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With Windows 8 requiring a Microsoft Live account for login does that mean Microsoft is monitoring user activity?

If so, what? Is the need for a Live account primarily for Metro apps and usage, or is Microsoft also gathering data on the desktop side as well?

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closed as off topic by random Nov 28 '12 at 21:12

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Windows 8 does not require a Live ID. The Live ID is only useful for cloud storage & migration of application setting, office 2013 documents, etc. You can create local user accounts just as you always have if you are that paranoid. – BBlake Nov 28 '12 at 20:07
Microsoft does not monitor your activity. – Ramhound Nov 28 '12 at 20:44

Windows introduced SmartScreen back in IE8, which scans for known or possible malware linked URLs, even before clicking on them. Additionally, that would check files before / during download. What that did is have to send the info to a database at MS to compare against.

They expanded this to the applications in Windows 8. What that means is that at least your basic hardware information and application info (meaning name, build, etc.) are sent in as well. They build a "trusted software database" off of this.

Could they link your usage and who runs what using this information (along with your IP that they get upon connection? Absolutely. Is that the intention, I doubt it (but there are always those that think MS is evil who would disagree.

Here is a good article from The Verge.

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Is these geared toward Metro apps or desktop apps as well? – Ein Doofus Nov 29 '12 at 1:23

As far as I know, Microsoft does not "monitor" anything or gather any data through your Live account. Here's an official description of the Live account integration with Windows, including benefits and a discussion of privacy concerns.

The article does not specifically address monitoring you, probably because the idea is somewhat preposterous. Consider -- if Microsoft was monitoring your activity, this would become evident through network snooping. Microsoft cannot afford to do this. And if they could, they would not need you to log in with LiveID. They'd be able to surreptitiously collect enough information about you to identify you anyway.

That's not to say that there's no monitoring going on outside of Microsoft. Applications, including Metro-style apps, can collect all kinds of metrics about how users interact with the apps. Here's an example: MarkedUp Analytics. But again, this is orthogonal to the Live account integration.

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