It has been reported that Windows 10 sends identifiable information to Microsoft, even if a user turns off all relevant privacy settings.
An analysis undertaken by the technology site ‘Ars Technica’ shows that the operating system still contacts Microsoft even if Bing search and Cortana features are turned off.
The machines used for testing were using a local login, had OneDrive, Cortana, live tiles and every other privacy protection setting activated before the test was undertaken.
Some of this data is innocent, simple and non-identifiable information used for testing an internet connection. However, other bits of information acquired include those associated with the Microsoft cloud storage service OneDrive, which has a user identification number attached within the content delivery network.
Windows 10 also downloaded new tile information from its MSN news, despite the live tile feature not being active on the machine. This information had NO identifiable information, but was not encrypted.
“As part of delivering Windows 10 as a service, updates may be delivered to provide ongoing new features to Bing search, such as new visual layouts, styles and search code,” said Microsoft, in response to Ars Technica’s report.
“No query or search usage data is sent to Microsoft, in accordance with the customer’s chosen privacy settings. This also applies to searching offline for items such as apps, files and settings on the device.” However, the information sent to and requested from Microsoft after customers activated privacy-protecting settings, was not related to search.