France issues formal notice to Microsoft about Windows 10: “stop collecting excessive data and tracking browsing by users without their consent.”

Posted on Jul 21, 2016 by Caleb Chen

The French National Data Protection Commission (CNIL) has issued a formal notice to Microsoft regarding Windows 10 privacy and security concerns. The agency, along with the other European countries in the Article 29 working group on data privacy, have been investigating Microsoft since the release of Windows 10 last year. The CNIL has been responsible for data privacy law in France since 1978. Yesterday, CNIL Chairwoman Isabelle Falque-Pierrotin publicly served Microsoft Corporation formal notice telling them to “stop collecting excessive data and tracking browsing by users without their consent.”

France Warns Microsoft on Windows 10

The American company has 3 months to comply. CNIL is the first European data privacy authority to issue such a warning to Microsoft and they hinted that other European countries could have more to say in the future. The CNIL statement specifically said that Windows 10, as is, has a “lack of security” and a “lack of individual consent” when it came to privacy and tracking. France is concerned that Microsoft is making mass surveillance easier for some government, and it isn’t theirs.

While Microsoft has received a lot of flak for Windows 10’s ignoring of user’s choice or privacy, the company has stood up for the rights of its customers occasionally. Microsoft recently defended the emails stored on a server in Ireland from an American warrant which upheld Microsoft’s right to withhold internationally stored communications from an American search warrant was upheld in court; however, the United States Department of Justice is currently seeking to appeal that decision and is working on a mutual legal assistance treaty with the United Kingdom.

Around the world, government agencies and individual corporations are breaking away from the Microsoft monopoly. The Italian military and the UK government, among others, are switching to Libre Office, an open source alternative to Microsoft Office for cost saving purposes. While Libre Office can functionally replace Microsoft Office, most people find it harder to replace Windows as their OS: Therein lies the crux of Windows 10’s privacy concerns.

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  1. JK

    On one hand, I kind of want the push for corporate surveillance to apex at an extreme, so that Linux becomes more popular… On the other hand, having all of my favorite programs running natively is probably a pipe dream.

    7 years ago