Microsoft Shoving Windows 10 Down Users Throats

Windows 10 free upgrade

If you're running Windows 8.1 or Windows 7, you are well aware of the annoying notification box that comes up every so often on your computer encouraging you to take advantage of your "Free Windows 10 upgrade for limited time!" Even if you close the small window the Windows 10 upgrade icon remains there, patiently waiting for you to fall in the trap.

So why is Microsoft going out their way to offer free Windows 10 upgrades? To put it simply, Windows 10 is a gold mine for Microsoft but a major privacy headache for users. Windows 10 will allow Microsoft to collect tons more of personal data than their previous Windows 7 and 8.1 versions. As David Auerbach from Slate.com puts it, "Windows 10 gives itself the right to pass loads of your data to Microsoft’s servers, use your bandwidth for Microsoft’s own purposes, and profile your Windows usage." All with the intent to widen their scope of personal information that can be collected from you. We live in the "information age," information is valuable and companies are constantly on the look out to collect as much information from their users as possible.

Companies use this information in various ways, the most common one is to serve highly targeted ads. You know, those ads that seems to almost predict the future and know exactly what products you want. However, believe it or not targeted advertisement is not really the problem. After all, who gets annoyed at seeing ads that recommend what you want? The problem lies in potential government intrusion or cyber terrorists getting a hold of your highly sensitive information. If there is anything we can learn from the NSA leak by Snowden is that even governments that promote the "rule of law" and "due process" are bound to fail on their own values if left unchecked.

As more and more companies shift their local services onto the cloud. We need to demand greater privacy rights and hold governments that violate privacy and civil liberties accountable. I also encourage more users to read their favorite tech companies privacy policies. Check out this quote directly pulled from the Windows 10 privacy policy:

"Finally, we will access, disclose and preserve personal data, including your content (such as the content of your emails, other private communications or files in private folders), when we have a good faith belief that doing so is necessary."
What categorizes as "good faith" is pretty subjective and vague for a privacy policy clause from a respected multinational company. I am sure Windows 10 has the potential to become a great operating system like Windows 7, but just be aware of these privacy flaws and take actions so that companies and governments acknowledge that we do in fact care about privacy and that our liberties should not be infringed. Also, if you decide to take advantage of the "free" Windows 10 upgrade, make sure NOT to accept Microsoft's "express settings," take a few minutes to toggle off those pesty privacy-infringing options. I will be fiddling around with the settings on my computer to see if there is a way to eliminate the free upgrade icon. Leave your thoughts below.

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