Today, a new sensational report is doing the rounds of the internet. It has come to our knowledge that Microsoft is sharing Windows 10 telemetry data collected from users with select partners. This means that everything Microsoft obtained from your PC can be inspected by a third party for whatever reasons.
As part of the deal, FireEye's software "iSIGHT Intelligence tools" will be integrated into Windows Defender. This will open the doors for FireEye to see telemetry from every device running Windows 10.
This is the first time when telemetry information is being shared with a third party. Earlier, there were no statements about such deals between Microsoft and other companies.
However, the situation has changed. Now the vast amount of telemetry data that Microsoft has can be accessed via a subscription billing model. This option will be available for security teams like anti-virus software developers. It sounds like if you pay enough, then you can get in.
There is no information on what data exactly will be accessible. The amount of telemetry data shared is also not known. It may include all information collected or can be limited to Windows Defender and security-related information only.
In any case, this move can make Windows 10 less attractive for many users for whom any sort of data collection and information sharing is not acceptable. This will stop many from migrating to the latest version of Windows. Windows 10 brings no significant improvements if you are using Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 on a traditional desktop PC with keyboard and mouse. Most new features in Windows 10 can be substituted with free third party apps. Windows 10 adds user interface changes that make it friendlier for touch devices such as tablets but tries the rectify the mistakes made with Windows 8. It also introduces the concept of the OS being a free or paid service that enterprises have to keep paying for perpetually, while for consumers, it is a one-time cost for now.
Telemetry can be officially disabled only in Enterprise editions of Windows 10. In other editions, it is possible only with a Registry hack as described in these articles:
- How to disable Telemetry and Data Collection in Windows 10
- Stop Windows 10 spying on you using just Windows Firewall
Source: The Inquirer.