Microsoft's Terms of Service Updated to be even more Draconian
Microsoft just spammed us informing that they are updating their terms of service. Their new terms are even more big-brother like than their previous terms. Their e-mail spam claims that you agree them reading your e-mails and sharing the content with contractors and partners just by using any of their products. You should absolutely resist and close your Microsoft accounts and remove all traces of Microsoft software from computing devices in your vicinity.
Microsoft claims that not closing your accounts with them before August 30th, 2019 is the same as accepting their terms of service. We recently signed up with their "Webmaster" services to see if it was possible to make their utterly stupid web crawler "bingbot" not do silly things like request a low-case version of every URL in addition to the mixed-case version.
Microsoft's new nightmarish terms can be read at microsoft.com: Microsoft Services Agreement.
Here's one of the more important points: Microsoft, in their Services Agreement, claims that "your content" is "your communications with others" including the documents on your computer, videos and livestreams and your e-mail. They then go on to claim that "your content" is magically "their data". They refer to their Microsoft Privacy Statement for information about how they use the data they collect. The more important point from that "privacy" statement is: "We also share data with Microsoft-controlled affiliates and subsidiaries; with vendors working on our behalf; when required by law or to respond to legal process; to protect our customers; to protect lives; to maintain the security of our products; and to protect the rights and property of Microsoft and its customers."
What this means, concretely, is this: Microsoft is spies on you and shares that data with anyone who's even remotely connected to them. Basically everyone who asks.
It is important to note that Microsoft claims that just using their products given them consent to read your e-mail and share it's contents with contractors, partners and basically anyone who asks for a sneak peak. You need to disinfect any and all computers infected by a malicious piece of software called "Windows" to avoid being spied on. This software is often pre-installed on new computers. There are various methods which can be used to remove Windows infections from computers. Good options for most people include Debian, Manjaro Linux and FreeBSD. HarmoniKR is a great option for South Korean people. You can find a list of more software which can be used to clean Windows infestations at https://www.gnu.org/distros/free-distros.html
You should also take care to remove any traces of "Windows" software from friends and family members computers or you run the risk of their devices spying on you when you are in their presence.
Remember: You do not have to simply bend over and agree when multi-national corporations make their "terms" increasingly draconian and in direct violation of local laws. You can resist by not using their products.
You can close individual Microsoft accounts by visiting their "close your account" service which, ironically, will in some cases require you to "verify" your account using a phone number.
published 2019-07-15 - last edited 2019-07-15
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