TechSpace Knowledgebase
Search:     Advanced search
Browse by category:
Contact Us

HOW TO CONTROL YOUR PRIVACY IN CHROMEBOOKS VS. WINDOWS 10

Views: 362
Votes: 0
Posted: 07 Sep, 2016
by:
Updated: 28 Feb, 2017
by:

When it comes to privacy, both Google’s Chrome OS and Microsoft’s Windows 10 take an “opt-out” stance.

By default, both platforms collect a variety of data about your usage, but the way they go about it is often different. While Microsoft presents users with a long list of privacy-related toggles, Google’s controls are less granular. Both companies, however, make you jump through additional hoops to disable the kind of personalized ads that help them turn a profit.

PCWorld recently broke down all the ways Microsoft grabs at your data in Windows 10, so it’s only fair we compare that to Google’s computing platform. Here’s how Chrome OS and Windows 10 measure up on privacy and data collection.

Setting up privacy

During setup, Google isn’t overly interested in presenting lots of privacy options. Aside from a single toggle for usage and crash data collection, Chrome OS only lets you adjust privacy settings after the initial setup. And as you might expect Google enables a fair amount of data collection by default. (We’ll dive into specifics later.)

Microsoft’s “Express” settings in Windows 10 are similarly aggressive, but at least you have the option to customize many settings before the operating system is up and running. By choosing custom settings, you can adjust nearly every aspect of data collection in Windows 10, from behavior tracking to location data to telemetry.

windows 10 install customize settings personalization location

At the end of the Windows 10 installation, you can walk through customizing a number of settings, including these for Personalization and Location. 

Collecting your typing

One of Windows 10’s more controversial settings involves the collection of typing, handwriting, and speech data, which is supposed to help Microsoft auto-correct people’s names. This isn’t exactly a keylogger—Microsoft says it filters and slices up the data to avoid collecting personal information—but it’s still a bit creepy. It’s also enabled by default in Windows 10.

Chrome OS offers a similar setting, called Use a web service to help resolve spelling errors, but it’s disabled by default. Turning it on lets Chrome OS tap into the same web-based spell check that Google uses for its search engine, but in exchange you have to send everything you type to Google’s servers.

During setup, Chrome OS’s sole privacy-related checkbox opts to Make Chrome OS better by automatically sending usage statistics and crash reports to Google. This is checked by default, and you must click a Learn more button to understand what you’re agreeing to.

With usage statistics, Google collects data on “preferences, button clicks, and memory usage,” but it’s aggregated across all users. Crash reports, however, can get more personal, with Google noting it may collect “webpage URLs or personal information, depending on what was happening at the time of the crash.”

To Google’s credit, it’s easy enough to disable this telemetry data collection during setup. That’s not the case with Windows 10.

Although Windows 10 setup lets you reduce diagnostic data collection from “Full” to “Enhanced,” this still entitles Microsoft to use this data for “a more personalized Windows experience.” Disabling this level of data collection requires a separate trip to Windows settings after setup, but keep in mind there’s no way to stop Microsoft from pulling basic telemetry data off your machine.

win10diagnostic

Browsing activity

Because the browser is at the core of Chrome OS, it’s important to look at the data Google collects as you access the web.

By default, Google collects the URLs of pages you visit to provide alternate suggestions when you can’t reach a webpage. It auto-completes searches and URLs based on your browsing history and related searches, and it pre-loads webpages (including their tracking cookies) for web links you might click. A visit to Chrome OS settings lets you disable each of these options.

chromebookprivacy

Microsoft’s own Edge browser has similar URL and search suggestions, along with predictive pre-fetching of websites. Windows 10 enables these options by default as well, and you can disable them through Edge’s advanced settings menu.

As for cookies, both browsers allow you to block or limit their use. They also support Do Not Track, which asks websites not to follow you around with tracking cookies, but they both disable this option by default. (Many websites, including Google’s own, don’t honor these requests anyway, so you’re better off using third-party privacy tools to avoid tracking.)

One last thing to keep in mind: Using Google’s Chrome browser subjects you to many of the same privacy practices that apply to Chrome OS. So if you use Chrome in Windows 10, you’ll have to double your efforts to keep data collection in check.

Personalized ads

Both Microsoft and Google are trying to collect ad revenue through their respective operating systems, so perhaps it’s no surprise that they both make personalized ads tricky to opt out of.

For Google, you must visit the ads section of the company’s privacy dashboard website. From there, you can turn off the “ads personalization” toggle, or fine-tune the information in your profile. These settings apply across all Google services.

googleprivacydash

Microsoft has its own ad settings website, where you can disable personalized ads both in your browser and across other devices tied to your Microsoft account (including Windows 10 devices).

microsoftprivacydash

App data

Although Chrome OS is a browser-based operating system, it also lets you install apps from the Chrome Web Store. Unfortunately, Chrome OS doesn’t offer an easy way to manage the data that these apps can access. You’ll get a disclaimer when you first install each app, but your only option if you’re uneasy about data collection is to uninstall.

Some Chromebooks can also install Android apps from the Google Play Store, and the privacy controls for these apps are much more granular. An “Android apps” section in the Chrome OS settings lets you control what type of data each app can access.

Windows 10 has similar controls in the Privacy section of its Settings menu. From here, you can control access to things like location, contacts, messaging, and calendar on a per-app basis. You can also prevent apps from using your unique identifier to show personalized ads.

winprivacylocation

A final word about data collection

In fairness to Google and Microsoft, data collection isn’t automatically a bad thing. Features like search prediction and page pre-caching are beneficial for users. Sending telemetry data helps make the operating system more stable. One might even argue that personalized ads are better than irrelevant ones.

Still, there’s a trade-off to these enhancements, in that Google and Microsoft get to know just a little more about you, and in the feeling that whatever you’re doing, on some level you’re being watched. That’s why it’s important for companies to be transparent about data collection, and to provide users with control.

Overall, Microsoft and Google offer a sufficient level of control for privacy and data collection in their respective operating systems. They’re just banking on the likelihood that most people won’t mess with the defaults.

This story, "How to control your privacy in Chromebooks vs. Windows 10" was originally published by PCWorld.

cr.itnews.com

Others in this Category
document How to Clear Your Computer’s CMOS to Reset BIOS Settings
document Install Hyper-V and create a virtual machine
document Configure DHCP Using Policy-based Assignment
document What Are Domains and Forests?
document Phoenix ISA/MCA/EISA BIOS Beep Codes
document How to make a self extracting archive that runs your setup.exe with 7zip -sfx switch
document Configuring a Syslog Agent in Windows Server 2012
document Configuring PHP Development Environment in Windows
document Installing and Configuring target iSCSI server on Windows Server 2012
document How To Make UEFI Bootable USB Flash Drive to Install Windows 8
document TCP/IP Command-line
document How to set up an Internet email account in Outlook 2013 or 2016
document Enable Hyper-V on Windows 8.1
document Quickly Turn ON/OFF Windows Firewall Using Command Line
document How to List All of the Windows and Software Updates Applied to a Computer
document How to Repair a Windows 7 System with an Installation Disc
document How to Create Bootable USB from a Windows ISO
document How to Create Bootable USB from an IMG File
document 20 Terminal shortcuts developers need to know
document How to Update Your BIOS
document Getting Started With Lync Mobile 2010 For Android Devices
document "Attachment size exceeds the allowable limit" error when you add a large attachment to an email message in Outlook
document How do I renew the IP address for my computer ?
document Is your Windows 10 PC slowing you down, and the SFC utility is unable to fix the problem? Then use DISM to repair the Windows image to enable SFC to do its job.
document How to make a full backup of a Windows 10 or Windows 8.1 PC
document How to create a System Restore Point in Windows 10 with a simple double-click
document How to properly remove the Windows.old folder on Windows 10
document How control your Windows 10 PC or phone with another computer with the Connect app
document How to use Bing images within Office and Edge on Windows 10 PC.
document How to fix taskbar search not working in Windows 10
document How to disable or uninstall OneDrive on Windows 10 PC
document How to re-activate Windows 10 after a hardware change
document How to change the system language across your whole Windows 10 PC
document Use Windows Defender Offline to remove tough viruses from your Windows 10 PC
document 16 Essential keyboard shortcuts everyone should know using Continuum for phones
document How to disable Action Center in Windows 10
document How to use Storage Spaces in Windows 10
document How to generate a Battery Report in Windows 10.
document Create Fake File in Window PC in Any Size and Any Format
document INCREASE BATTERY LIFE OF LAPTOP EASILY
document How to perform an image backup in Windows 8.1 or 10
document Block Windows 10 Upgrade
document Chrome reset for adware issues
document Revert from Windows 10 back to previous operating system
document Windows 7 Guide to using Microsoft Security Essentials
document Force Dragon Naturally Speaking to load a particular user profile
document Texthelp Read and Write Gold Prediction returns strange results or receives double letters
document Connect Powershell to your Windows Azure subscription
document How to set up desktop background image rotation in Windows 8
document How to adjust your Laptops screen brightness in Windows 8/8.1
document Microsoft Security Essential Install, Windows 7
document Set the default Microsoft Word template back to a blank document
document Schedule Windows to shutdown or restart after a time limit
document 20 Windows 8 and 8.1 shortcuts
document Bypass Windows 8 and 8.1 login screen
document All the Ways You Can Still Get Windows 10 for Free
document The Complete Guide to Giving Better Family Tech Support
document How to Stop Skype from Running in the Background on Windows 10
document How to Upgrade to a Larger Hard Drive Without Reinstalling Windows
document How to Find and Remove Duplicate Files on Windows
document Scammers Are Using a Fake Version of AdwCleaner to Trick People
document How to Use OneDrive as Your Default Save Location on Windows 8.1
document How To Fix a Blue Screen of Death
document How To Fix Comdlg32.dll Not Found or Missing Errors
document How to Fix Fm20.dll Not Found or Missing Errors
document How to Fix Gdi32.dll Not Found or Missing Errors
document How To Fix Libxml2.dll Not Found or Missing Errors
document How to Fix Mfc42.dll Not Found or Missing Errors
document How to Fix Mfc90.dll Not Found or Missing Errors
document How To Fix Msvcp71.dll Not Found or Missing Errors
document How To Fix Msvcp80.dll Not Found or Missing Errors
document How To Fix Msvcr70.dll Not Found or Missing Errors
document How To Fix Msxml6.dll Errors
document How to Fix Ole32.dll Not Found or Missing Errors
document How To Fix Oleaut32.dll Not Found or Missing Errors
document How To Fix Shell32.dll Not Found or Missing Errors
document How To Fix Sqlite3.dll Not Found or Missing Errors
document How To Fix Ssleay32.dll Not Found or Missing Errors
document How To Fix STOP 0x00000005 Errors
document How To Fix STOP 0x0000007B Errors
document Keep the Windows 10 Taskbar Visible While Using the On-Screen Keyboard
document EdgeDeflector Forces Cortana to Use Your Default Web Browser
document How to Move the Clock to Right-Most Corner on the Taskbar in Windows 10
document Add Control Panel (Or Any Program) To Your Right-Click Menu With a Registry Tweak
document Six Keyboard Shortcuts Every Computer User Should Know
document How to Upgrade Your Computer's Login Screen
document How to Use Windows 8's New File History Backup (aka Time Machine for Windows)
document What Kind of Maintenance Do I Need to Do on My Windows PC?
document How to Do a Clean Install of Windows Without Losing Your Files, Settings, and Tweaks
document How to disable Microsoft Windows 10 keylogger (enabled by default)
document How to Use the Cortana Voice Assistant in Windows 10
document How to Map a Network Drive in Windows 10
document How to Sync Your iPhone with Windows 10
document How to turn Off Windows Update in Windows 10
document How to Change a NetBIOS Name
document How to turn off Windows Automatic Updates in Windows 8/8.1
document How To Disable Updates in Windows 7
document How to Run Disk Cleanup on a Windows 7 Computer
document How to Check If Windows 10 Is Activated or Not
document How to Check CPU Speed
document How to Create a Shortcut to Windows Update in Windows 10
document How to Enter the BIOS Setup Utility or Boot Menu with windows
document How to Install Drivers
document How to Check the Application Event Log for Errors
document How to Optimize Windows 10 Performance by tweaking Visual Effects
document How to Setting Password Protected Print Jobs
document How to Change User Account Name in Windows 10
document How to Set Up and Use Remote Desktop for Windows 10
document How to Find Drivers for Devices Using a Hardware ID
document How to Changing BIOS mode from UEFI to Legacy
document How to Speed Up Windows 10
document How to Outlook 2010 - Rebuild the index file
document How To Fix Outlook 2016 Search Problems
document How to Release and renew IP address
document How to HP Printers - USB Printer Setup (Windows)
document How to disable Windows Defender in Windows 7
document How to Turn On or Off Windows Defender in Windows 8 and 8.1
document How to Use Simple IF Statements in Excel
document Why Does 64-Bit Windows Need Two Program Files Folders?



RSS