quoting from that article in brainout's post #4.......
Microsoft is collecting telemetry from PCs running Windows 10 and I'm OK with that, but what I'm not OK with is the fact that there's no off switch. In fact, I can't understand why Microsoft wants to get into a privacy brawl with Windows 10 users at such a critical time.
OK, let's see if it's possible to have a rational discussion about the way Windows 10 collects telemetry data without the Microsoft fans claiming that this is all FUD or the haters calling this a privacy catastrophe.....
THE LINK Have a Read
I've read the link, and really wish we could have a rational discussion, but the author is certainly not doing that. First, he quotes Microsoft's Belfiore: "And in the cases where we've not provided options," Belfiore went on to say, "we feel that those things have to do with the health of the system, and are not personal information or are not related to privacy." Looking at the information you've posted regarding Spybot Anti-Beacon, it appears that this assertion is essentially true.
Later the author, Adrian Kingsley-Hughes, goes on to state the following:
"And be in no doubt that when it comes to the transfer of data from user's PC to a third party -- even if the data is anonymised and contains nothing but technical gobbledygook related to system health -- this will be a privacy issue."
To which I respond: Huh?!! Anonymised data regarding hardware/system health can not accurately be called "private" in any meaningful sense of the word. It is not personally identifiable, which pretty much removes it from the realm of "private" right there. I doubt that any user of any computer or software that is connected to the internet is under the misapprehension that absolutely nothing about their system ever gets sent to various third parties as part of usual maintenance, updates, and process improvement programs. A great deal of this was opt-out, and it's the few rather than the many who bothered to opt out of this sort of data collection.
As computing environments continue to become ever more complex, dynamic, and interconnected - and most of that at the behest of users - basic telemetry that does not involve personally identifiable information is going to be essential to keep things running smoothly. If companies (and, yes, I do mean that in the plural) are up front about the fact that they are collecting this kind of information as a part of the contract for using their product(s) they are being neither underhanded or heavy handed.
The whole end of the article is basically saying that this is "an optics" issue for Microsoft, rather than Microsoft actually doing anything nefarious, and that's absolutely what it is.
I wish Microsoft would introduce the ability for the user to turn off all telemetry in one-click just so the people the author characterizes as "the crackpot theorists" would just move along and quiet down.
I'm far more concerned about what can be collected that comes from using Microsoft Services, but they're no different than most other service providers and the information we're talking about here (for the most part) is being placed into public view on the internet. We as individuals may have ownership of that content, but it is utterly meaningless to call it private if it's placed on the internet in public view by any mechanism in existence.
Brian AKA Bri the Tech Guy (website in my user profile) - Windows 10 Home, 64-Bit, Version 1809, Build 17763
Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime.
~ Mark Twain