October 22, 2021
Windows 10 user data collection

Windows 10 continues to Send User Activity Data to Microsoft, even When Supposedly Shut Off

Windows 10 user data collection still happens, even after people ostensibly turn the tracking feature off, a new report alleges…

Microsoft introduced Windows 10 a few years ago. Just after its public roll out, users began to discover the OS would not only collect activity data, but also, send back the information to Microsoft. To quell the outrage, the company created a Privacy Dashboard.

Windows 10 Data Collection Discretely Sends User Activities to Microsoft

The then-new Privacy Dashboard for Windows supposedly allowed users to manage their privacy settings. Part of it would prevent data from being transferred to the servers over at Microsoft. Now, a news report alleges the software corporation might still collect said data, even if users switched off sharing.

Recently a Reddit user noticed Microsoft was still receiving Activity History data, even though the setting was disabled.

The reason for this is due to the new Timeline feature. This is a tool which collects user activity information in order for people to resume where they last left off. Of course, to make this work, the data must be collected by someone or something. Turns out, it’s Microsoft.

Meaning, when people uncheck the “Send my activity history to Microsoft,” their action data still resides in the Privacy Dashboard in the Activity History section. One fix for this is to go into the Windows 10 diagnostics data collection and select “Basic.” (The setting is toggled to “Full” by default.)

For the sake of consumer privacy, Microsoft should make this clear or preemptively prevent this behavior in future versions of the operating system.

William Boleys

Will is an experienced freelance writer who covers a wide range of topics, including apps, social media, and search.

View all posts by William Boleys →