Privacy News Proton Mail says the new Outlook app for Windows is a data collection service

vtqhtr413

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Proton has accused Microsoft's new Outlook for Windows app for becoming a data collection service. It has outlined the various ways and data that the email app harvests from end users. Proton Mail's article is about a week old and flew under my radar, but given that user privacy is at stake, I think it warrants a discussion here. The Switzerland-based email service has termed the new Outlook as a surveillance tool that is used for targeted advertising.

According to Proton, some users in Europe who download the new Outlook for Windows app, will see a modal (pop-up) that displays a user agreement, which mentions that Microsoft shares your data with 772 third-parties. Yes, you read that right, 772. The only reason you may see that pop-up is because the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) makes it mandatory for web services to inform users about data collection and cookies. The rest of the world isn't as lucky.

I don't think users are going to mind all these companies looking over their shoulder and reading their mails, right? Actually, it is much worse than you think. Microsoft's advertising policy mentions that it does not collect personal data from emails, chats or documents for targeted ads. Data that is collected via telemetry is used to improve the user experience. But Proton says that Microsoft Outlook collects the following data from users:
  • Name and contact data
  • Passwords
  • Demographic data
  • Payment data
  • Subscription and licensing data
  • Search queries
  • Device and usage data
  • Error reports and performance data
  • Voice data
  • Text, inking, and typing data
  • Images
  • Location data
  • Content
  • Feedback and ratings
  • Traffic data
Full article
 
Mar 7, 2020
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Microsoft is a data-collecting company. They wouldn't want to give away Outlook for free, they have to make money off of it somehow, and that's through data collection and ads. In order to use products like Outlook or Gmail, you have to accept that your data is being collected.
Lots of companies try to get away with things like data collection, while labeling themselves as privacy-respecting companies, it's just that he punishments if they get caught aren't impacting them enough to be honest to their customers.
 

Jonny Quest

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Microsoft is a data-collecting company. They wouldn't want to give away Outlook for free, they have to make money off of it somehow, and that's through data collection and ads. In order to use products like Outlook or Gmail, you have to accept that your data is being collected.
Lots of companies try to get away with things like data collection, while labeling themselves as privacy-respecting companies, it's just that he punishments if they get caught aren't impacting them enough to be honest to their customers.
But it is nice to see the bullet point list in the article of at least what Proton says Outlook is collecting.
 
Mar 7, 2020
84
But it is nice to see the bullet point list in the article of at least what Proton says Outlook is collecting.
Yeah, even passwords. Microsoft have been caught searching for passwords in emails for encrypted files before. I believe someone was sharing malicious files for learning purposes, and used OneDrive for it. Apparently, Microsoft had cleaned the encrypted files from malware. So, they went out of their way to access encypted files in OneDrive. (3:16 in the video)

 

vtqhtr413

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After years of delay and uncertainty, Google has finally begun phasing out third-party cookies — the cornerstone of retargeting advertising — in earnest. On January 4, 2024, just as the world rang in the New Year, Google announced that it had begun restricting third-party cookies by default for 1% of Chrome browsers. This may feel like a drop, or even a droplet, in the vast ocean. But it’s actually an important milestone. And not just because the move will affect about 32 million people, which represents about 1% of Chrome’s 3.2 billion user base.

Chrome’s rivals like Firefox and Safari (and we’re not even talking about browsers like Brave and Tor, which have made privacy their number one priority) have long blocked third-party cookies by default. So for Chrome, the world’s most popular browser, to finally join that list is a big deal. But it’s the reason behind this extensive delay that interests us the most in the context of privacy.
 

Freki123

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Microsoft is a data-collecting company. They wouldn't want to give away Outlook for free, they have to make money off of it somehow, and that's through data collection and ads.
Collecting data is one thing. Collecting login information/passwords is something different. Articles about that started in November but any update to get more people to read about it is always good.
 

simmerskool

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Microsoft is a data-collecting company. They wouldn't want to give away Outlook for free, they have to make money off of it somehow, and that's through data collection and ads. In order to use products like Outlook or Gmail, you have to accept that your data is being collected.
Lots of companies try to get away with things like data collection, while labeling themselves as privacy-respecting companies, it's just that he punishments if they get caught aren't impacting them enough to be honest to their customers.
mozilla offers Thunderbird for free. Has Thunderbird been audited for this issue.
 

Stopspying

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IMO this is Google playing with words again in attempting to obfuscate what they are really doing. Their 'Privacy Sandbox' appears to be a contender for 'Misnomer of the Year' in that it is not what I recognise as either 'privacy' or a 'sandbox'. Cookies = cash to Google, their business model doesn't allow for cookies/cookie replacement(s) = no cash.
 

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