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Windows 10 keeps sending your data to Microsoft even if you say stop

Microsoft campus

Windows 10 just can’t get enough of your activity data, even if you tell the OS to stop recording your every action. Apparently Microsoft’s OS will continue to shovel your user data over to its data centres whether you have checked the “Send my activity history to Microsoft” box in your settings or not.

Activity History is a feature introduced into Windows back with the April update. It allows users to “jump back into what you were doing on your device by storing your activity history, including info about websites you browse and how you use apps and services,” according to Microsoft, and is available across signed-in devices.

Users can opt to either have this turned off, their activity stored locally, or their activity sent to Microsoft. Or supposedly anyways. Reports from across the web indicate that whether you switch off the very clearly defined “Send my activity history to Microsoft” button, it doesn’t make any difference to whether your information is sent away. Redditors found that, regardless of setting, their information is still being reported within the Privacy Dashboard.

Microsoft has confirmed to The Register that there is indeed a “naming issue” between Activity History and the Privacy dashboard, and it is working on a fix within a future update. It also confirmed that you need to visit two places to turn off sharing your Activity History:

  • Uncheck the aforementioned checkbox in Settings/Privacy/Activity History
  • Switch diagnostics over to ‘basic’ within Settings/Privacy/Diagnostics & feedback.

Microsoft activity history

But users are still miffed that the very clearly outlined checkbox to not send your data doesn’t actually work as you might assume it to. Not only public perception is at risk, either. With the EU very much on the prowl for privacy breaches, Microsoft runs the risk of the privacy bailiffs knocking at the door, fine in hand, if it’s found in breach of GDPR’s strict data privacy provisions.

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