Friends of mine in government, in law offices, or in doctors offices often have a work/personal email that comes with a disclaimer. "This communication is confidential," etc, and is intended only for the recipient. It's a bit of legalese, but it's necessary, especially for people who work in law or medicine, who have to comply with some pretty strict confidentiality laws and agreements.
If you have any job or work which requires some kind of legally or professionally-mandated confidentiality, whether it's Doctor-Patient or Attourney-Client, you should not use Windows 10, even on your home machine.
That's because by installing Windows 10, you're agreeing to an End User License Agreement which gives Microsoft permission to read your emails, record your location and activities, log your browsing history and what programs and applications you run, and share these with "trusted" sources. You're also agreeing that Microsoft can turn over the content of those emails along with data about you mined from your computer, to any trusted partner, or to any law enforcement agency based on a "good faith" determination by Microsoft that the content is needed by that agency.
There is no way for an ordinary user to disable these settings. Unless you're familiar with group policy settings, using an elevated command prompt, and editing the computer's registry, there is simply no way to disable Microsoft's data mining system. If you don't have a "Pro" version, you won't even have access to gpedit, and so there will no way for you to fully disable the pre-installed spyware.
Finally, we will access, disclose and preserve personal data, including your content (such as the content of your emails, other private communications or files in private folders), when we have a good faith belief that doing so is necessary to:
1. comply with applicable law or respond to valid legal process, including from law enforcement or other government agencies;
2. protect our customers, for example to prevent spam or attempts to defraud users of the services, or to help prevent the loss of life or serious injury of anyone;
3. operate and maintain the security of our services, including to prevent or stop an attack on our computer systems or networks; or
4. protect the rights or property of Microsoft, including enforcing the terms governing the use of the services - however, if we receive information indicating that someone is using our services to traffic in stolen intellectual or physical property of Microsoft, we will not inspect a customer's private content ourselves, but we may refer the matter to law enforcement.
In addition, there's a new telemetry system called "Asimov" which can be used to monitor the usage of any Windows 10 computer in real time, and if you agree to use Windows 10, you agree to let Microsoft monitor your computer at any time, for any reason, and to share any data they gather with their trusted partners. And no, you don't get to know who those partners are. They might even let law enforcement have access to what you're doing in real time. That might include access to your webcam.
For those technically inclined, there's a post over at reddit which outlines how to partially disable Microsofts snooping system.] There is no guarantee that updates to Windows 10 won't reactivate that system, and no guarantee that the backdoors built into the OS for Microsoft's can't be accessed by government agencies or hackers.
And if that means that your private files regarding a client end up in the hands of someone else, you're the one who can be sued, because you agreed to the windows 10 EULA.
It's not Microsoft's fault. I'm not a lawyer, but I'm pretty sure that you, the user, are the one who can be found negligent in a court of law should Microsoft seize one of your clients' confidential data and share it with one of their trusted partners or with law enforcement in a way that does harm to your client. That's because by simply using Windows 10, you agreed that Microsoft was allowed to spy on you, and through you, your client.
If this scares you, it should. I'm absolutely terrified, and I'm one of the few people who knows how to dig into the registry and at least partially excise the pre-installed spyware.
I hope business will take a look at Windows 10 and start screaming bloody murder. That might make Microsoft wake the hell up. If you work for Apple, now is the time to steal all of Microsoft's business clientele by promising to protect their trade secrets and their customers' data. That might also make Microsoft backpedal.
Til then, I'm jumping ship for Linux, and I suggest that you come with me. There are some easy ways to install that OS, (Ubuntu, Debian, and Linux Mint come to mind) and with WINE, you can run almost all of your windows applications on Linux anyway.
If this is how Microsoft handles privacy, I'm not going to stick around and get spied on.
11:22 AM PT: A question has been asked several times, that I wish to answer.
What does the privacy statement on Microsoft's website have to do with using Windows 10?
It's part of the Windows 10 licensing agreement:
3. Privacy; Consent to Use of Data. Your privacy is important to us. Some of the software features send or receive information when using those features. Many of these features can be switched off in the user interface, or you can choose not to use them. By accepting this agreement and using the software you agree that Microsoft may collect, use, and disclose the information as described in the Microsoft Privacy Statement (aka.ms/privacy), and as may be described in the user interface associated with the software features.
That privacy statement applies to everything you do.
Oh, and if you live in the US, by using the Windows software, you agree to arbitration, and never to sue Microsoft for stealing your data.
You can read the license terms for Win 10 here, if you like: http://www.microsoft.com/...