Microsoft Corp. warned by French privacy watchdog over excessive data collection from...

Microsoft Corp. warned by French privacy watchdog over excessive data collection from Windows 10 users


France’s data protection commission has notified Microsoft Corp. to stop gathering excessive data from users. It has also ordered the software maker giant to stop tracking the web browsing of Windows 10 users without their permission.

In a recently published notice, the CNIL (France’s data protection commission) stated that the company must also take measures to ensure the security and confidentiality of its users’ personal data. The notice came after CNIL found that Microsoft was still transferring information to the U.S under the ‘Safe Harbor’ agreement, which was invalidated last year by an EU court. CNIL said Microsoft has three months to abide by the orders.

France’s privacy watchdog based its verdict on an inquiry conducted between April and June 2016. The CNIL states that other European data protection authorities established a ‘contact group’ to inspect Microsoft’s data collection practices after the launch of Windows 10 in June 2015.

Last year in September, Microsoft’s Windows chief Terry Myerson reacted to increasing privacy concerns surrounding Windows 10, clarifying that the operating system gathers data so that the product works better for users, and that users have the ability to determine what data is gathered.

The CNIL states it decided to notify the company due to the seriousness of the violations and the number of people concerned, citing there are over 10 million Windows users in France. The organisation found that the company is gathering excessive data from Windows 10 users, including certain applications they install and the time they spend on each one. Microsoft makes use of cookies to serve personalized advertisements without appropriately notifying users or enabling them to opt out, CNIL added.

In case, the software maker giant doesn’t follow the orders within 90 days, the CNIL plans to appoint an investigator who could propose sanctions against the tech giant.

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Brayden Fortin is a American with numerous years of investment experience in the American Equity Market and in the Global Commodity Market. He has a B.Com degree from a well respected Canadian university and has experience working in the wealth management industry. He is interested in delving into numbers to analyze companies and markets. He won a couple of international strategy simulation competitions involving decision making through numerical analysis, and also scored in the top 50 on the Bloomberg Aptitude Test (out of nearly 200,000 test takers).