Microsoft wars with China over Windows 8 spying


As American’s can attest to, the NSA has come under fire as of late thanks to many reports that your personal life isn’t quite as personal as you would like to think.  Apparently, China is now also feeling a similar emotion thanks to Microsoft infringing on privacy through the likes of Windows 8.

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China Central Television has called out the technology company for, what it believes, is Microsoft collecting data on its users of Windows 8.  In a transcript published by the Wall Street Journal, an interview conducted by CCTV shared an academic’s thoughts on the data collection practices by Microsoft.  Ni Guangnan, an academician at the Chinese Academy of Engineering, had this to say:

"“It’s very easy for providers of operating systems to obtain various types of sensitive user information.  They can find out your identity, your account information, your contact list, your mobile phone number. With all that data together, using big data analysis, a party can understand the conditions and activities of our national economy and society.”"

Thanks to documents leaked by former NSA employee, Edward Snowden, Guangnan also pointed out that Microsoft has worked with the US Government to get its hands on encrypted information sent via the Internet.

Microsoft took to its Weibo account to try to set the record straight.  Through translation, the company claims:

  • Never “assisted any government in an attack of another government or clients.”
  • Never “provided any government the authority to directly visit…products or services.”
  • Never provided a “backdoor” to products or services.
  • Never provided client data or information to the US government or the NSA.
  • Never “concealed any requests from any government for information about its clients.”

While China and Microsoft will likely no settle their differences any time soon, it is worth noting that security concerns have been an ever-growing discussion point for much of the last year.  Since Edward Snowden’s leaks, individuals across the globe have continued to have heightened security concerns for their personal information.