WINDOWS WATCHER: Microsoft has been tracking every keystroke you’ve made on Windows 10
Windows 10 users have a new reason to be concerned about their privacy.
It’s emerged that Microsoft’s latest computer friendly operating system has been recording everything you’ve typed since it first launched without you knowing.
That means everything from your boring work documents to your private emails, via that occasional smutty instant message to your partner, has been tracked.
More than that, if you’ve made voice searches, all of your vocal commands and message dictations have been recorded too.
The keyboard logger feature is automatically enabled when downloading Windows 10, and keeps tabs on every keystroke you’ve made.
According to Microsoft, the feature tracks “your typing and handwriting info to improve typing and writing services.”
Although you can opt out of the feature in Settings, worryingly with every major Windows 10 update released, it’s claimed that Microsoft has reset the feature to on as default.
With the eagerly awaited Windows 10 Creators Update expected to launch on April 11, those who’ve already deactivated the service will shortly have to do it again.
Although the privacy issue was first highlighted when Windows 10 was launched two years ago, it’s been brought back into focus this week on Reddit.
Users have been taking to the social site ahead of the Creators Update released in a bid to find a means of disabling the feature permanently, with many claiming the feature is automatically enabled every time an update drops.
One user wrote: “They change all these setting back every time there’s a major Windows update,” while another added: “Can confirm. I also turned everything off at install, and this setting was on just now.”
If you’re eager to disable the snooping feature, you can do so by clicking ‘Start’ from the Windows 10 home screen followed by ‘Settings’.
Here you’ll need to select Privacy > General and switch the ‘Send Microsoft info about how I write to help us improve typing and writing in the future’ option to off.
To deactivate voice tracking, you’ll need to click Start > Settings > Privacy > Speech, inking & typing > Stop getting to know me.
Highlighting why it’s always worthwhile to read a service’s terms and conditions before clicking agree, Microsoft outlines why it’s tracking your typing.
“To improve your device’s ability to correctly recognise your pronunciation and handwriting, Microsoft collects speech, inking, and typing information when you interact with your Windows device by speaking, writing, or typing,” the company states on the Microsoft Privacy website.
“If you’ve allowed Cortana to do so, Microsoft also collects information about your Calendar and People (also known as contacts) to help personalise your speech experience and helps Windows and Cortana better recognize people, events, places, and music when you dictate messages or documents.”
The upcoming Windows 10 Creators Update is set to bring a number of new features, including support for the new Microsoft Mixed Reality VR platform.
Reportedly in the final stages of development, it’s been suggested the sizeable platform update will be issued to testers by the end of the month and rolled out to the masses on April 11.