Want Windows 10 to stop tracking you? Now there's an app for that

The open-source app is available to download for free.
Written by Zack Whittaker, Contributor
(Image: ZDNet/CBS Interactive)

Windows 10 hasn't quite made it a week out of the gate without causing an uproar of controversy.

It's not a big surprise. For months ahead of the operating system's launch, news has trickled out that the software is tracking your location, collecting data on you, and uploads your Wi-Fi passwords to your friends.

From both sides of the fence: Some have said Microsoft does not respect its users' privacy by default; others believe some of the hype is overblown. Perhaps the biggest critique is that upon setup, the process could offer more granular options, and report less data back to the software giant.

All of the tracking mechanisms can be switched off through the various options at setup, and after the fact through the settings.

But now there's a lightweight, open-source app that aims to claw back your privacy.

"In my opinion, there is some unnecessary fear surrounding Windows 10, but beneath all of that I do believe lots of fear is justified," said Syed Qazi, the app's developer, on his motives behind building the app.

Among the options, the app -- tentatively called "Disable Windows 10 Tracking" -- disables telemetry collection, disables certain Windows services, and other tracking. The code is also available on GitHub for inspection.

According to Qazi, the app started out as a Python script before being developed into its current standalone form after gaining support and traction on Reddit. Qazi's plan is to build out the app to add as many features as possible in the hope it can disable most if not all of the operating system's tracking.

Granted, it's just a start, but Qazi's development cycle has seen more than a dozen changes in the last two days alone. No doubt more will come along if there's demand.

Of course, it goes (almost) without saying: Use at your own risk.

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