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Windows 10 sends your activity log to Microsoft, even if you do not say so



Windows 10 captures an "activity log" of the applications you launch on your PC and sends it to Microsoft. Even if you disable or disable this, the Microsoft Privacy Dashboard still displays an "activity log" of the applications you have started on your PCs.

This issue was recently discussed in Reddit and is relatively easy to validate. Go to Settings> Privacy> Activity History and uncheck "Send my activity history to Microsoft". Since it was already disabled on our PC, this is easy to test.

You can do this for bonus points. Click on the "Delete" button under "Delete Activity History". This should theoretically erase all this data from the Microsoft servers. Obviously not.

Finally, on the Activity History Settings page, click the Privacy Dashboard link.

This will take you to the Privacy Dashboard of Microsoft Page in your web browser. Click the Activity History link at the top of the page to see the activity history associated with your Microsoft account.

You can see a list of the applications you have started on your connected PCs. Even if you have disabled or deleted your Activity Log on these PCs.

This is pretty weird and confusing, but we believe that there is a simple explanation: Microsoft also collects a history of the applications that start you through Windows 10 Diagnosis. We believe the Activity History page on the Privacy Dashboard has a false name. It is not part of the Windows 10 Activity History feature associated with the timeline.

Windows 10's default full diagnostic setting sends "information about websites you visit and how apps and features are used." These data can only be sent to Microsoft through the normal telemetry of Windows 10. These options are available in Settings> Privacy> Diagnostics & Feedback.

This confusing mess shows how Microsoft did not explain exactly what data Windows 10 captures and how you can control it.

The Privacy Dashboard was designed to make this more transparent, but even the dashboard is confusing and uses fake names that do not match the corresponding features in Windows 10. Microsoft has much work to do here.


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