For some time now, we have been concerned about what could become a truly egregious violation of your privacy: Microsoft not only accessing all your files, scanning, and analyzing your most sensitive data, but potentially merging this information through connections with third-party data brokers.
The possibility that Microsoft might be merging your data with these “brokers” is deeply concerning because the “data broker” business operates without oversight or accountability.
Once in the brokers’ hands, if what seems like this recent admission is indeed reality, and certainly as to the data brokers themselves, your private information and files are often resold repeatedly, with no record of where they go or how they’re used. By repeatedly, we mean tens or hundreds of times in many documented cases of “data broker” abuse of consumer personal information, with no limiting control or governance whatsoever.
The proof is here
While speculation lingered, the newly captured images from an update of the Official Microsoft Windows 11 privacy agreement brings the truth to light: Microsoft has admitted they are indeed working with “data brokers.” What exactly they are doing with them, and how do such agreements “vary over time?”
In short, anyone using Microsoft Windows on laptops or desktops now very well may have their data manipulated by the unregulated use and chaos of Internet “data brokers.”
As we routinely explain to our subscribers, if you are one of the many millions of people using Windows as your computer Operating System, Microsoft holds access to absolutely all your files, your computer’s microphone, and cameras, and can analyze even your most private information.
However according to the recent update of the Windows 11 privacy agreement we captured, Microsoft takes already liberal privacy policies a step further by collaborating with “data broker” organizations, many of which redistribute data without limits for maximizing profits.
Profit Over Privacy: How shadowy “Data Brokers” Threaten Us All
The “data broker” industry is for the most part completely unregulated.
Once with a broker, your data lives a life of its own, passed around and exploited hidden from view. There are no safeguards in this invisible market that exists beyond accountability and reason.
How exactly Microsoft is using this free-for-all “data broker” market, and what their objectives are, is an article for another day.
The New Windows: Agree to make essentially all the data and information on your computer available for surveillance, or you can’t use it.
By trusting Windows with all of your data, and with the realization that Microsoft is working with “data brokers,” you are now willingly providing a gateway in to your computer not just in connection with Microsoft but to perhaps the worst surveillance network of all, a global network of “data brokers”, who could very easily be—and likely are—chipping away at your security, identity and other digital rights every day of the week.
Those still believing their data is safe from being merged with that of data brokers under Windows’ care have entered a world without limits, oversight, or apology. Your information becomes the product, plundered and parasitized until your privacy and autonomy may eventually be stripped to nothing.
The truth is clear: there are no private details or secret communications Microsoft cannot access, and Microsoft is now willing to merge data broker data with your own. If concerned for privacy, freedom and your own well-being, relying on Windows may very well be the greatest threat of all.
Fighting Tyranny Without Disconnecting: How to Protect Your Rights in the Modern Digital Age
Because we have been helping people realize how badly their privacy is at risk for almost two years now, we are familiar with common reactions that people have when they realize just how bad their computer has been working against them.
A common reaction is to simply say “I’m going to unplug and go off grid.”
It’s easy to understand why people say this because it’s true that the privacy violations are horrible and when we don’t know what to do about something we tend to get very defensive.
When we were younger, many of us survived without computers so it is an obvious conclusion for many to arrive at as an initial reaction be to just say, “I’m going to go ‘low tech’ and opt out of all of this [complicated] stuff.”
Well, what if there was a better way instead of giving up our access to the same level of sophisticated tools that the rest of society has, what if we just got smarter about how we did our computing. What if there was a way to remain connected yet still protect our digital sovereignty at the same time?
The truth is that our privacy is being violated for various reasons, including providing an unjust advantage to specific groups who have greater access to information through technology. It’s easy to understand how those deliberately invading our privacy would be thrilled if we disconnected entirely as it would worsen our disadvantage and make it harder for us to defend our rights.
Such a solution does exist, it has been being perfected for the past thirty years, and when you discover it, you will like it!
Revolutionize Your Computing and Your Life. Discover the world of Free and Open Source Software and the Linux Operating System: A complete replacement for Microsoft Windows on your computer.
Linux is a Free and Open Source (FOSS) computer operating system that gives you way more control and privacy than Windows. It is a complete replacement for Microsoft Windows on your computer. Aside from being completely transparent with open-source code, it’s literally free to switch your computer over and install Linux. As FOSS software, there are no license fees.
With Linux, you have access to the actual software code running on your computer. You can tweak it, modify it, and customize it however you want. Best of all, Linux is designed from the ground up to prevent companies like Microsoft from snooping on you or putting backdoors in their software.
Why FOSS and Linux are Worth the Switch
•No forced updates – You always have full control over when or if your system updates. No automatic reboots or software changes under Linux.
•Open source code – Since the source code is open, researchers have scrutinized it and can verify there are no secret security issues or spying functions. With Windows, Microsoft controls the code and you have to trust them.
•Customizable privacy features – Things like VPNs, encryption, firewalls and anonymous browsing are super easy to set up on Linux to keep your activity private and protect your data.
•No telemetry or data collection – Linux does not collect any personal information or usage stats to send back to the company. None of that Windows data collection or sharing with other Microsoft products or “data brokers.”
•Fewer viruses and malware – Since Windows is the dominant target, most malware and viruses are designed to attack Windows PCs. Linux systems have far vastly fewer vulnerabilities and infections.
•Community control – The Linux community helps shape the direction of the software. No single company controls the OS and can implement whatever features benefit them most. It’s open source all the way!
In short, if privacy and control over your computing experience matter to you, Linux is hard to beat compared to Windows. We highly recommend giving it a try. You’ll be glad you did!
If Linux is such a better Digital environment for people to be in, why isn’t everyone using it?
There’s a tradeoff to getting back your Digital Freedom with Linux.
Switching from Windows to Linux takes some work and dedication. It will take most people several weeks or months of regular use to become fully comfortable with the operating system and its suite of tools. This time requirement and learning curve is what keeps many people stuck in the technocratic world of Windows, even though they know their data is leaking out all over the internet. A sad, but true place where many people find themselves in their computer use these days.
However, if you’re able to embrace reality and motivate yourself to make the switch, the effort required to learn Linux is easily worth it for the long-term benefits of being in control of your computing experience.
Adjusting to Linux
Once the initial learning curve is over, Linux will become your permanent and trusted digital home. Jeff.pro has helped thousands of people switch to Linux with very, very little negative feedback.
The switch to Linux may require some adjustment, but the rewards of digital freedom and privacy absolutely make it worth the effort. Once you take the time to learn the OS and available tools, you’ll have full control of your computing experience back in your hands.
Despite the transition, you’ll still have access to all the applications you rely on for working, learning, creating and life in general. Things like:
•The privacy-focused Brave browser – Linux has versions of all major browsers, or you can use privacy alternatives like Brave.
•OpenOffice or LibreOffice – Great, open source alternatives to Microsoft Office for word processing, spreadsheets, presentations and more.
•GIMP – A full-featured photo and graphics editor, like Photoshop. Open source and customizable to your needs.
•All your other favorites – Chances are there are Linux versions or alternatives available for any software you currently use. From creative suites to database tools to scientific/engineering programs. The options are vast.
What you gain in switches from Windows to Linux is far more meaningful than any individual application. You regain full sovereignty over your computing experience. No more forced updates, backdoors, malware, censorship or manipulation by corporations seeking to exploit you and control your access to information.
Linux frees you to think openly, learn endlessly and participate fully in building the future of technology on terms that respect privacy, agency and human freedom above all else. The tradeoff is absolutely worth it for the power and freedom it brings back into your hands as an informed and empowered user.
Your time and skills are valuable. We would never suggest an Operating System switch lightly. But in reclaiming control of your digital life from software companies overreaching for power and profit, you invest in yourself and help shape a future that benefits humanity, not just algorithmic tyrants and surveillance capitalism.
The freedom afforded by Linux is revolutionary and worth fighting for. Join thousands who are making the switch to Linux every day, reclaim your Digital Freedom with Linux, and never look back.
Jeff.pro helps you learn about the exciting world of Free and Open Source Software (FOSS) and the Linux computer Operating System, a complete replacement for Microsof Windows on your computers.
Start your Linux journey in our forums: https://forums.jeff.pro