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"Is Windows 10 telemetry a threat to your personal privacy?", via ZDNet


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#1 Aura

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Posted 05 November 2015 - 12:31 PM

Yesterday my colleague Adrian Kingsley-Hughes shared his thoughts on Microsoft's telemetry process, arguing that Microsoft needs to build a data collection 'off switch' into Windows 10. He characterized this suggestion as part of a "privacy brawl" between Microsoft and its customers.

The trouble is, Windows 10's telemetry system isn't designed with a simple on-off switch. Instead, it's a series of knobs that go to ... well, you know.

The argument for a telemetry kill switch baffles me, as does the implication that telemetry data is inherently at odds with personal privacy.

As far as I can tell, that "off switch" already exists, and when it's flipped to the correct position, I believe there's virtually no chance that Windows 10 telemetry information constitutes even a remote privacy issue.


Is Windows 10 telemetry a threat to your personal privacy?

For those who still cannot see the advantage of telemetry, this is one of them. The same is true for enabling telemetry data with Windows Defender (and it's also true for every single Antivirus and Antimalware that relies on Cloud protection).

For those who still don't get it, telemetry helps Microsoft improve Windows and also help them react to issues in real-time, such as the graphic card driver issue. Everytime a user complains about a bug or crash in a Windows feature, or Microsoft product, Microsoft cannot be aware of it with accurate information without telemetry. If these users keeps on complaining, but disabled the option to send crash reports to Microsoft, therefore denying the access to crucial troubleshooting data, how do you expect them to fix the issue quickly, or even fix it at all?

I don't say that everyone should enable the telemetry features on their OS without limit, but learn to make the difference between good telemetry and "bad" one (if I put it in your terms), and maybe you'll start to understand why telemetry data is crucial for Microsoft in making sure that Windows remains a stable and secure OS.

On a side note, I intent to have this thread remain open for discussion: polite and respectful discussion. So users that breaks the rules when posting in this thread will be reported. Let's not turn this thread into another mess.

Edited by Aura, 05 November 2015 - 12:34 PM.

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#2 rp88

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Posted 05 November 2015 - 02:02 PM

There is certainly value in some telemetry data, for many of the programs I use I leave ticked various boxes in their settings which send some telemetry, but giving a user the ability to (if they want to) fully turn it off (and know it genuinely is off when they set it to be so) is important.
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#3 Aura

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Posted 05 November 2015 - 02:07 PM

This isn't possible unless you disconnect yourself from the Internet, and this is the case for every single programs and devices there is.

Look, the only "off switch" that works on modern computing devices is disconnecting from the Internet completely. Any device has to communicate with external servers to look up IP addresses, to receive updates, to synchronize data and settings with cloud services, to send and receive email, to browse the web, and so on and on and on.


Microsoft was already using telemetry back in Windows XP, Vista, 7 and 8.1, yet not a lot of users were complaining about it. Now that it does use telemetry more "openly", user complains. Why? They can disable most of the telemetry and get back to a level equivalent to XP, Vista, 7 and 8.1, but they want to go even lower than that, even though they were at the level for all these previous years. See the problem here?

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#4 JohnC_21

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Posted 05 November 2015 - 02:29 PM

I think telemetry in XP was when a dialog box popped up asking if you would want to send data to Microsoft after a program crash. Outside of that I don't know where telemetry exists in XP other then when you do a Windows update. In Windows 7 there is a Task under Consumer Experience Improvement Program that sends data to Microsoft. I did not know that existed but it's currently deleted on my computers. Why does Microsoft allow telemetry to be completely turned off in Enterprise editions but not consumer editions? Possibly to enhance the OS with improvements? I don't know. 

 

Task Scheduler Library:Everything under "Customer Experience Improvement Program"  =  This was sending data on my Windows 7 computers even though I never asked to be opted into CEIP. Tasks deleted.



#5 Aura

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Posted 05 November 2015 - 02:37 PM

Why does Microsoft allow telemetry to be completely turned off in Enterprise editions but not consumer editions?


I gave my guess in another thread, most likely for domain/network with strict rules. Here for instance, even if we put some computers in a "fully" open Internet VLAN, some Microsoft websites and IPs are blocked by the firewall because of the kind of rules we use. This is probably to prevent issues like these.

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#6 brainout

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Posted 05 November 2015 - 06:59 PM

Paragraph 3 of aka.ms/msa has nothing to do with telemetry but everything to do with your behavior, and it flat tells you that everything you do on your machine will be monitored to see if you are obeying.  That language applies to pretty much all the online services you use, plus per Paragraph 14 of the Win10 EULA, it applies to Windows 10.

 

So clearly Ed Bott is not being truthful. You can read that link where I've explained it more, as desired.  This topic has been covered many times and the amazing thing is I've confronted Ed personally over it, ever since July 15 when Win10 first activated for us using build 10240, so I could read the EULA.  To date, neither Ed nor anyone else explains how such hitlerian provisions which clearly TELL you they are monitoring your every keystroke irrespective of how you select privacy options (for you AGREED to it at installation).. can be legal.

 

He has no reply.  He's insulted me, no big deal.  But insults cannot serve as rebutting evidence.  There is no rebutting evidence.

 

So then they are lying.  The language is clear and contractural, and all the fanboy articles on the planet, cannot rescind the language.


Edited by brainout, 05 November 2015 - 07:01 PM.

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#7 britechguy

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Posted 05 November 2015 - 07:09 PM

Paragraph 3 of aka.ms/msa has nothing to do with telemetry but everything to do with your behavior, and it flat tells you that everything you do on your machine will be monitored to see if you are obeying.  That language applies to pretty much all the online services you use, plus per Paragraph 14 of the Win10 EULA, it applies to Windows 10.

 

 

No, it does not.  It applies strictly to the use of Microsoft Services enumerated.  No matter how many times you make this ludicrous claim it won't be any more true.


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#8 Aura

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Posted 05 November 2015 - 09:15 PM

Paragraph 3 of aka.ms/msa has nothing to do with telemetry but everything to do with your behavior, and it flat tells you that everything you do on your machine will be monitored to see if you are obeying. That language applies to pretty much all the online services you use, plus per Paragraph 14 of the Win10 EULA, it applies to Windows 10.


We aren't talking about the EULA here, but about the telemetry feature of Windows 10, so please stay on topic.

On a side note, please stop posting links to your forum in every single post when you refer to aka.ms/msa, but redirect to the actual website, since it can be seen as a form of forum advertising. Thank you.

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