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What does Microsoft know about you?

By 29th Aug 2018 No Comments

Privacy issues will always be in the news it seems. There is a growing concern about what many digital companies know about you and what they are doing with this information. This comes considering the recent Cambridge Analytica scandal.

Surprisingly, you have a lot more connections to Microsoft than you think. You might have an Office 365 account, use Windows 10, talk to Cortana, search with Bing or use the Edge browser. You can find out what Microsoft knows about you by following the instructions below.

What does Microsoft collect?

Microsoft could have quite a lot of data stored about you, depending on the services that you use from them. Microsoft may track your app usage, location data, voice requests, searches and even the films you watch on their media player.

Microsoft says that they collect this data to better your user experience. Let’s see what data they collect…

Privacy Dashboard

We need to start with Microsoft’s Privacy Dashboard. This is where you can view their privacy policies and your activity history. You will have to log into your account to view this page. This overview will help you understand their privacy practice and give you access to a bunch of controls for your own privacy.

Review activity history

Look for the “activity history” link which will allow you to see what Microsoft has collected. You can filter the results by search, voice, browser or locations. If you don’t sign into you actual device using a Microsoft account, you will probably get very little or no data showing.

If you are content with the data they collect, carry on. If you are not happy with some stuff, you can choose to clear your data, but first, download it.

Downloading your data from Microsoft

You can keep a copy of this data if you like. Microsoft does warn that this data contains sensitive data such as search history and location information. You should most definitely not download this data onto a public computer. To get you information click on the “Download your data” link and select “create new archive”.

Clearing your personal data

As you go on this journey to clear your data Microsoft will warn you about how clearing it will affect the recommendation ability of Cortana or typing experiences.

It is, however, ultimately your decision on what data you want Microsoft to keep in order to improve your computing experience.

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