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Windows Hello Of Windows 10 Can Access Your Camera Even If It's Disabled

25 August 2015, 6:11 am EDT By Menchie Mendoza Tech Times
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Windows Hello is part of the new Windows 10 OS which Microsoft created to deliver a more personal and secure way for users to sign in to their Windows 10 devices.   ( Microsoft )

Windows Hello is created to deliver a more personal and secure way for users to sign in to their Windows 10 devices without the need to enter any passwords. Users can be recognized by their devices through biometric authentication of their face, fingerprint and iris.

Microsoft should be able to make users understand that even if their camera has been disabled, Windows Hello can still use it since it is part of the OS. In other words, the camera, even if it's disabled, is still enabled. Moreover, even if the user has disabled every possible privacy-infringing settings on his device, the new OS would still be able to send some of his private data. All of these can happen without the user's knowledge and without his consent.

"If you choose to turn on Windows Hello, it will use your camera to sign you in even if your camera setting is turned off," said Microsoft on the FAQ page. "If Windows Hello is turned off, it can't access your camera."

This means that if the user wants Windows Hello, he should understand that his camera must then be used.

One Reddit user known by the name "therealhamster" recalls a story on his device's webcam.

"The LED on my webcam was turning on every time I booted up windows 10 and it would stay on no matter what so I turned my webcam around to face the wall. Haven't bothered checking if it's still doing that though."

Microsoft also talked about the camera being turned on at the FAQ page.

"If your system comes with a camera light, the light will turn on when the camera is in use. If your system doesn't have a camera light, a notification will appear letting you know when the camera turns on or off."

A Czech Internet site called aeronet.cz has been analyzing data traffic that is coming from devices with Windows 10. After careful analysis, the site claims that all inputs that are made through the keyboard are saved and stored in temporary files and are sent over later on to Microsoft telemetry servers. The latter is similar to a so-called keylogger that is built-in with the device. What makes it more interesting is that data logging and sending occurs even when a user with no Microsoft Account logs into the PC.

Many users are under the impression that Microsoft is gathering all these information in a bid to create its own database of users who can become potential target with their ads. Another reason for gathering data is to use such for the company's anti-piracy move.

Users who are worried about privacy issues are then advised to go to their camera settings and control the types of apps and services that can access their device's camera. Microsoft has given specific instructions on its FAQ page on how these things can be done step by step.

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