Windows 10 Might Soon Track Absolutely Everything You Do for Your Own Good

Microsoft Cortana
Microsoft has often been accused of spying on its users with Windows 10 because the operating system collects some data needed to diagnose bugs and help improve reliability, but if this recently-patented technology ever reaches mass-production, the firm should really be ready for a never-seen-before amount of criticism.

Called “Query formulation via task continuum,” the patent basically describes a technology that always monitors what users do on their computers, including here the time when they’re working with third-party apps.

As MSPU notes, the whole thing is happening for users’ own good, as what Microsoft is trying to do here is to connect third-party apps with its own services in order to provide better search experience.

Here’s how it works. Basically, Microsoft claims that by keeping an eye on whatever users are doing on their computers, such as writing a document, the search engine can always be prepared for delivering better search results. For instance, if you’re writing a paper on dancing, Bing knows what you’re interested in and can then provide results that are relevant to your work.

Users are always in control

Microsoft has a few more details in the patent description, explaining that the new feature can collect any kind of “signal,” including text displayed to the user, text recognized from images, audio from a currently playing song, and many others.

“The operating system, comprising the function of mediation component, tracks all textual data displayed to the user by any application, and then performs clustering to determine the user intent (contextually). The inferred user intent sent as a signal to search providers to improve ranking of query suggestions, enables a corresponding improvement in user experience as the query suggestions are more relevant to what the user is actually trying to achieve,” Microsoft explains.

It goes without saying that Redmond emphasizes that users are always in full control of the feature and no data is tracked without their consent first, but we all know how these things work and how easily it is for privacy violation to take place.

For the moment, Microsoft doesn’t seem to be ready to bring this feature in Windows, but if the company is thinking of it, there might be a moment when some sort of implementation could be at least tested by the company. That will be the moment when we can finally say “bye-bye privacy.”

Source: Softpedia | MSPU

  • Rock Smith

    Sorry No thanks. I will ask for it when I need something and I will not be asking Bing for sure. MS can keep their spyware laden OS with themselve.

  • Žydrūnas

    This will be the day when I’ll convert to Linux.

  • Keir Griswold

    Thank goodness I still use Windows 8.1, and will be until this computer breaks down. Any new computer I buy or build will instantly be reinstalled with macOS or Linux. Done with Microsoft’s spying antics.

    • Tony Price

      Apple is little better than microsoft

  • Tony Price

    For Your Own Good! How many times over the years have you heard that? Or heard “If you have nothing to hide then you have nothing to fear!” Or even “This will hurt me more than it will you!”
    Yup! And I bet you have heard at least one them recently…
    The trouble with power is that it can’t help its self… It wants to RULE. It’s the nature of the beast… And it uses our complacency to propagate and navigate just like a local council. We elect a council to manage a community on our behalf. in the beginning the council manages local bi laws, infrastructure, maintenance etc.. Slowly bit by bit the council demands more and controls more and slips quietly to the dark side and strangles the locals in bureaucratic regulations and penalties. And usually with out being lawyers ourselves we can’t do anything about it except become illegal just to make ends meet or simply exist. Microsoft has happily breached privacy so may times over the years that they when pinged just repack and take another shot at the prize til they eventually win. Sony and Apple are no better, but the common denominator is simply THEY ALL WISH TO RULE THE WORLD…… When they don’t give a damn about the peasants… As usual the peasants will eventually revolt.

  • Harold Alley Jr.

    I wonder how Microsoft is going to handle FINRA law and HIPAA law. A great many firms both financial and in the medical fields (believe it or not HIPAA also covers Veterinary services and even places like massage parlors) have been dealing with the telemetry collection problem inherent in Windows 10. MS actually touted Cortana as an easy way to create medical appointments, till it was pointed out that Cortana was cloud based and relied on telemetry to function. It also hasn’t helped the Microsoft case, since IT departments have been scrambling to shut off the privacy leaks each time Windows 10 updates, because of the propensity for the updates to re enable the telemetry. Several law firms have actually advised their financial and medical clients to not use Windows 10 without dedicated and bonded IT services because they might potentially be committing felonies under FINRA and HIPAA