Windows 10 been bombarded by privacy complaints ever since it was released, and even well before that. A recent update to Microsoft’s service agreement has been an especially popular target for these complaints as it would allow the company to scan your computer for counterfeit hardware and pirated games and then remotely disable them. Obviously this wasn’t well received by pirates, which is one of the reasons why several torrent trackers have decided to ban Windows 10.
Since the release of Windows 10 last month many media reports have focused on various privacy intrusions. The WiFi password sharing feature, for example, or the extensive sharing of personal data and information back to Microsoft’s servers. The list goes on and on. While we’re the last ones to defend these policies, it is worth pointing out that many other large tech companies have similar privacy violating policies. Reading rants about Windows 10 privacy on Facebook is particularly ironic. This week things took a turn for the worse. Slowly but steadily reports started pouring in that Windows 10 has a built-in piracy kill switch. If we were to believe some of the reports, Microsoft would nuke all torrents downloaded from The Pirate Bay. The truth is nowhere near as dystopian though. The controversy originates from a single line in Microsoft’s Service Agreement which allows the company to download software updates and configuration changes that may prevent people from “playing counterfeit games.” This change isn’t limited to Windows 10 but covers many services. Also, there is no indication that this will ever be used to target third-party games, which is highly unlikely.