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Windows 10 Privacy

ENTER THE GOVERNMENT

What about it? We made the choice. It is ours. If we accepted such a risk it is our decision. We could have gone with Linux… to mention one OS. But no. People are so used to have a cake and to eat it too that they always "go to momma" when they want to cheat.

Come again?

Look, by choosing W10 we accepted MS's conditions. Yet, we are not satisfied with them and because we have a backdoor, a shortcut, a cheating process called government regulation, we use it to abuse MS. Yes. We know how strange this sounds but it is the truth. We made a deal. Our info for W10. Now we want to keep W10 on our terms. Without giving our info to MS. It seems only fair. After all, it is our info and our life, isn't it?

Well… no.

The problem is not that our info will be used in real life by who knows which purposes; the problem is that we don't want to pay for W10. And this is a problem. A big problem.

MS already has to abide by a large number of privacy regulations which constrain their operation. In so doing these regulations are constraining what they do and how they do it. Sure. MS's marketing propaganda about "innovation" is the laughing stock of many people… yet… MS does innovate in a broader view in terms of providing what we want. MS innovates in terms of delivering a product which most people find appealing for one reason or another. This also is innovation.

And no. We are not being naïve. We know that MS "extends and embraces". We know that MS "borrows" other people's ideas. We know that MS does this and more. That's not the point. The point is that MS delivers what people want.

However, by arbitrarily limiting what MS does, we curtail their means of earning profits. If MS would be allowed to harvest more information, this information would be more valuable generating more profits for MS. In so doing, MS would be able to come with more varied and better products... which would be cheaper and more suitable to satisfy our needs.

When we use the powers of governments to cheat on our deal, we not only hurt companies but we also hurt ourselves by diminishing the means those companies have to satisfy our needs.

THE DEAL IS THE DEAL

When we chose W10 we agreed to a deal. Going back on that deal and demanding from the government that MS "spy less" on us is simply breaking a contract. In an Austro-Libertarian society such a thing could never happen simply because there would be no governments to impose arbitrary demands on MS.

The horror!!!! Well… no.

But because there would be no possibility of breaking the deal, other people would exploit the propensity of MS to spy on us. Other people would develop other OSs which would not contain spyware. Other people would develop solutions to MS spying. And yet other people would come up with all kinds of other creative solutions that we can't even begin to imagine. This is how the free market works. This is how problems get solved. However, by governments stepping in, they are destroying the would-be niches that would give rise to other solutions. Thus, we are stuck with MS and its propensity to spy on us.

The existence of a government allow us to break our contracts retroactively without any penalty. We are willing to bet that in the not so distant future, there will be cries from "privacy advocates" to curtail MS's spying. And eventually the government will oblige one way or another. We can already see it. It will happen.

On one hand the government will restrict the spying that MS (and other companies can do) but on the other hand the government will increase its spying on us. A lose-lose situation.

By breaking deals we get less products at lower quality while paying a higher price.

Higher price?

Sure!

Where do you think that MS will recover the money from the "free" W10 upgrade if it cannot sell or use our private information? From your pocket, of course! MS office price will go up. MS games prices will go up. MS server products prices will go up. And so forth. This will have a cascading effect on all those companies and people using MS products. Companies will pass on the price increase onto customers and people will demand higher wages… which will be passed on to customers.

By breaking the contract we are perceiving to receive a "free lunch"… yet… there is no such thing. We always end up paying even if we can't see the payments.

CONCLUSION

W10 is a good example to analyze from a Libertarian and Austro Economic perspective precisely because is so irritating, so impossible to defend. Yet, we must be careful to leave very clear that we are not pro-Microsoft. We do use their products… because we have to… but we also use other OSs… because we can. We are pro-free market and if we are so we must explain what to expect from free markets.

Free markets are not magical solutions for all our problems. Free markets are simply signs pointing in the direction of profits… through customer satisfaction. Free markets work not because they are based on wizardry but because they focus human efforts for the betterment of humanity... through self-interest. Yet, as with any human endeavour, there are no shortcuts. The road is full of problems and even malevolent people. Yet, what always gets us out of trouble and into better civilizations is hard work. It is the decision of one person saying that they won't take it anymore and doing something about it. Just think! What could happen if only a few billion people would take that stand! Wonderous! And if this is not a lofty goal, we don't know what it may be.

Live long and prosper… unless you believe in governments, that is.

Note: please see the Glossary if you are unfamiliar with certain words.

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