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Microsoft says it's transparent, but I can see right through it:The Inquirer


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#1 JohnC_21

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Posted 10 January 2016 - 10:43 AM

LAST YEAR when I finally got to speak to someone from Microsoft about the concerns that, let's face it, most of us have about Windows 10 privacy, I was told that front and centre of Microsoft's policies was transparency. Honestly, I was so moved, I almost wept. Although that may have been down to not having breakfast and bursting for a wee.

After all the 'Updategate' stories that we covered surroundingWindows 10, I was more than a little irritated to start 2016 reporting on allegations that Microsoft is spreading false information about the safety of Windows 7.

Now, I want to get something off my chest before we go any further. It may surprise, delight or even disappoint you, but I actually like Windows 10. I think it's a damn fine operating system. But you know what? I came to that conclusion on my own. I didn't need it sold to me because for me, at least, it just worked, out of the box as it were.

But as I've heard more and more horror stories from readers, particularly those who are a bit more 'hacky' than I am, about what Windows 10 can do, I'm starting to lose faith.

 

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#2 brainout

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Posted 11 January 2016 - 07:30 PM

Happy New Year, John!

 

Yeah, Chris' article is really interesting.  More in that article:

 

And it's getting worse. Let's go back to that 200 million (sic) users story. Some of the other stats that I couldn't bring myself to report the other day included:
  • People have spent over 11 billion hours on Windows 10 in December alone.
  • Over 44.5 billion minutes spent in Microsoft Edge across Windows 10 devices in just the last month.
  • Over 82 billion photos viewed within the Windows 10 Photo app.
  • Gamers have streamed more than 6.6 million hours of Xbox One games to Windows 10 PCs.

How does Microsoft know all this unless it's taking a lot of information from users? It's all very transparent that they're giving out these stats, but what they're not telling us is what else they're taking, what else they're using it for, and why.

 

Paragraph 3b  of aka.ms/msa justifies MSFT doing this.  For aka.ms/msa is incorporated by reference into the Win10 EULA Paragraph 14.

 

So it's legal and upfront, MSFT doesn't have to tell you in advance what information it slurps, as that Paragraph grants it the right to take whatever it wants at any time.

 

A friend of mine called me up about the IE 11 thing today, and called Paragraph 3 of aka.ms/msa, 'the 10 commandments'. LOL.  :football:

 

For BING is on IE11, and the second you use BING, aka.ms/msa applies to your device; everything Bing is listed at the end of aka.ms/msa as 'covered services'.  So he removed Bing first thing at installing IE11.  So notice: the same problem occurs with ANY of MSFT services, not merely Win10 (see the bottom of aka.ms/msa for a full list, it's most of what MSFT panders).  THAT is how MSFT slurps the timing data Chris complained about them knowing.

 

Why no one in the press is talking about this aka.ms/msa I don't know, but the silence must be due to fear.  Can't be ignorance, anymore.  Once a court case comes out where Jane Doe sues for divorce from John alleging he has porn on his Win10 machine so MSFT is petitioned to investigate and then all of John's clients sue him for data breach (for they did not consent to MSFT's search).. then it will become news.  Too late.

 

Notice that in all this, MSFT itself doesn't have to be doing anything nefarious, for the EULA terms to cause the customer's bankruptcy.  Nor do I believe MSFT is collecting data nefariously;  that it will do so is fully disclosed, but amazingly no one is paying sufficient attention to the meaning and ramifications of the disclosure;  least of all, MSFT's own legal team.  So, the litigation will happen.

 

For now, we have proof of the ACTIVITY of slurping: first in Threshold 2, removing programs MSFT had no right to remove, and now the monitoring of how you use your machine (which cannot be done apart from slurping WHAT you did and WHAT you read).  Provable violation of privacy thus can be claimed by any third party whose data you curate, and you have no defense, the evidence is prima facie conclusive.


Edited by brainout, 11 January 2016 - 07:47 PM.

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#3 Atomic77

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Posted 28 January 2016 - 06:05 PM

This is not that new a lot of companies do this data collection thing. Also you can turn off a lot of the privacy options that allow Microsoft to do this. Its not like Microsoft is going to do anything bad with the info anyways.


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#4 jargos

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Posted 28 January 2016 - 07:40 PM

Above, brainout said ..

 

For BING is on IE11, and the second you use BING, aka.ms/msa applies to your device; everything Bing is listed at the end of aka.ms/msa as 'covered services'.  So he removed Bing first thing at installing IE11.  So notice: the same problem occurs with ANY of MSFT services,

 

This raises an interesting question in my mind; I occasionally use Bing search on Linux. I have Linux set to 'do not remember' etc.

 

So to what extent does Bing interact in regard to the above comments, with Linux ?

 

NOTE to moderators;

Difficult to decide where to put this comment - Bing / MSFT, Linux / Bing ..

If you feel it is more appropriate elsewhere, please advise.


Edited by jargos, 28 January 2016 - 07:41 PM.

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