Security

Windows 10 illegally collects data at install, says Brazil prosecutor

Federal prosecutors in Brazil have asked Microsoft to have Windows 10 stop automatically collecting user data within 15 days.

Building a slide deck, pitch, or presentation? Here are the big takeaways:
  • Federal prosecutors in Brazil claim that the standard installation process for Windows 10 violates local laws by collecting user data without "express consent."
  • Brazilian prosecutors are asking Microsoft to end its automatic data collection within 15 days and add new notifications on data collection.

The Windows 10 installation process violates local laws in Brazil by collecting user data without consent, federal prosecutors said in a court hearing Wednesday.

As reported by Reuters, federal prosecutors in Brazil said in a statement that the default installation settings for Windows 10 automatically gave approval for the collection of user data, such as emails, browsing history, and more. This follows a host of criticism lobbed at Microsoft over the Windows 10 installation process as violating user privacy by default.

Prosecutors said that Windows 10 collected user data without "express consent." As such, prosecutors have filed a lawsuit against Microsoft to end Windows 10's data collection practices.

SEE: Securing Windows policy (Tech Pro Research)

"The procedure violates innumerous constitutional [principles], such as the privacy protection," the federal prosecutors office in Sao Paulo said, according to Reuters.

Brazilian prosecutors are asking Microsoft to end automatic data collection through Windows 10 within 15 days, the report said. This is no small feat, as it would require Microsoft to change the installation process for the OS and push an update to all users in the region.

Additionally, the prosecutors are asking for an alert or notification system to be implemented in Windows 10 so users know what data is being captured, the report said.

An upfront fine of $2.87 million is also being requested by the prosecutors for the initial infraction, with an additional fine of $28,550 per day for each day Microsoft goes past the 15 day limit without ending its data collection practices, the report said. But, as Reuters noted, it's "not clear when a judge may issue a ruling."

Windows 10 can be installed with a user opting out of the data collection. Prosecutors acknowledged that this was possible, but they said it was too "labor intensive and complex" of a process for average users, while Windows 10 still collected some data.

The statement from the prosecutors alleged that Microsoft was trying to boost revenue with the collected data, while also noting that Windows 10 is used in the Brazilian government and the data collection processes put private information at risk.

Also see

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Image: CNET

About Conner Forrest

Conner Forrest is a Senior Editor for TechRepublic. He covers enterprise technology and is interested in the convergence of tech and culture.

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