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[ZDnet] Microsoft tries to clear the air on Windows 10 privacy furor

post #1 of 186
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Quote:
Given the long awareness of privacy in Redmond, then, the virulent attacks against Windows 10 this summer came as an unwelcome surprise. Critics have accused Windows 10 of spying on customers and collecting data for nefarious purposes, and those criticisms, despite a lack of supporting evidence, have persisted.

The trouble for Microsoft is that its only communication on Windows 10 privacy features so far has been its privacy policy, a long document written by lawyers and designed to cover a broad range of legal situations across hundreds of jurisdictions worldwide.

TELEMETRY DATA
"We collect a limited amount of information to help us provide a secure and reliable experience," the company says. "This includes data like an anonymous device ID and device type. ... This doesn't include any of your content or files, and we take several steps to avoid collecting any information that directly identifies you, such as your name, email address or account ID."

In Windows 10, telemetry data is stored on dedicated servers that are used exclusively for reliability purposes. I've seen several online analyses using network packet sniffers that point a suspicious finger at the unique ID included with each packet. But as Microsoft engineers have explained in the past, the point of those identifiers isn't to tag an individual person; rather, that ID is essential to tell whether 100 identical problem reports are from a single device or from 100 different devices.

Windows 10 has three telemetry settings: Basic, Full, and Enhanced.

Basic. This information includes information about security settings, quality-related info (such as crashes and hangs), and application compatibility.
Enhanced. This level includes the Basic information and adds details about how Windows and Windows apps are used, how they perform, and advanced reliability info.
Full. This setting, which is the default for Windows 10, includes all information from the previous levels, plus additional details necessary to identify and help to fix problems.
In earlier Windows versions, telemetry (Windows Error Reporting) was an opt-in feature. In Windows 10, it's on by default. Individuals and small businesses can change telemetry collection to the Basic level with the flip of a switch in Settings. Organizations running Windows 10 Enterprise or Education have the option to disable telemetry completely, although Microsoft recommends against it.


source


I didn't even quote 10% of the article, but it really is pretty accurate. There was a lot of crying and moaning about the unique identifier numbers but the fact of the matter is that it is trying to identify if there is problems with hardware compatibility with certain windows functions. I thought the tears over Windows 8 were pretty strong and then Windows 10 came and you guys threw another tantrum. AT work on my conference period and I immediately logged into OCN from a workstation here and made sure to give you folks a dosage of reality.
 
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post #2 of 186
All they need to do to make all this go away is to include a 4th option of NONE.
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post #3 of 186
I'm going to take the article at face value.

That said, it really changes nothing. I never though MS had any nefarious intent...other than making it a pain in the ass to control what my OS is doing with my network connection...but that's more than enough for me to be legitimately pissed off.

I get it, MS wants to make a better OS. That's all well and good, but better is subjective and the means they use to pursue this end are, quite frankly, offensive.

The best OS, from my perspective, is the one that does what I tell it to do, and no more than I tell it to do, with a minimum of fuss. That is not Windows 10.
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post #4 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by OC'ing Noob View Post

All they need to do to make all this go away is to include a 4th option of NONE.

While they're at it, they can also bring back the old Windows Update (I refuse to accept those all-or-nothing forced feeding updates).
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post #5 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Darkpriest667 View Post

made sure to give you folks a dosage of reality.

Cheers to that!
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post #6 of 186
Nothing surprising here. Still don't want any of the telemetry services running on my personal system.
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post #7 of 186
Perception IS reality.
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post #8 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by OC'ing Noob View Post

All they need to do to make all this go away is to include a 4th option of NONE.

This
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post #9 of 186
Wake me up when I can configure windows update properly, all updates have release notes and I can disable telemetry.

Also Microsoft doesn't need to have some evil intent - they are located in lawless country where all companies can be forced to share data with intelligence agencies so just collecting that data is enough.
post #10 of 186
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blameless View Post

I'm going to take the article at face value.

That said, it really changes nothing.

Pretty much /thread for those who are concerned about their privacy here. I read MS's article, and they're talking in basically the same generalities that their privacy policy is written in while continuing to talk about the almighty "dialog" with Insiders and then saying "HEY LOOK OVER THERE NEW PARENTAL CONTROLS." Ed Bott may or may not be correct with his apologia, but it still doesn't address the elephant in the room: telemetry was an opt-in feature that is now impossible to completely turn off unless you're running Enterprise or Education, neither of which are purchasable by your average layman.

Also, all of this "but for most of us ordinary citizens, the Internet is a better place when we share information with other people and organizations," tedium is getting really old. It's great that people are perfectly fine with all of their data nebulously existing in the Internet ether. Not all of us are, and increasingly the response is "lol we don't care." I'm happy that Ed "expect{s PCs} to anticipate our needs and make suggestions rather than simply waiting passively for commands," but I don't like how he appends the normalized "we".

10 is an OS with a great backend that has been marred by an organization that thinks it knows what to do with our PCs better than we do (automatic driver/software updates, telemetry that isn't completely switchable, silent downloading of 10 to systems running 7/8, P2P updating of machines when they know full well that many people are running off of metered connections, the list goes on and on and on.)

10 Education is only on my school laptop because I can Group Policy everything that I don't like.

My drop-dead requirements for upgrading my main rig are:
1) An option that (actually) allows me to disable driver updates.
2) Restoration of the "check for updates but let me choose when to download and install them" option. I'll even sign a legal waiver if MS is sooooo worried about spooooooky spoooooooky malware.
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Claire
(8 items)
 
Asus N56JR
(5 items)
 
Die "Neue" FXe
(11 items)
 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD Ryzen 5 1600 ASRock X370 Taichi MSI Radeon R9 390 GAMING 8G G.Skill Flare X 3200 MHz CL14 
Hard DriveOSPowerCase
Samsung 960 EVO 500 GB Solus Seasonic SSR-550RM NZXT S340 Elite Matte White 
CPUGraphicsHard DriveOS
Intel Core i7-4700HQ GeForce GTX 760M Samsung 840 EVO 250 GB Microsoft Windows 10 Education 
Other
Intel Wireless-AC 7260 
CPUMotherboardGraphicsRAM
AMD FX-8120 Asus SABERTOOTH 990FX MSI Radeon R9 390 GAMING 8G G. Skill Ripjaws (DDR3-1600) 
Hard DriveOptical DriveCoolingOS
Samsung 840 EVO 250 Asus DRW-21B1ST Cooler Master Hyper 212 Evo Microsoft Windows 7 Home Premium 
PowerCaseAudio
Cooler Master RS-600-AMBA-D3 Cooler Master CM690 II Advanced Asus Xonar DG 
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Overclock.net › Forums › Industry News › Software News › [ZDnet] Microsoft tries to clear the air on Windows 10 privacy furor