So with any new technology, in this case an operating system its best to take some of the information coming out in the first couple of days with a pinch of salt. Most is usually scare mongering in some sort of fashion.
However it does seem if this article is correct that Microsoft is well on its way to the fantasy cyberpunk future were companies are constantly watching and know what you are doing.
There is quite a scary list of things they will now be apparently tracking.
With Cortana, she might as well also require the kitchen sink. The developer in me thinks, "Yes more data for the technology means better predictions and will help the AI evolve" but essentially this data wont be used for that. It'll be used to help companies sell you advertise.
Mind I'm not to worried. Spotify constantly sells your information to third party companies and even though I listen to Rock/Metal music all day they still can't get my advertisement right and I have to listen to whoever is at the top of the charts at the moment selling their stuff.
By default, when signing into Windows with a Microsoft account, Windows syncs some of your settings and data with Microsoft servers, for example “web browser history, favorites, and websites you have open” as well as “saved app, website, mobile hotspot, and Wi-Fi network names and passwords”. Users can however deactivate this transfer to the Microsoft servers by changing their settings.