Understanding Windows 10 Privacy

Microsoft collects a lot of data through Windows 10; and when we say a lot, we mean too much. Of course, you can change the amount of data the company can mine, but for the most part, you effectively provide them with a constant stream of data when you use anything on a Windows 10 system including any Windows phones you have and Xbox as well. While your personal information isn’t necessarily on display for anyone to see, their data collection can piece together quite a lot about you. But what kind of information does Microsoft use? Let’s take a look.

Want to know more? Check out ITque’s Tiny Tech Tidbits video: Windows 10 Privacy.


The Privacy pages on Microsoft’s website lay everything out for you, but sugar-coat a lot of their phrasing to make it seem less impactful to you. With statements like, “Getting you where you want to go,” and, “Giving you help when you ask,” they show that they’re keeping track of a lot of your data, since they know exactly what help you need. When you’re struggling with something and contact support to fix it, the incident is added to a pool of information to help them improve their product.

When you frequently use certain applications, this data is logged into a system to push similar applications into your field of view. Every action you take has a purpose to them, and they use this data to keep you safe, while also improving their own systems. Notice that every Microsoft device, from computers to gaming systems, is listed on their Windows 10 privacy, meaning all of them are able to collect data. Any service on these devices, from cameras to calendars, can have data pulled for use. The operating system doesn’t just manage the device, it helps collect useful and valuable information for Microsoft.


Be aware that Cortana, the Windows 10 assistant, is generally always on, meaning it can collect and send any search results you have or application usage to Microsoft. Synchronizing your account across devices will unify them, meaning it’s easier to track and store your data. This may sound ominous, but because you use their service and have opted into their Terms of Service, Microsoft has the right to use the data they collect in any way they see fit.

Of course, this doesn’t mean they can use sensitive information to exploit you or anything remotely criminal, but they can study your application usage habits to gain a better understanding of what you like to use, how you use it, and if they can improve it. They have information on any credit cards linked to accounts, location history, account info, search history, and much more. While this shouldn’t make you nervous, be wary and vigilant of how much of your information you want them to access. Your Microsoft account is jointly split between you and Microsoft, meaning you do have some degree of control over what information they can use.


As you can see, Microsoft has access to more than just your Windows 10 Defender information; they have a wide array of content to pull from. Whether it’s your browsing history or sensitive data, they can pull and use any of it, to an extent. ITque has an ongoing series of videos to help walk you through every element of Windows 10 and how you can optimize your time and keep yourself protected as well. If you have any IT concerns, ITque has the answers.

Want to know more? Check out ITque’s Tiny Tech Tidbits video: Windows 10 Privacy.

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