Microsoft admits Windows 10 preview has a keylogger

Installed the Windows 10 Tech Preview? You could be giving more data to Microsoft than you realise.

Microsoft admits Windows 10 preview has a keylogger

Microsoft is not only tracking how long it takes to open different types of files, or the make and model of device you’re using, but it’s also logging keystrokes and collecting voice recordings.

The Insider Program terms of use that cover the Windows 10 preview states Microsoft “may automatically collect and transmit data” to itself and partners about your activity in the OS and personal information including “interface interactions, and feature and application usage, including third party applications”.

The Windows Tech Preview privacy statement gives a little more detail on what these terms mean. “When you … use voice input features like speech-to-text, we may collect voice information and use it for purposes such as improving speech processing.”

“When you … enter text, we may collect typed characters and use them for purposes such as improving autocomplete and spellcheck features,” it adds.

Other data users agree to Microsoft collecting include their interests, for the purposes of delivering “more relevant” ads, as well as browsing and search history, and phone call and SMS data.

What’s more, it’s not only Microsoft that can get access to this information, but also unspecified “partners” to “improve how their products and services work with Microsoft’s products and services”.

Too late to back out

Such tactics have caused consternation because keylogging is more often used by cybercriminals for stealing login details.

However, Microsoft has sought to reassure users it’s only for purposes like “improving autocomplete and spellcheck features”.

If you’re using Windows 10 and are worried about your privacy, withdrawing from the program will stop further data collection, but Microsoft won’t delete what it’s already gathered.

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