Privacy: Microsoft is tracking your search activity for Bing Maps
Everyone knows Google tracks its users. When you use a "free" service, such as the many the search giant offers, you essentially end up being the product. In other words, your personal data is the true cost. Unfortunately, Google is not the only company spying on its users. Microsoft is also guilty of this, especially with its overreaching telemetry in Windows 10.
That isn't Microsoft's only product that is anti-privacy, however. The company is now trying to spy with Office, and as you can imagine, its Bing search engine is tracking user activity too. Today, the Windows-maker openly brags about spying on your recent search activity by announcing a new "feature" for Bing Maps Autosuggest.
The Bing Team says the following about this new feature.
Can’t find the place you searched for last week? No problem! Now you’ll see search suggestions on Bing Maps for your recent searches. To try it out, start by searching for something on the map. Next time you click in the search box on the map, you’ll see suggestions for your most recent searches. Not the search you were looking for? As you start typing, we’ll look across your recent searches and present suggestions that match your search.
Yes, Microsoft will track all of your searches so it can suggest locations when using Bing Maps. Creepy? Absolutely. Imagine searching about some medical symptoms you are experiencing, for instance, and then having Microsoft suggest visiting a doctor. Sure, some folks might like this feature -- and it can be useful -- but is it really worth the cost? Do you want to be spied on? The only silver lining here is not many people use Bing.
If you want to see what information Microsoft has been collecting on you -- a dossier, if you will -- you can view (and delete) it here. If you are tired of being spied on, I would suggest trying a privacy-focused search engine, such as Startpage.com or DuckDuckGo.