Is Windows 10 spying on you?

Windows 10 is recording every single key you press on your computer.

Is Windows 10 spying on you?

Windows 10 is recording every single key you press on your computer. But is this a cause for concern? Learn more about Microsoft’s invasive technology and how to turn it off.

The early test versions of Windows 10 came with a piece of software that recorded every keystroke users made, as well as recording every request they made to Cortana (the voice activated personal assistant). It was thought that this piece of software, which is quite essential to the development stage of creating software, would be removed for the final product. However the creepy keylogger has not been removed and is still in place with the new version of Windows 10 that has been rolled out to millions of users worldwide.

Should you be concerned?

Recording data like this to help improve the accuracy of programs is becoming more common these days. This is because as technology and software become more and more complicated, it takes more effort to develop, bug test and release them onto the market. Approximately 10 years ago, all of this monitoring would have been performed by a dedicated team of software testers, which takes longer and costs a lot more. Microsoft would certainly still employ plenty of these testers but, with the internet, they now also have access to millions of testing and quality assurance testers – the consumers who are using the end product.

Whether or not you should be concerned comes down to your personal views on privacy.

This type of testing comes as a double-edged sword: you get a more polished and accurate final product at the expense of some privacy and/or peace of mind.

This double-edged sword is well represented by the choice to deactivate these settings in Windows 10, as doing so will deactivate the ability to dictate to your computer or use the voice activated assistant Cortana – features which rely on this data gathered.

How to turn it off

If you wish to deactivate the ‘service’, open up the Start menu then select Settings > Privacy > Speech, inking, and typing. From here, select ‘Get to know me’ to turn the services on, or select ‘Stop getting to know me’ to turn the services off.

Next, navigate back to Privacy and then select General and then turn ‘Send Microsoft info about how I write to help us improve typing and writing in the future’ off. 

Read more about these Privacy settings at Microsoft.com





    COMMENTS

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    Queensland Diva
    25th Sep 2015
    10:31am
    Interesting! My computer has never been the same since I took up Microsoft's offer of a free upgrade to Windows 10.
    MICK
    25th Sep 2015
    11:45am
    What is it doing?

    25th Sep 2015
    10:42am
    Get an Apple, you'll be MUCH better off.
    MICK
    25th Sep 2015
    11:48am
    That's not what I hear from Apple users...albeit only two. These guys have had untold issues with their expensive machine. To add insult to injury software add-ons and apps cost. Every one I believe.
    My first computer was an Apple Macintosh. Great machine at the time. I have moved on.
    Anonymous
    25th Sep 2015
    4:20pm
    You are listening to the wrong, or not very bright, users. Add-ons (?) re software and apps cost no more than Microsoft and are far more in number and variety. Patriot (below) is right in regards to Linux if you're cluey enough you can have the best of both worlds. Yes, you are wrong both about the above and below comments.
    Patriot
    25th Sep 2015
    10:50am
    Run Linux
    No Cost
    No Virusses
    No Spying
    Much faster
    Runs on older computers
    Requires MUCH less RAM
    DOES BILL GATES OUT OF REVENUE
    MICK
    25th Sep 2015
    11:49am
    Heard that before. Not sure if I want an operating system which does not run some of the wonderful software around these days. Like buying a car for the race track where none of the upgrades work. Maybe I am wrong about that?
    Graeme
    25th Sep 2015
    12:07pm
    and only 10 years behind windows in level of development
    Patriot
    25th Sep 2015
    12:53pm
    mick,
    If you have to, you can always run your "Favourite" windows software in an emulator like VirtualBox. I can assure you - works well!!!
    You are THESE DAYS certainly incorrect about upgrades NOT working.
    Ubuntu is all "Sing & Dance" and "TurnKey" project easier to install than Windows and (not like Windows 10) it is MUCH more stable.

    Greame
    Is that the reason Bill Gates has recently employed Linus Torvalds (the initiator & developer of Linux) in an attempt to bring at least SOME organisation to the "Programming Mess" of Spagetti that the Windows is!

    Since converting the Whole Family to Linux, my "Software Maintenance Project" has downscaled by 90%.
    No viruses & no "Interwoven Software entanglements" any more.
    just Peace, quit, tranquility & serenity dominates the computer scenario!
    Graeme
    25th Sep 2015
    3:43pm
    That says more about your family than windows, maybe they are still trying to figure out how it all works. I have run windows and linux. Windows is a quantum leap above linux. If linux is so fantastic as you would try and delude others about, then why did Linus move to the dark side,maybe he actually saw the light. My software maintenance does not need to be downscaled by 90% as 10% of zero is still zero. Yes linux does not have the virus problem of windows, but that is because there is only a very small percentage of people crazy (or cheap) enough to use it, it is not because it is better, it is because it is so unpopular that the virus writer can't be bothered.
    Anonymous
    25th Sep 2015
    4:35pm
    Graeme, you are incorrect on all counts with the above comment.
    Blossom
    25th Sep 2015
    7:18pm
    As far as I know from an article I received from Microsoft Bill Gates is no longer with Microsoft. I think he sold his part in it.
    If you loaded it via the white box on your screen we were advised by a guy who works for an international IT company, is based in Aust. but is sent overseas a lot -- not to click on it at all.
    Lescol
    25th Sep 2015
    11:13am
    I had six reasons NOT to accept the 'free' upgrade to windows 10. Now I have only five!!
    MILA
    25th Sep 2015
    11:42am
    From Facebook to Competitions and many "friendly" (?) - "FREE' (!) Websites.....gathering our info ...and, we become the ta4rget. Donald Trump got lots to attend:for us simple and happy sould.....no worries!
    Tks for the info which I am sharing with many. Blondie has no idea how to rectify computer matters (LOL)
    MICK
    25th Sep 2015
    11:45am
    I have the option to install Windows 10 for free as I am running Windows 8. I did not take up this option after googling 'Windows 10 spying operating system' and reading a blog where a geek claimed that there were SEVERAL bits in the operating system which allowed Microsoft to spy and record personal data. Whilst I have nothing to hide I draw the line at a software provider helping itself to information I would not share with blind Freddy on the street corner. I am staying with Windows 8 which is fine.
    Graeme
    25th Sep 2015
    12:11pm
    Do you really think that out of the 100s of millions of users that microsoft is actually interested in what you are doing, the fact that you think windows 8 is fine says it all
    Jen
    25th Sep 2015
    2:23pm
    I am fortunate enough to have got one of the last computers with Windows 7 and I'm not budging.
    Blossom
    25th Sep 2015
    7:19pm
    Yes, I've still got Windows 7 too.
    lasaboy
    25th Sep 2015
    10:41pm
    almost all the reporting software can be turned off, but I am still researching that is why I am still running Windows 7 and 8 on my laptops and PC's
    Anonymous
    30th Sep 2015
    4:59pm
    Yep true but not risking banking on line in today's greedy world may be a temptation for someone at M$ even if not used by management etc.
    Libby
    27th Sep 2015
    3:43pm
    I upgraded to Win10 last Friday on one of my earliest laptops ( both 2009) and what I saw was chaos! I immediately switched back to Win7. I only wanted to have a "sticky beak" at the new upgrade I found both the task bar and tiles certainly confused me. I guess if you have 2 laptops you can try it on one to "play" with it until you get used to it. I have used Win 8.1 before but having both task bar AND tiles are a bit much. My screen looked stretched, icons became bigger and my background pictures. There's absolutely no hurry, wait until it all irons out properly before updating. It might be an idea to get newsletters from "How to "Geek" and he expertly explains it all. I have just had new discs replaced in both laptops, I don't want to muck it all up. Also I would have to upgrade my wi-fi modem, not compatible for Win10. I enjoy reading other interesting comments.
    Fern
    30th Sep 2015
    3:45pm
    All I am interested in is how do I remove the Windows 10 square on bottom 9R0 hand corner of my screen? I have read all of the available information on the pros and cons, and I don't want Windows 10. How do I get rid of that annoying little square? Help? Fern
    Anonymous
    30th Sep 2015
    5:09pm
    Go to M$ Community and see answer to "how do I get rid of the download of W10?" Sets it out there.
    But be sure to have your license for previous ready to get it recognised as genuine again.
    And do do a backup to an external HD once again just to be sure if not had it going whilst in W10 or lose additional data etc.
    Anonymous
    30th Sep 2015
    5:10pm
    Also meanwhile try to get rid of it by control>notifications>it is there and turn it off.

    30th Sep 2015
    4:52pm
    I dont like it half as much as XP or 7. The best 2 and favourites of millions. Business still using XP.I am keeping Windows 7 Home on my home work computer as I also cant spare the time already wasted on hubbies lap top as he did the deed and now regrets it - and left me trying to sort it out so he could use it. Not being interested in how it works just turn on for his footy etc.
    I had just decided not for me when it arrived and has nagged ever since. So I went to M$ community and got the answer there how to get rid of download of it on your computer. And if it improves later wont cost much anyway. Told this is last of their OS ever. Cant believe that myself. Go to the community several others also wanted to rid themselves of the download. And also how to roll back to previous but must have your old license number handy to get it recognised. Thats the problem with hubbies lap top he bought it second hand off a mate, no disc. And he didnt copy the license or I would roll it back. Easy enough to do. Just follow the step by step instructions. And they do spy on banking and told by Emisoft cant switch it off - and even the programs that say protect banking etc as beaten by the OS. So not funny. Greedy old world too may need imput. But the article lied. I used to be a person who gave feedback and helped improve new programs and have even written a couple for my own business. So be safe. Go back or stop banking online. Go back to telephone. Old hat so hackers also not interested in that ha ha. Nor is Bill Gates, who gives away his billions of profits already but not to first world people.
    Libby
    30th Sep 2015
    10:33pm
    Hi Big Val,

    Love your cat! I've turned off my Win 10 annoying notifications but I'm afraid I might be stuck with the Win10 backup cos my external HD won't back it up unless it's a Windows backup or choose "let me chose to back up without Windows in the updates change backup to HD or DVD. It says Windows backup is corrupt or damaged, dam! I've just had a new disc replaced so I might have to do a "Recovery" instead, or take it back to where I had it repaired. So watch out people, DON'T EVEN UPDATE IT! Stick to what you're happy with. Luckily I didn't touch my other laptop. I wish Microsoft would leave well enough alone, "if it ain't broke, don't fix it". KISS!!!! (Keep it simple, stupid). I did use Windows 8.1 once before but the laptop kept crashing. This one was given to me so I was lucky in case my own packed up. By the way where do we find the license? Do you mean in the Control, System where it says "Windows is activated?" I'll check out the Community as well. Thanx for that.
    justme
    12th Sep 2017
    1:03pm
    I have Windows 10 with Classic Shell menu installed.
    Looks and works just like Windows XP.
    Windows is just a bloated menu/launching program,
    very few of the included apps are fully featured or worth having.
    I do use Windows Maps which has improved of late.


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