Outlook Is The Latest Data Aggregation Service From Microsoft

Ever use Microsoft’s Outlook e-mail service? You might want to re-think it or change e-mail providers! With their new rollout of Outlook on Windows 11, it seems that the company has converted its e-mail application into a tool for targeted advertising surveillance. Currently, Outlook appears to have evolved beyond being solely an e-mail service, to serve as a data collection tool for Microsoft’s 801 external partners and an advertising platform for Microsoft itself.

Some European users who install the latest version of Outlook for Windows may come across a pop-up notification containing concerning information regarding the data processing practices of Microsoft and numerous third-party entities (pictured below). Outlook also gives you the option to select the appearance of ads on your screen, emphasizing that advertising is an integral aspect of the agreement.

Due to the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) in the EU, European citizens are at least notified that numerous third parties may access their data. In contrast, Americans, due to their government’s lack of privacy legislation, are not even informed about such data sharing.

Further examination of Microsoft’s privacy policy reveals the personal data it may collect:

  • Name and contact data
  • Passwords
  • Feedback and ratings
  • Device and usage data
  • Demographic data
  • Payment data
  • Subscription and licensing data
  • Search queries
  • Text, inking, and typing data
  • Error reports and performance data
  • Voice data
  • Images
  • Location data
  • Content
  • Feedback and ratings
  • Traffic data

Have you seen the Outlook app on a phone and what permissions are needed just to use an e-mail app? Sixty-one permissions. 61. For e-mail. This all originally happened around January 5, 2024, and still applies. So…what is a better alternative to get away from this surveillance? Proton.

Proton employs end-to-end encryption to safeguard your emails, calendar, cloud-stored files, passwords, login credentials, and internet connection. Their security framework is crafted to render your data invisible even to them, as their business model prioritizes enhancing your privacy, not compromising it. Proton offers free and open-source technology to enhance accessibility to online privacy, security, and freedom. However, you have the option to upgrade to premium plans for additional features, enabling you to pay with currency instead of sensitive data.

I personally use ProtonMail and have never looked back. Their customer support is also great. For transparency, I do not receive any compensation from Proton, nor have any ties with them - I simply love their privacy-focused products and having peace of mind.

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Outlook loses email, too, or at least puts it where you can’t find it. (Its search procedure sucks!)

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