Dutch privacy watchdog says Windows 10 breaks Dutch law

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Microsoft’s new operating system Windows 10 is breaking Dutch law because Microsoft is not providing proper information about what it does with the data it collects, according to the Dutch privacy watchdog DPA.

To comply with Dutch law, Microsoft needs to get valid user content, the DPA said. This means the company must be clear about what data Windows 10 collects and how that data is being processed.

‘The company does not clearly inform users that it continuously collects personal data about the use of apps and web-surfing behaviour through its web browser Edge when on default settings,’ the DPA said in a statement.

‘Microsoft’s operating system follows just about every step you take on your computer,’ DPA deputy chairman Wilbert Tomesen said. ‘This results in an intrusive profile of yourself.’

Over four million active devices in the Netherlands use Windows 10, the DPA said.

The DPA says that ‘Microsoft has indicated that it wants to end all violations’. However, ‘if this is not the case, the Dutch DPA can decide to impose a sanction on Microsoft.’

According to TechCrunch, the French watchdog CNIL gave Microsoft three months to fix privacy and security issues to comply with French data protection law.

Blog post

Microsoft said in a blog post that ensuring Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro are clearly compliant under Dutch law is a priority.

‘We welcome the opportunity to continue to work with the Dutch DPA on their comments related to Windows 10 Home and Pro, and we will continue to cooperate with the DPA to find appropriate solutions,’ Microsoft said.

However, Microsoft said it had also shared specific concerns with the Dutch DPA about the accuracy of some of its findings and conclusions. ‘A summary of the points in the DPA’s announcement, which we believe do not accurately reflect the data protection compliance of Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro under Dutch law, can be found here,’ Microsoft said.

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