Microsoft Gets Rid Of Controversial Wi-Fi Sense Password Sharing Feature In Latest Build


Microsoft's Wi-Fi Sense just wasn't working out, so the company recently removed the feature from Windows 10 Insider Build 14342.

On Tuesday, Gabe Aul, corporate vice president at Microsoft's engineering systems team, made the announcement on the company's Windows Experience blog.

"We have removed the Wi-Fi Sense feature that allows you to share Wi-Fi networks with your contacts and to be automatically connected to networks shared by your contacts," Aul wrote.

Wi-Fi Sense, which was added to the original Windows 10 release, is a feature that allows users to share Wi-Fi passwords.

According to PC World, here's how it works: after clicking a check box, the Wi-Fi network passwords saved to a computer would be shared on Skype, Facebook and even your Outlook contacts. Your friends would then be automatically logged into Wi-Fi networks you have previously visited and signed onto.

The controversial Wi-Fi Sense sparked privacy and security concerns among users and critics, many of whom were not using the feature or had deactivated it altogether.

"The cost of updating the code to keep this feature working combined with low usage and low demand made this not worth further investment. Wi-Fi Sense, if enabled, will continue to get you connected to open Wi-Fi hotspots that it knows about through crowdsourcing," Aul said.

There is one way for Wi-Fi owners to opt-out of sharing — change their network's SSID by including "_optout" somewhere in the wireless network's name, according to security expert Graham Cluley.

"Good riddance. Many people were uncomfortable with the idea of Windows 10 sharing their Wi-Fi credentials so readily with contacts," he said to ZDNet in a statement about Microsoft's decision to kill the Wi-Fi Sense feature.

Bug fixes and features updated for Edge, Ubuntu, Skype and more were also included in Build 14342's changes.

The latest build also includes real-time notifications in Microsoft Edge and using swipe gestures to navigate back and forth in the browser.

Microsoft will remove the Wi-Fi password sharing feature as part of the Windows 10 Anniversary Update, which is set to be released to users in late July.

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