Oh dear! Microsoft is currently under fire, after the discovery that Windows 10 continues to phone home, even when you tell it not to.
In other words, the OS sends data to the cloud without your permission.
When the company first launched the new operating system, users soon found out that their data was being collected and sent back to Microsoft — unless they explicitly told not to.
Of course, Redmond designed a Privacy Dashboard to let Windows 10 users better manage their privacy settings and prevent data being sent to its servers. But this new report reveals that the company may still be collecting this information from your device, even when you thought it did not.
The culprit in question is the new Timeline feature.
Which relies on the Activity History data to function and allow users to resume their activity on other devices and scroll back in time to specific apps and websites.
Anyway, a Redditor first noticed that Microsoft was still receiving Activity History data, even though the setting was disabled on his machine. Even with the box unchecked, apps and browsing data still appeared in the Privacy Dashboard in the Activity History section.
What is happening, apparently, is that the Windows 10 diagnostic data collection was set to Full instead of Basic, which is how this activity reached Microsoft servers.
This is where the confusion arose, and information about websites you visit and which apps and services you used was sent to the company.
Microsoft should really have done a better job setting things up, or even communicating with the users about how this setting may fail when the diagnostic data collection is set to Full.
The company already provides the complete list of data it collects under this setting. But incidents like this in no way help alleviate the concerns users, privacy watchdogs and governments have with how Windows 10 collects telemetry data.
At the very least, it shows that there is a lot of work to be done to respect user preferences in regard to data collection.