Parents Are Upset About New Windows 10 Child-Spying Feature

Illustration for article titled Parents Are Upset About New Windows 10 Child-Spying Feature

The new Windows 10 has a default feature that emails parents reports about their kids’ web activity. It’s merely an invasion of privacy and probably nothing to worry about!

Yet, concerned parents and others who use Windows computers are up in arms about the feature, calling it a dangerous breach of privacy for curious kids who use the internet in the way that many kids do.

Business Insider reports:

The feature is detailed in Microsoft’s Windows 10 online documentation and allows a parent to “monitor [their] child’s device use with activity reports.” The weekly emails, entitled “Weekly activity report for [child’s name],” detail the websites they visit, which apps they use (and for how long) and how many hours a day they spend on the PC.

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Unlike the usual content blocking for children, these emailed reports clearly take spying a step further (and could also presumably be used to spy on adult web activity?).

After getting one such report, an annoyed parent wrote via Boing Boing: “I don’t want this. I have no desire to spy on my boy. I fixed it by going into my Microsoft account’s website, hitting the ‘Family’ section, then turning off ‘Email weekly reports to me’ and ‘Activity reporting.’” BI writes:

One of the concerns raised by The Independent is that as children grow up they may see the internet as a place to learn about sensitive topics, such as homosexuality, and a detailed report of this activity delivered to their parents on a weekly basis could lead to trouble.

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For this reason, some sites have prevented access from Windows 10 computers.


Contact the author at clover@jezebel.com.

Image via Men, Women & Children

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DISCUSSION

therealquash
therealquash ᕙ(⇀‸↼‶)ᕗ

As a prosecutor who sees loads of very young girls getting duped by gross old men into sending naked pictures, which will haunt them for their lives, over and over again, I don’t get this being up in arms thing. Maybe you don’t choose to use it, and that’s fine. But having a feature available isn’t necessarily a bad thing. A lot of kids aren’t equipped to navigate the Internet alone and I spent a lot of time dwelling on “where are the parents” when I see these poor girls taken advantage of. I still don’t know how I’ll manage my own kids (aside from being a completely insane person who knows way too much about crime) but I think parents deserve options.