses your data, one more thing should be added to this. Microsoft shows real concern about these issues and is trying to publish new reports with details of how they are changing the method of data collection for more transparency and privacy.

Microsoft is trying to comply with most of the Data Protection Agencies in Europe and the U.S.A  and they hope to solve this problem as soon as possible.