I don’t see anything on Thurrott.com about Microsoft Windows 10 sends activity history to Microsoft even when told not to


Comments (15)

15 responses to “I don’t see anything on Thurrott.com about Microsoft Windows 10 sends activity history to Microsoft even when told not to”

  1. Paul Thurrott

    Here's the Microsoft statement.

    "Microsoft is committed to customer privacy, being transparent about the data we collect and use for your benefit, and we give you controls to manage your data. In this case, the same term 'Activity History' is used in both Windows 10 and the Microsoft Privacy Dashboard. Windows 10 Activity History data is only a subset of the data displayed in the Microsoft Privacy Dashboard. We are working to address this naming issue in a future update."

    In other words, the complaint is incorrect. But this is, perhaps, another great example of Microsoft not being able to communicate effectively. Only Microsoft would name two different things with the same name. (Remember when Action Center was for security in previous Windows versions?)

    To your point, we should have covered this, yes.

  2. FalseAgent

    paul is a microsoft shill confirmed


  3. yoshi

    Huh, this is the first I've read/heard about it. This seems similar to Google's "Location History" situation a few months back. All the options to shut the stuff off was there, just in different places and not well laid out. And with all similar naming.

    It's almost like these companies don't want us to turn off certain tracking features. Who would have guessed? ;)

    • waethorn

      In reply to yoshi:

      It's not just location settings. Android also communicates over WiFi even when you turn the option "off". Setting WiFi to off DOES NOT turn off the WiFi radio. You just can't utilize communications over WiFi. I tested this with a couple Android phones, and sure enough, they were still registered and active on a local router when WiFi was set to off. What happened with the phones is that they would use mobile data for foreground user sessions, but background activity was still functional on WiFi. And they send LOTS of data to Google.

      • Thom77

        In reply to Waethorn:

        I've said this forever, was called conspiracy theorist. I've always said when people said "Hey, you just turn _______ off" that they have no clue if its really off or not. I went from an Iphone SE which I found too restricting freedom wise back to an android phone and realized after having apps that havent been clicked in weeks give me notifications that I do not feel comfortable with android. Plus, my Wifi keeps turning back on after i turn it off even with the appropriate settings disabled, which keeps interupting my internet radio streams because the Wifi internet has a portal.

        I am so close to just saying screw everything and getting a flip phone, and using a mp3 player for my podcasts and audiobooks but the tediousness of downloading all that stuff on my computer and organizing it in a mp3 player is stopping me ........ for the moment.

    • wright_is

      In reply to yoshi:

      They are having problems with Windows 10 and Office 2016 / 365 in Europe as neither are GDPR compliant. All telemetary has to be off by default and can only send information back through opt-in.

      The problem with Windows and Office is, even if you opt-out (which is the wrong way round, according to the law), both products still send a large amount of information back home, which isn't even documented. Many national data commissioners recommend not using Windows 10 or only Enterprise in very locked down mode and with extra perimeter firewall rules to block the activity.

  4. PeterC

    Being a little light hearted for a moment - I wouldn't worry too much as Microsoft have demonstrated multi-year ability to ignore activity data when dealing with Windows bug issues or problematic software/settings/procedures etc - and that from people who willingly sent the data back to Microsoft!!!

    If you wish to avoid Microsoft reading your activity data - join the Windows insiders club.

  5. NT6.1

    Paul needed the money.

  6. Bats

    Thurrott did mention it, for like, 5 seconds on the latest Windows Weekly. Just 5 seconds (or even less).