Windows 10 Faces Torrent Site Bans Over Privacy Concerns

In an apparent burst of paranoia over privacy concerns raised by the open-ended Windows 10 EULA (End User License Agreement), Beta News reports that torrent site iTS has banned Windows 10 users from accessing their trackers. They also noted that other leading platforms FSC and BB were considering taking similar action against Windows 10.

While Windows 10 will continue to provide information to Microsoft that allows them to work with MarkMonitor, a large anti-piracy organization, it’s likely that most of this Windows 10 collaboration will be in the interest of stopping phishing, not attempting to detect third-party game piracy, as pointed out by TorrentFreak.

These developments are not significant for those who use Windows 10 exclusively for work or to play purchased, new games that work correctly on Windows 10. However there are some situations where users are forced to resort to patches and downloaded versions of older games that they have purchased on CD-ROM due to Windows 10 not supporting their outdated anti-piracy software, as reported in the International Business Times.

Presumably if, and it’s a big “if,” any collection of search results and local files on Windows 10 systems was passed to anti-piracy groups, these users could be caught up inadvertently in the web. However it’s debatable, as pointed out by PC Gamer, whether Windows 10 not supporting your outdated games legally entitles you to download them from third party torrent sites in any case.

Windows 10 visitors to the iTS site were being redirected to the video below.

The video covers various aspects of the extremely lengthy (to the point of being practically unreadable by most Windows 10 users), 12 thousand word license agreement that comes with Windows 10. When considering the open-ended nature of some of the tracking and data storage that Windows 10 is allowed to do by the agreement, it might be paranoid but in the post-Snowden world, it’s not surprising to see so much discussion around it.

It is surprising, however, to see Windows 10 singled out for such action when industry EULAs have been moving towards this kind of broad tracking for advertising purposes across almost every application and hardware device. It’s illogical to single out Windows 10 when many of their non-Windows 10 users would be opting in to sharing their history and searches with Google, through the Chrome browser, for example. As a result, it seems unlikely that we’ll see Windows 10 bans extend across the entire torrent ecosystem, which is bad news for anyone hoping for a reduction in online piracy.

Do you think Microsoft is being unfairly singled out for the Windows 10 EULA over privacy when compared to other players such as Google, Facebook, and Apple? Let us know what you think in the comments.

[Photo by Henry Guttmann/Getty Images]

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