There’s casual Pirate Bay piracy, and then there’s private torrent trackers: members-only clubs that share the best movie and TV rips among themselves. As you’d expect, they tend to be pretty hardcore about privacy, enough so that some groups are banning members from using Windows 10.

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As TorrentFreak reports, groups like iTS and FSC have been freaking out about the new Terms of Use for Windows 10 — specifically, the bits that let Microsoft scan your harddrive for counterfeit software or hardware. iTS instituted a ban starting last Thursday, explaining things with the following message:

Many of you might have heard or read about the terrible privacy policy of windows 10 recently. Unfortunately Microsoft decided to revoke any kind of data protection and submit whatever they can gather to not only themselves but also others. One of those is one of the largest anti-piracy company called MarkMonitor. Amongst other things windows 10 sends the contents of your local disks directly to one of their servers. Obviously this goes way too far and is a serious threat to sites like ours which is why we had to take measures. Since last thursday windows 10 is officially banned from iTS. Members using it get redirected to a video that eggsplains the dangers quite in detail hoping to enlighten as many people as possible.

Windows 10 has had some issues with over-sharing information, from sending Wi-Fi passwords to your contacts, to recording usage data like typing a little over-zealously. The worst over-step comes in the services agreement, a document that covers the use of Windows services like Cortana, Skype, or Xbox Live.

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“We may automatically check your version of the software and download software updates or configuration changes, including those that prevent you from accessing the Services, playing counterfeit games, or using unauthorized hardware peripheral devices.”

If you read that with your tinfoil hat on, yes, you could probably conclude that Microsoft might be scanning your harddrive to look for a bootleg copy of Call of Duty. But it’s more likely that the language is there to cover Xbox services, which do look for counterfeit games.

More importantly, there’s no evidence that Microsoft is actually shipping details of your files and applications back to its servers for analysis. But all the facts in the world won’t matter if everyone’s so worked up about Microsoft stealing their information to actually use Windows.

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[TorrentFreak]


Contact the author at chris@gizmodo.com.