This is being deemed as Windows 10’s worst kept secret: it sends data from your PC to Microsoft thousands of times every day. This not only compromises your privacy but can also be a big drain on your mobile phone in case you are using Windows 10 on your mobile phone. And this is despite disabling tracking options or installing anti-spying apps. Back in November 2015 Microsoft had openly admitted that the operating system was spying on users and surprisingly, the company also admitted that it cannot stop Windows 10 from spying on you.
Windows 10 is constantly tracking how it works on your device and how you’re using it and then sending this information back to Microsoft by default. Despite giving users some option to stop this data transfer, the core data collection simply cannot be stopped, according to the official statement.
Last year, Microsoft Corporate Vice President Joe Belfiore had told PC World, “The company needs that information to improve the experience of using its operating system. And in the case of knowing that our system that we have created is crashing, or is having serious performance problems, we view that is so helpful to the ecosystem, and so not an issue of personal privacy, that today, we collect that data so that we make that experience better for everyone.”
I know, it’s terrible English, but I have quoted it as it is from the above link and I’m pretty sure it makes no sense to you, but the problem is, this secret has now gone out of hand. According to an instance mentioned in this Forbes article, one individual has done “extensive investigation” and has found that Windows 10 contacts Microsoft reported are thousands of times per day.
During the observation period of eight hours, Windows 10 try to send data back to 51 different Microsoft IP addresses over 5500 times! Within 30 hours, Windows 10 was sending data to 130 non-private IP addresses. Non-private means the data can be intercepted by hackers.
Just to make sure that it wasn’t a fluke, a clean Windows 10 install was used and on top of that a third-party tool called DisableWinTracking was installed to stop any hidden Windows 10 data-gathering modules. Despite that, in the 30-hour period, Windows 10 was able to send data to 2078 times to 30 different IP addresses. Isn’t this insane?