Windows 10 Creators Update Hides a Secret Ad Switch, Privacy Group Warns
Microsoft is tweaking Windows 10 Creators Update to address all the recent privacy complaints, so the operating system will come with an improved OOBE that includes more options to give users better control of their data when installing the update.
Dutch consumer group Consumentenbond, however, issued a warning for users in the country after discovering what it claims to be a sneaky ad setting that’s not visible by default and which could lead to “personalized” ads to be displayed on Windows 10 devices.
Specifically, the organization claims that when setting up Windows 10 Creators Update, users are provided with several options during the process, some of which concern the privacy level in the operating system.
The hidden setting
There’s one hidden setting though, which only shows up when hovering the mouse on the right screen triggering a scroll bar to be enabled. Scrolling down reveals an ad option, which according to Microsoft “lets apps use adverting ID to make ads more interesting to you based on your app usage.” In other words, Windows 10 checks out your installed apps and then displays ads based on the collected data.
“Microsoft should let users enable advertising tracking on their PCs,” the Dutch consumer group says. “Allowing users to see an option that’s enabled by default is equal to legal consent and is just as valuable as a signature on a contract,” it continues.
Microsoft has already responded to the organization and explained that these claims were made after installing a preview version of the Windows 10 Creators Update, and the company keeps improving privacy settings in the operating system.
Consumentenbond notes that Microsoft has only a few weeks to implement privacy changes and address these concerns given the fact that the Creators Update is just around the corner, and emphasizes that the ad setting should be visible by default to make it easy for everyone to disable it without having to scroll.