Hey, a privacy policy that’s not hard to read. That’s new. Microsoft released an updated end user license agreement that has people snapping up virtual pitchforks.

The company has the power to snoop around your computer. If you’re worried about privacy in the digital age, you may want to sit down. Always assume a log is being kept, the government is data mining and plenty of tracking cookies.

Nature of the beast. Don’t like it? Well, you probably don’t want to install Windows 10. Or Mac OSX. Google whatever weird crap pops into your head. Each company tracks.

Here’s the part that has people up in arms:

Sometimes you’ll need software updates to keep using the Services. We may automatically check your version of the software and download software updates or configuration changes, including those that prevent you from accessing the Services, playing counterfeit games, or using unauthorized hardware peripheral devices. You may also be required to update the software to continue using the Services. Such updates are subject to these Terms unless other terms accompany the updates, in which case, those other terms apply. Microsoft isn’t obligated to make any updates available and we don’t guarantee that we will support the version of the system for which you licensed the software.

Translation? You may want to avoid downloading a cracked version of Halo 5. An update will brick the game. Granted, if you want to play whack-a-mole with Microsoft, that’s your prerogative. It’s illegal, but whatever floats your boat.

Privacy Issues?

What concerns communities like TorrentFreak is a seemingly blanket statement that Microsoft is detecting any third-party downloads – legal, not so legal and definitely illegal. Who decides which is which when you are using torrent clients?

Is Microsoft actively scanning your system? I doubt they would ever admit to that one, but if they can scan for their own IPs, it’s not out of the question.

windows 10 battles illegal downloads

Will Microsoft be able to prevent you from P2P sharing in a blanket manner? They just managed to give us back the Windows button, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

The technology giant has been able to detect you using pirated Microsoft software for years. Why do you think cracked versions of the software told you not to accept updates? That security patch also authenticated your license.

Microsoft is being coy on clarifying its stance. Asked for comment, they refer to the end-user license agreement (EULA). Being able to brick pirated software isn’t new. Companies like EA use authentication to keep illegal downloads of its library at bay.

Does it work? It acts as a discouragement for the more pedestrian pirates. Besides, does Microsoft really care about your lack of taste when it comes to TV shows? Comcast might, but Microsoft doesn’t.

What about the future? Will Microsoft use its EULA to start cutting off access to torrent clients etc? It would be a great way to piss off the Internet at large. I wouldn’t put it past them, but for now Microsoft is more concerned about making Windows 10 a success story over worrying what random crap you’re downloading.

Gear. TV. Movies. Lifestyle. Photography. Yeah, I’m the type who sees a shiny object and is immediately captivated. Wait... There’s another. You can reach me at marcus@newsledge.com

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