Privacy

by Karl Bode


Filed Under:
privacy, windows 10

Companies:
microsoft



Microsoft 'Addresses' Windows 10 Privacy Concerns By Simply Not Mentioning Most Of Them

from the delightfully-invasive dept

Since launch, Windows 10 has seen no limit of criticism for violating user privacy. Some of these concerns have been legitimate -- such as the fact that the OS keeps communicating with Microsoft when core new search services like Cortana have been disabled, or that users don't seem to have complete, transparent control over what the operating system is doing. But other complaints seem to have been based on false rumors that Windows 10 is embedded with a nefarious "keylogger" that tracks everything you type and say or is reporting your BitTorrent activity to Hollywood middlemen.

So far, Microsoft's been dead silent on these issues for months, which hasn't done much to defuse the situation. This week, the company decided to finally comment on user concerns in a blog post and both consumer and enterprise privacy documents that address at least some user worries. Microsoft's Terry Myerson starts by promising that Windows 10 user data is encrypted in transit, the company isn't scanning your files or e-mails to blast you with ads, and any data collection Microsoft is engaged in is simply the company trying to develop a "delightful" OS experience:
"We aspire to deliver a delightful and personalized Windows experience to you, which benefits from knowing some things about you to customize your experience, such as knowing whether you are a Seattle Seahawks fan or Real Madrid fan, in order to give you updates on game scores or recommend apps you might enjoy– or remembering the common words you type in text messaging conversations to provide you convenient text completion suggestions."
Microsoft also takes a few shots at Google in the entry:
"Unlike some other platforms, no matter what privacy options you choose, neither Windows 10 nor any other Microsoft software scans the content of your email or other communications, or your files, in order to deliver targeted advertising to you."
The problem with Microsoft's response is largely one of omission. Sure, the OS doesn't scan your e-mail and files for ad purposes, but you'll note the company doesn't really mention the OS's ingrained search and Cortana data being used for that purpose. Microsoft also doesn't really address why users don't really have control over telemetry (crash) data as in previous Windows versions (the enterprise version of Windows 10 allows crash telemetry data reports to be disabled entirely, while the mainstream Home and Pro versions of Windows don't). Ars Technica probably puts it best:
"There's nothing new here and nothing that's likely to convince those concerned about Windows 10's privacy. Two classes of data are excluded—communications (including e-mail and Skype) and file contents—but everything else appears to be fair game for ad targeting. So while Cortana can't use your e-mail to tailor ads to your interests, it appears that she could use the appointments in your calendar to do so, for example."
Microsoft also doesn't really address concerns about Windows 10 just being annoyingly chatty, sending numerous reports back to the Redmond mothership even when the operating system is configured to be as quiet and private as possible. The core problem with Windows 10 remains that opt-out settings remain muddy and in some cases ineffective, and it's not really clear how a lot of the OS-collected data is being used. Microsoft's blog post fails to really address this, though the company at least promises to start elevating the privacy conversation to the level of security-related discourse.

Granted, there's no shortage of people who will simply never trust the company no matter how much progress is made, justifiably citing decades of bad behavior as precedent. And while it's lovely that Microsoft's focused on crafting a "delightful" OS experience, the refusal to give Windows 10 users total, clear control over their OS still doesn't reflect a company that now claims to be in the vanguard of consumer privacy issues.

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  • icon
    Violynne (profile), 30 Sep 2015 @ 7:55am

    Slowly, I'm migrating to Linux. Microsoft is pulling a Google on everyone and it's crystal clearly they've no intention of changing their plans.

    First: I'm absolutely sick and tired of this "your files on all your devices" tactic these corporations are pushing onto people. Why in the hell would I want my personal income taxes pushed to my Xbox or Windows Phone?

    Take a picture and automatically have it uploaded to the cloud? I'm sure the celebrities who had their personal pictures exposed to the world loved that.

    Second: the options are becoming too conflated for anyone to manage. If a user turns "off" Cortana, another service will be more than happy to cover for the disabling. In fact, with Windows 10, disabling some options may require changing them in more than one damn place!

    Third: Screw these corporations. It's bad enough I pay for the software and now to be told I'm going to have to deal with ads is utter nonsense. Do these shitheads not make enough money to funnel out of the United States via the Irish Double?

    I once quipped Corporate America would ruin the internet in 20 years. I am not surprised they beat this estimate by 5 years.

    I'm really starting to hate the internet. Unfortunately, it truly has become a utility. Don't have it? Good luck trying to function in the digital society.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      limbodog (profile), 30 Sep 2015 @ 8:35am

      Re:

      I've been wondering if it makes sense to disconnect my gaming computer from the internet. That's the only reason to have Windows, as far as I'm concerned.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Michael, 30 Sep 2015 @ 8:40am

        Re: Re:

        also, fresh air.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2015 @ 8:44am

        Re: Re:

        ...disconnect my gaming computer from the internet...

        Many PC games have a 'phone home and verify' requirement when you start the game or you can't play it. This has been an issue for many years. I first found out about this years ago when I had an ISP outage and tried to play a game only to have it balk because it couldn't connect to it's home.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2015 @ 9:23am

        Re: Re:

        I've been wondering if it makes sense to disconnect my gaming computer from the internet.
        Yes. As a sibling to my post points out, some games are infected with DRM that makes them work poorly, or not at all, when you do this. As far as I know, most of them are fairly blunt about it, so if you can get the game to load and enter the interactive phase (not just the splash screen/main menu, but actually to the point where you are playing), then your game is probably fine with being offline. Some DRM'd games will freak out on their first failure to call home. Others only freak out after a few days of not calling home at all. Older games are generally less susceptible to this level of DRM. I am not aware of any where the freak out will have bad secondary effects, like retroactively deleting saves that were fine before. If your game is fond of cloud-based storage for save files, going offline would cut you off from old saves, and might prevent you from making new saves.

        Searches for "[game name]" "offline" or "[game name]" "disconnected" may help you find whether other people have had problems using the game without an Internet connection. In rare cases, you might find that the publisher eventually relented and released a patch that relaxes or removes the DRM, possibly including removing the Internet connectivity requirement.

        Good Old Games specifically markets itself as a DRM-free store and emphasizes that none of their games require call home for single player. However, they can only sell the limited set of titles for which the rightsholders play nice. Some rightsholders are so dead set on DRM that they are unlikely to ever approve the game being sold through GOG. When the game is sold through GOG, you would need to buy it through them to get a DRM-free copy, even if you previously had a DRM-infected copy from another source (e.g. retail CDs). The games are usually cheap ($5-$20 for titles 5+ years old), so repurchasing is not too bad unless you need to rebuild a large collection of games.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Michael, 30 Sep 2015 @ 8:40am

      Re:

      I started typing a response agreeing with you, but Cortana interrupted me and explained why you were wrong.

      Windows 10 is awesome!

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Vic, 30 Sep 2015 @ 9:04am

      Re:

      Yep, that's exactly what I'm doing too. Windows 7 is my last Windows OS. I have it now dual booting with Linux. When the support for Win7 expires - Windows is out of my systems for good...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Name, 30 Sep 2015 @ 6:11pm

        Re: Re:

        I thought about doing the same, but I love my games. That being said the next rig I build may have Win 10 BUT it will be a gaming rig ONLY with no personal information what so ever (even my e-mail for game accounts will be disposable).

        When Win 7 is no longer supported I move to Linux.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      radix (profile), 30 Sep 2015 @ 10:09am

      Re:

      I'm with you. I've dabbled with Linux for a while, but never had the stones to dive in head first. Got my kid a laptop for her birthday a few months ago, and I've already had to clean a crap-ton of malware off the thing twice. It's getting Linux this weekend.
      Hopefully she can learn the system at a young enough age that she doesn't get locked into the MS BS like I have, and I can have a reason to support it and get ready for my own switch. Once support for Windows 7 disappears, MS will have lost me completely.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2015 @ 10:18am

        Re: Re:

        You deserve a standing ovation for this sir! I know exactly where you're coming from and completely agree.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        madasahatter (profile), 30 Sep 2015 @ 8:13pm

        Re: Re:

        Many recommend Linux Mint as very good distro for a Windows user. With the Cinnamon desktop, it acts much like Windows. The only issue with Linux is often the familiar MS software does not have a Linux release but usually there is a very substitute available.

        Linux Mint, like many Linux distros, can downloaded to a live DVD/USB drive so you test on your hardware before installing.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 1 Oct 2015 @ 12:50am

          Re: Re: Re:

          The only issue with Linux is often the familiar MS software does not have a Linux release

          But when you are trying to escape Microsoft spying, why would you use any of their software?

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2015 @ 10:29am

      Re:

      Microsoft is simply doing what Google's done: turn their operation into a surveillance system for advertisers/marketers/spammers and governments. Apple is busy doing the same. It's quite profitable and there are hundreds of millions of people too stupid, ignorant, naive and gullible to figure it out.

      If you want out of this mess, then you MUST use entirely open-source software, for starters. Operating systems, applications, everything. No smartphones. No so-called "social networks". No "free" email providers. Defend your browser with NoScript, uBlock, Privacy Badger and other tools. Make sure you use an email client that is NOT HTML-enabled. And so on. (Don't tell me this can't be done: I've done it. For years.)

      Even all that isn't a panacea. But it's a good start, and it's a foundation for the rest. The Internet is still usable and occasionally even wonderful, but you have to make the effort required to distance yourself from the worst parts of it -- of which Microsoft is quite clearly one.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    DigDug, 30 Sep 2015 @ 8:54am

    DW10S - Works pretty damned well...

    Destroy Windows 10 Spying...

    Gets rid of those pesky telemetry bits, allows removal of "un-removable" windows apps, including one drive. Creates firewall rules to block telemetry where modifying the hosts file doesn't work (Windows 10 ignores hosts file entries for telemetry servers - seriously - breaking tcp/ip to allow telemetry regardless of user's attempt to restrict it).

    I'm sure there are other utilities that assist with this as well, but this is the one that I felt most comfortable about using.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2015 @ 1:07pm

      Re: DW10S - Works pretty damned well...

      Does it turn off upgrades as well, because if it doesn't, all the monitoring can be restored by an update you cannot block.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2015 @ 8:55am

    Well, if you're slightly crazy...

    >[...] false rumors that Windows 10 is embedded with a nefarious "keylogger" that tracks everything you type and say [...]

    The only real way of determining this would be to load up _notepad_, then type in something like "WHERE CAN I DOWNLOAD HARDCORE CHILD SEX ABUSE VIDEOS?" (Obviously record yourself doing this on your smartphone/tablet, and upload it to a cloud storage service like Mega as an insurance policy.)

    If the police kick down your door within the next few days, then you've got your answer.

    It would be interesting to see Microsoft deny it after that point, though...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Ben S (profile), 30 Sep 2015 @ 12:26pm

      Re: Well, if you're slightly crazy...

      "According to Aeronet, on any normal day, Windows 10 performs a collection of texts entered on the keyboard, these texts are stored in temporary files and every 30 minutes, this data is sent to following websites:

      oca.telemetry.microsoft.com.nsatc.net
      pre.footprintpredict.com
      reports.wes.df.telemetry.micro soft.com"

      Came from http://fossbytes.com/windows-10-sends-tons-of-data-every-30-minutes-to-microsoft-even-when-told-not- to/ which then cites Ars Technica. There was another blog I found that talked about other things it does. Example: if you disable Cortana, it collects all your voice data, and uploads it to a few locations, immediately, where as if Cortana is enabled, it converts your speech to text, then uploads just the text.

      Seems to me that it does come with a keylogger.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2015 @ 8:57am

    Third Party Data

    The "ad targeting" is just cover for what this REALLY is.... Third Party Data - Microsoft is just waiting for an agency to "ask" (a.k.a. pay for) for the data to be piped over to them.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2015 @ 9:17am

    But I want the OS to "know" anything about me.

    I can think for myself, I don't want or need to be coddled by the OS.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    David, 30 Sep 2015 @ 9:25am

    Delightful OS experience?

    Sorry, I decide what is delightful for me. One should think that they've learnt from Microsoft Bob and Clippy. I decide what to use my battery and computing power for. When doing technical support, I need reproducible results that do not depend on whatever Microsoft decided to delight a particular user with.

    Most of the time I get spared this silliness as I've switched to UNIX instead of even starting to bother with Windows and went to GNU/Linux when it became feasible. But next weekend I have to visit my father since his Windows 7 or 8 installation (no idea whether this has anything to do with Microsoft trying to suggest to him that Windows 10 would be just the thing) recently decided that his Linux partition was likely not delightful enough for him and has removed or inactivated the boot loader.

    And I fully expect that it will take me longer to get this delightfulness in check again than it usually takes me to install 3 different GNU/Linux distributions.

    I fought the "secure boot" crapola almost for a day last time.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      mcinsand, 30 Sep 2015 @ 10:16am

      Re: Delightful OS experience?

      I held my tongue when my nonagenarian great aunt told me that she was going to download the new Windows 10. I know that I'm biased, and I don't think that I should force those biases on others. Now, though, I feel truly guilty. She absolutely hates it, and going back to Windows 7 isn't an open pathway.

      On the brightside, she has been pushing me to let her try out what I use, so it looks like we'll have someone else on Kubuntu before long.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        David, 30 Sep 2015 @ 11:48am

        Re: Re: Delightful OS experience?

        I thought that the Windows 10 "upgrade" had a grace period of a month where you could backpaddle?

        At any rate, get yourself a dynamic DNS account and set up your great aunt's router to use it and to punch through port 22 (SSH). Configure SSH to only accept public key authorization. Upload your public SSH key to your login on your aunt's computer. Configure her desktop to allow remote access, preferably not just viewing access. Now whenever she has a problem, use remmina to connect to her desktop. You can look at it and also effect changes on it (if you want to use desktop hotkeys that are interpreted remotely rather than on your computer, you can switch that sort of thing on and off using Right-Control).

        Total life saver.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2015 @ 7:52pm

      Re: Delightful OS experience?

      Rescatux will likely restore your boot loader in the time it takes to boot up the live CD.
      Worth a try.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Oct 2015 @ 6:53am

      Re: Delightful OS experience?

      One should think that they've learnt from Microsoft Bob and Clippy.
      They learned from the Windows XP activation complaints. People made a lot of noise at the time, said they'd never upgrade to XP etc.... but in the end, nothing came of it.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Uriel-238 (profile), 1 Oct 2015 @ 1:19pm

        Windows Loader.

        That's what came from Windows XP activation.

        For computer games with online activation requirements, hacks get written by enthusiast coders.

        For Microsoft Windows, the key-gen / activation bypass was written by company engineers, since the activation process was slowing down intra-office tech support.

        Thanks to the anti-circumvention clause, it's illegal in the US, but standard operating procedure throughout Europe.

        You may be right, though, that Microsoft didn't learn from this, but Windows Loader was the end result of Windows Genuine Advantage for XP and Win7. I'm assuming there's a Loader for the Eights.

        I wouldn't be surprised if someone's working right now on a way to strip down Windows 10 of all its spyware, but make it generate data so it looks like it's operating normally.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        John Fenderson (profile), 1 Oct 2015 @ 1:22pm

        Re: Re: Delightful OS experience?

        "but in the end, nothing came of it"

        That's because most people worked around it. I remember those days, and those were the days when universal OEM activation were a thing -- so people just used those instead of having to keep track of a different code for each installation.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          John Fenderson (profile), 1 Oct 2015 @ 1:24pm

          Re: Re: Re: Delightful OS experience?

          "universal OEM activation were a thing"

          I dropped a word. Should be "universal OEM activation codes were a thing"

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2015 @ 9:29am

    "We aspire to deliver a delightful and personalized Windows experience"

    Do not want.

    Want operating system.

    The End.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    JustShutUpAndObey, 30 Sep 2015 @ 9:29am

    A reputation well-earned

    It may be true that Microsoft can be trusted.
    The deep suspicion that most people feel toward Microsoft represents a distrust the Microsoft has EARNED over the years.
    It seems unwise to hold our breath expecting a change in policy there.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      David, 30 Sep 2015 @ 10:07am

      Re: A reputation well-earned

      It may be true that Microsoft can be trusted.

      Oh, Microsoft can most definitely be trusted. Also you can most definitely shoot a powder keg in the house.

      You just don't want to do either if you got half a brain left. Which is doubtful if you enjoyed either of those delightful experiences too much for your own good.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    connermac725 (profile), 30 Sep 2015 @ 9:31am

    FREE OS

    I still think the NSA paid Microsoft to put this out for free to spy on everyone

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    techflaws (profile), 30 Sep 2015 @ 9:42am

    The former software behemoth has to resort to ad trickery. Pathetic.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 30 Sep 2015 @ 9:56am

    We are so delightful that we don't have to answer direct questions and concerns. We will instead take shots at the others who are dominating the area we want to suddenly notice & serve.
    So what if our last 2 OS's were utter crap because we focused more on being like the other guys, everyone likes the phone experience so why not desktops behaving that way?
    Rather than build something consumers want, we built a me too operating system, and now we need to track what you are doing to the maximum degree so we can make sure you are loving it.
    So what if we are going to ignore peoples concerns, legitimate or not, we have you by the balls. Besides all coverage is good coverage, and the more of you talking about us the better our product must be!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Peter (profile), 30 Sep 2015 @ 10:05am

    overspecific denials - they are learning from the best

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2015 @ 10:30am

    packet capture analysis has proven WIN10 keylogger.

    It is NOT a false rumor that win 10 has a keylogger- this has been proven with packet capture. It's also geo-location based... search for it...

    If you'd even bothered to read the article you posted, and given appropriate weight to all the weasel words- you'd see even that BS MS propaganda piece admits there IS a keylogger- but they say it's not a 'keylogger' cause in their opinion they don't have a 'malicious intent'. It still can send everything you type to microsoft.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    doubledeej (profile), 30 Sep 2015 @ 10:43am

    Why just MS?

    Why is just Microsoft being called out for phoning home? Mac OS X, iOS, Android, and Chrome OS all do it too, and I have a feeling the Google OSes are far worse.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 30 Sep 2015 @ 10:41pm

      Re: Why just MS?

      Because they're the ones who just released a statement regarding how very seriously they don't violate the privacy of those using their OS(promise). When the other companies release similar absurd statements then they too can get their moment to shine.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2015 @ 10:44am

    i'm running mint cinnamon 17.2 for about a week now since getting it and i absolutely love it.. if you can use windows, you can use mint right out of the box.

    picked up a 'bare bones' intel nuc computer to run mint.. it has never had an operating system on it that wasn't the mint i installed.

    a usb kvm hdmi switch allows me to switch back to my old win7 setup when i want, so i have all the software still available on it.. when i want to transfer something from one unit to the other, inserting a usb drive into the kvm switch allows me to put info on the usb drive, hit the switch button, and then take the info off the drive into the other machine.. it is smart to 'stop' the drive each time before hitting the switch button, however.

    so, when i want internet, fuck microsoft.. when i want to use irfanview, win7 is sitting there, wagging its tail just like i want it to.. and there's nothing microsoft can do about it unless they have seals.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    TDR, 30 Sep 2015 @ 11:05am

    I already have a delightful OS experience with Linux (Linux Mint 17 MATE) and have neither the need nor the desire to experience Microsoft's malware-disguised-as-OS. And it's the only OS I use now, no dual-booting for me. Almost all my Windows games and emulators work just fine in Linux, and the learning curve (especially for Mint) isn't that bad, no more than learning any other new program. As for Microsoft and its use of the word "delightful" I believe Inigo Montoya has some words for them:

    "You keep using that word. I don't think it means what you think it means."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      tracyanne (profile), 1 Oct 2015 @ 3:08pm

      Re: I already have a delightful OS experience with Linux (Linux Mint 17 MATE)

      As do I with Linux Mint Cinnamon, and have had with Linux of various flavours, starting with Mandrake, since 2000.

      I have had no need to touch Windows, since I retired 7 years ago, and only used it because the companies I worked for required it.

      The good thing is other people I socialise with are beginning to realise I don't have the computer problems they have, I'm the resident free geek, and are starting to ask for upgrades to what I'm using.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2015 @ 11:09am

    "Glad we solved this one, onward with our spying now!"

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    fitzd34 (profile), 30 Sep 2015 @ 11:20am

    Microsoft addresses Windows privacy?

    Old version: "we may collect typed characters and use them for purposes such as improving autocomplete and spellcheck features."

    "when you input text, handwrite notes, or ink comments, we may collect samples of your input to improve these input features, (e.g., to help improve the accuracy of autocomplete and spellcheck)." ref

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2015 @ 11:38am

    Are people still using Window$ 7?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2015 @ 12:05pm

    No OS is safe

    Microsoft has a problem that Apple and Google don't. They make an Operating System that runs on thousands of iterations of computer hardware. Apple has it easy, they make the hardware, they make the OS. Google is now following this with their own hardware to support their version of a slim OS.

    The telemetry gets Microsoft information on configurations to help them make a better product for those thousands of iterations of hardware which includes location, ISP and other info that system builders use... that's it. That is the telemetry as I understand it from Microsoft.

    The thing is, and this is a big issue for me is that most of it is Opt-In by default, as well many of the check boxes and items that a user can Opt-Out of don't really turn telemetry, those underlying services or applications completely off e.g. Cortana still shows in my task bar and the process cannot be killed. Turned off all live tiles and yet News (which I don't use their app for) still shows up in the task manager on occasion and downloads some content according to their own data usage tools, et.

    I understand the Windows Insider and using telemetry for alpha and beta products. I also have read that Windows 10 isn't complete and the big patch coming in October is what Windows 10 should have looked like at launch.

    That being said, the big patch better disable the items that I've Opted Out of, process, service the whole shabang needs to stop running when I've explicitly checked the boxes to turn them off.

    I'm still wary of Microsoft since their XBox One launch and the disregard they showed consumers.

    I don't know Microsoft's business plan. They bought ad companies, they sold ad companies... is Microsoft an application vendor or an ad vendor? I can understand Bing being an Ad platform but the operating system that most businesses rely on, that the business users more than likely use when they get home doesn't seem to make sense as an advertising platform. I just want an Operating System, that I own (lease whatever) that is mine to use unfettered by intrusive and obfuscation, I want details on every piece of data collected written by Microsoft in a way that makes them liable for that data being misused or collected without express permission by me the end user.

    Yes I stated it, it would help my trust of Microsoft if they put into writing that messing up and any of my data being used outside of building a better product would wind them up in court.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2015 @ 12:55pm

      Re: No OS is safe

      I'm not sure how your title ("No OS is safe") follows your description, which doesn't actually say how other OS versions (particularly Linux) are not safe, ... beyond the flat declaration, anyway.

      > The telemetry gets Microsoft information on configurations ... that's it. That is the telemetry as I understand it from Microsoft.

      Perhaps a closer reading of the Microsoft press release (well, blog post) might be instructive:

      > We aspire to deliver a delightful and personalized Windows experience to you, which benefits from knowing some things about you to customize your experience, such as knowing whether you are a Seattle Seahawks fan or Real Madrid fan ...

      They are not talking about hardware configurations. They're talking about knowing things about you (supposedly "to serve you better").

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        orbitalinsertion (profile), 30 Sep 2015 @ 2:13pm

        Re: Re: No OS is safe

        And the vendor is responsible for the OS install and specific versions of drivers, etc., on their products. MS won't support it, but they want that data?

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2015 @ 12:18pm

    This piece is the equivalent of a digital strip of flypaper. You know exactly what the comments will look like before it even happens.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Uriel-238 (profile), 30 Sep 2015 @ 12:36pm

    Learning to interpret official statements in a post-Snowden / NSA world

    ...neither Windows 10 nor any other Microsoft software scans the content of your email or other communications, or your files, in order to deliver targeted advertising to you.

    Should be read to mean:

    ...Windows 10 and other Microsoft software products do scan the content of your email and other communications, and your files in order to fulfill other purposes such as submitting intelligence to government agencies and as evidence towards any litigation Microsoft might want to file.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2015 @ 2:16pm

      Re: Learning to interpret official statements in a post-Snowden / NSA world

      No it should be,
      "we don't scan your emails, we don't have to cause we log all the key presses made while you write them."

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Another Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2015 @ 3:28pm

      Re: Learning to interpret official statements in a post-Snowden / NSA world

      ...neither Windows 10 nor any other Microsoft software scans the content of your email or other communications, or your files, in order to deliver targeted advertising to you.

      I think should probably be interpreted as:

      ...neither Windows 10 nor any other Microsoft software scans the content of your email or other communications, or your files, in order to deliver targeted advertising to you, but we do scan it and send it to everyone else who asks, we just won't be doing for the explicit purpose of delivering "targeted" advertising.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2015 @ 5:52pm

      Re: Learning to interpret official statements in a post-Snowden / NSA world

      Exactly

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 30 Sep 2015 @ 12:40pm

    I have customers..

    I have customers that are on limited access, and that dont REALLY use the net for much..
    the systems HATE IT..and thats win8.1
    The system gets bogged down, because ti wants access to the net, to Download updates, and do OTHER THINGS..
    I go over to fix things, and its SLOW AS SNOT, because its trying to do updates, install changes, Update drivers, and OTHER STUFF..

    NOW you are telling me that Win10 is a NET BOOK interface..its WANTS the net. that this is NOT A stand alone OS, that just Works...on its own, without contacting MS..
    REALLY sounds like the first steps of a RENTAL OS..
    PAY for it to work properly.
    Pay for your access to Everything else..
    PAY for your DATA..

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      orbitalinsertion (profile), 30 Sep 2015 @ 2:21pm

      Re: I have customers..

      Have you ever looked at an update log, where over the course of a few hours the OS bogs itself looking at the system and the update server for updates, then fails because the server can't cough up the updates for some reason? It's a giant mess of repetitive insanity, happening over and over because the OS is so damn clever.

      How this ends up slowing the system is beyond stupid. And that's just WUpdate.

      Ah, and never mind the joys of creating an online account to log into your local system. More fun when that fails repeatedly. And then there are upgrades and updates that fail and make a mess all over a clean install. Go figure.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2015 @ 2:08pm

    It certainly DOES have a keylogger. Although I'm quite sure that it is euphemistically not called that.

    Its existence is admitted in the "Windows 10 and your online services" document linked in this article (in the "consumer" link in the sentence "This week, the company decided to finally comment on user concerns in a blog post and both consumer and enterprise privacy documents that address at least some user worries").

    That document states:
    Making personalized dictionaries

    To give you text suggestions and auto-corrections that actually help, we make your personalized dictionary by using a sample of your typed and handwritten words.

    The typing data includes a sample of characters and words you type, changes you manually make to text, and words you add to your dictionary. We automatically take out things that could potentially be used to identify you, like IDs and IP addresses. To change these settings, go to Settings > Privacy > Speech, inking, & typing



    How does it get those typing "samples"? Via keylogging, of course. Then they sift through it - otherwise how could they "automatically take out things that could potentially be used to identify you".

    I can't see giving MS all my passwords - to my budgeting, taxes, other online accounts, etc. If you use LastPass or another "password manager", have fun giving MS the "master password" to all your other passwords. Then think of the fun you'll have later - when they get "breached" and all that info goes into the wild.

    Speaking of "pass" - I'll pass on all of it..

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Bozo the drunk, 30 Sep 2015 @ 3:40pm

    nothing left to talk about

    Microsoft is an abusive spouse. It cannot change. It won't change. All that is left is for us to leave and try to build a new life. There is nothing left to talk about.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2015 @ 3:51pm

    Unlike some other platforms, no matter what privacy options you choose, neither Windows 10 nor any other Microsoft software scans the content of your email or other communications, or your files, in order to deliver targeted advertising to you."


    How nice of MS to confirm the "But google does it too!" posts that always show up too quickly and too reliably in any of the big tech formus Win10 threads are official policy, implying many of those saying it are either paid shills or "Limbaugh's audience" grade useful idiots.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Coyne Tibbets (profile), 30 Sep 2015 @ 6:04pm

    In defense

    Microsoft: "Come on, what you don't know won't hurt you."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Oct 2015 @ 7:10am

    Re: "Unlike some other platforms"

    "Unlike some other platforms, no matter what privacy options you choose, neither Windows 10 nor any other Microsoft software scans the content of your email or other communications, or your files, in order to deliver targeted advertising to you."

    Funny how carefully that statement is qualified. They don't scan for _ADVERTISING_ purposes. So how about a list of all the purposes they DO scan for?

    And is that scanning individually qualified? Do you get extra scanning if say, your a judge or a congressman, a doctor or a lawyer? How about if your name is foreign? And who reviews that content? And what algorithms are used to do the scanning? And how is authorization of that scanning managed?

    Meanwhile, on cabal news: "Congress debates methods for debating about debates, free condoms, and rap lyrics."

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Cowherd, 1 Oct 2015 @ 12:38pm

    Cellphones have been "remembering the common words you type in text messaging conversations to provide you convenient text completion suggestions" for decades, long before they even had internet connections. Simply, locally, privately. Not anymore. In 2015 phones and computers no longer have the capability of storing simple text locally anymore, so it has to be sent into the internet instead.

    Or maybe it's just a flimsy excuse for spying on people...you decide.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Cowherd, 1 Oct 2015 @ 12:43pm

    If my computer started spontaneously giving me sports scores because it decided I was a fan, I would not find that "delightful." I'd find it creepy.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      John Fenderson (profile), 1 Oct 2015 @ 1:28pm

      Re:

      Yes. In exactly the same way, and for exactly the same reason, that targeted ads are creepy.

      I had an experience on a website lately where I did a bunch of searches using the site's search box. The site eventually popped up a notice saying that it has determined my special interest from my searches and will tailor the site to the tastes that it now assumes I have.

      That's not only ultracreepy, but the opposite of useful. Because I searched for different kinds of hats a bunch of times in one setting doesn't mean that hats are a special interest of mine overall.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Oct 2015 @ 4:27pm

    Enjoying The Good Life

    A few years ago I switched to Linux. Finally settled on Linux Mint Cinnamon 64-Bit. My computer problems didn't magically all go away, but they did delightfully reduce in frequency. There also was a slight learning curve. Now I no longer have a single point of failure (Microsoft as an exclusive vendor). If ever dissatisfied I can change to a different distro in hours keeping my software and functionality. I believe that is the single biggest reason most large companies and enterprises have migrated away from Windows to Linux and it seems quite obvious this trend will continue 'til only a few Microsoft diehard fanbois and clueless home users are all that is left using Windows.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    plugger (profile), 7 Oct 2015 @ 11:58am

    Bricked computers have no privacy concerns

    Windows 10 privacy issues do not concern me. Windows 10 converted my HP desktop into a brick. No more Windows 10 for me!
    A few minutes after upgrading from Windows 7, my machine went into a loop displaying "WDF_VIOLATION" and restarting. I killed power. Now the machine won't boot.
    Others have complained about this in Microsoft forums (http://answers.microsoft.com). It appears Windows 10 corrupts the BIOS.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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