Windows 10 Spring Creators Update web search controls are broken

Another major Windows 10 update, another potential privacy lapse. Although it does seem to respond to criticisms about privacy policies and options, Microsoft can't seem to avoid making blunders in the first place. More often than not, its policies are clearly made to turn or force users to its services. In the case of the latest Windows 10 update, that has come to mean being forced to always have web search enabled even when the switch says they're not. And web searches are, of course, powered by Microsoft Bing.

We're presuming or hoping this is simply a bug. After all, when an option says "Do not allow web search', it should do as it says. Unfortunately, the latest Windows 10 makes those options nothing but lies, which privacy advocates will definitely be up in arms about.

The web search options basically mix local file searches and results from the web when you do a search for a word, even if it's a filename. Because of the privacy implications of this behavior, Microsoft added toggles to disable searching the web under certain conditions. Now none of those options work and web search is pretty much enabled all the time.

The only way to actually disable web search would be by editing registry keys. That said, it seems that this bug, which hopefully it is, only affects Windows 10 Pro. Both Enterprise and Education editions have working controls.

Microsoft can respond to this in two ways. The most natural would seem to be to roll out a patch immediately to fix the issue, though it seems Microsoft hasn't even acknowledged it as a problem. The other way would be to do what it did with Cortana's web search option and just remove the options completely. They're practically useless now anyway. Of course, that will raise an army of privacy advocates, so we curiously await Microsoft's response.

VIA: ghacks