Microsoft Windows 10 is helping parents to keep a watch on their kids by providing the parents with weekly “activity updates” regarding their kids’ Internet browsing and computer history by default, says a report from the Times of India. This is a silent feature, and can generate awkward and embarrassing situations for users by allowing parents to monitor their kids surfing habits.
Windows 10 a parents spy
Windows 10 is sending a detailed weekly note, with the name of visited websites, number of hours spent on the computer and how long they have used their favorite apps, says the reports. The services provided are by default for the family account without any notification to the parents or the children. The feature is listed in Microsoft’s Windows 10 online documentation.
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One reader called “Boing Boing” wrote an email to the site, that he just upgraded his 14-years old son’s laptop to Windows 10 from Windows 8 last weekend, and got a detailed report via “creepy-ass email” from Microsoft with a heading ‘Weekly activity report for [my kid]’, including “which websites he’s visited, how many hours per day he’s used it, and how many minutes he used each of his favorite apps.”
Much harm than good
Twitter users have already warned that the feature could accidentally out young LGBT people, by providing their web browsing details to their parents, resulting in abuse by their parents, the report says. On the other hand, some people say that the Windows 10 feature is an effort to teach “children from the youngest age their every motion is being digital watched and they should self-censor as appropriate.”
According to The Independent, the feature could block the learning ability of the kids as internet is seen as a platform by many to get information on the sensitive topics such as sex, homosexuality, etc., and sending a detailed report of this to parents will discourage kids from exploring.
Daring Fireball’s John Gruber terms the feature as “creepy,” and questions if “disabling those options actually stops Microsoft gathering the data, or just the reporting back to a parent?”
Torrent sites have also boycotted Windows 10 as they do not want to give their secret information to Microsoft. This is a major issue and will trouble Microsoft the same way as when it was found that PCs still send information to Microsoft’s cloud even after changing the privacy settings.