Microsoft Surface Privacy Options

By Andy Rathbone

With computers, the Surface included, you must give up some information (your location, for example) to receive other information (localized weather reports and maps). The settings in this area let you choose your comfort level when it comes to how much information you want to give up.

The Privacy category merits an occasional visit to see whether anything has fallen out of your comfort zone.

  • General: Microsoft tries to feed you ads you want to see. To do that, it watches the websites you visit and the terms you search for through the Search box. This area lets you adjust what information you want to share with other apps, as well as with Microsoft.

  • Location: When first loaded, some apps — the Map app, for example — ask permission to access your general geographic location. This area lets you change which apps should have that permission.

  • Webcam: Think an app might be spying on you through your Surface’s camera? As a first step, visit here to see which apps have permission to use the camera.

  • Microphone: This area shows which apps may listen to you through your microphone.

  • Other devices: If you install another device that may spy on you, it appears here.