Ramblings of an old Doc

 

MS has finally revealed what data it collects from you (if you're using W10). I'm sure they collected data from earlier OSs, but they haven't revealed just what in which OS.

There's a good general picture in the linked article, but if you want the nitty gritty, go here: https://technet.microsoft.com/itpro/windows/configure/basic-level-windows-diagnostic-events-and-fields 

and here: https://technet.microsoft.com/itpro/windows/configure/windows-diagnostic-data 

These apply to version 1703. 

If you want good screenshots to refer to, go here: https://www.neowin.net/news/microsoft-reveals-details-of-the-data-that-its-collecting-from-windows-10-devices 

 

Sources:

See ext. link and links in the text above.

 


Comments (Page 1)
on Apr 05, 2017

Brother MS is watching.

on Apr 05, 2017

Lot of other people doing much more wrong than Microsoft. Not that Microsoft is a saint but people seem to worry more about them then all the other places that give out your info and more of it.

on Apr 05, 2017

DaveBax

Lot of other people doing much more wrong than Microsoft. Not that Microsoft is a saint but people seem to worry more about them then all the other places that give out your info and more of it.

 

I think that is because being the operating system, Windows has access to more of it than anyone else, and likely more important things as well.

I believe there is a deeper trust involved in the operating system than in say, a browser.

on Apr 05, 2017

Sadly, if you become a user of technology, the creators/purveyors of that technology seem to think that your personal data is fair game and that they can use or sell it off as they see fit.

Worse still, you can't avoid it unless you become a hermit and live life like back in the Stone Age.

on Apr 05, 2017

starkers

Sadly, if you become a user of technology, the creators/purveyors of that technology seem to think that your personal data is fair game and that they can use or sell it off as they see fit.

Worse still, you can't avoid it unless you become a hermit and live life like back in the Stone Age.

 

So true. Even if using something like linux, unless you REALLY know what you are doing, you are taking someone's word for it that nothing malicious is going on. It's helpful that people who REALLY know what they are doing are usually looking through linux all the time and as a community anything bad would likely be outed quick.

on Apr 05, 2017

What Microsoft is saying is like the classic game quote: “ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US”. I don't hate Microsoft. I'm just trying to be funny, because the above quote would be a much simplified version of the privacy policy.

If “they” really want to get you they can get you on Windows 7, Linux or MacOS too. The problem is “mass surveillance as the new norm”. This is way more data than necessary for targeted ads or Windows diagnostic functionality.

I'm not saying all this extra data is evil or even unnecessary, but Microsoft did a rather poor job of calming privacy advocates. People generally didn't want “Google services” on their desktop. And Google has done a better job of separating OS and services that require lots of personal info. I don't like Google, but they managed to evade some privacy criticism by doing this. In Windows 10, OS and services are tied together so you can't just have the OS without services.

On a desktop people generally want control (maybe the “smartphone generation” is different). Windows 10 took that away. Not only invasive data collection, but also changing settings and forcing upgrades and updates. Microsoft behaved badly.

Mr Nadella wants us to love Windows 10. My advice is that he should love his customers. Give 'em freedom. Most people accept some data collection, but not too much. They also want control over their machine. They want a Personal Computer in every meaning of the word.

A good example of collecting more information than should be necessary is the Photos app. Microsoft writes that the Photos app collects:

- File source data -- local, SD card, network device, and OneDrive

- Image & video resolution, video length, file sizes types and encoding

- Collection view or full screen viewer use and duration of view

Microsoft happily announced that more than a billion photos had been viewed in the app. This statement made some people upset that Microsoft collects usage data. Microsoft labels this as diagnostic data. Problem is that just about any form of input/data can be labeled diagnostic data or telemetry. All your keystrokes are diagnostic/telemetry data if the “Getting to know me”-setting is on. Same is true for voice-data and handwriting. All your input can be considered telemetry if you haven't taken active steps to prevent it.

https://privacy.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-10-speech-inking-typing-and-privacy-faq

I'm not saying this is evil. It's just an enormous “grey area” where it is difficult to know if your input remain local or if it is sent off to MS servers. These potentially very invasive services shouldn't be part of the OS. It should be standalone opt-in services. I can see many business owners being very worried about their keystrokes being sent to Microsoft.

I'm perfectly happy with Windows Photo Viewer in Windows 7. As far as I know this app doesn't collect any data and still manages to do everything it's supposed to do.

Windows 10 might be the “latest and greatest”, but Windows 7 is leaner, cleaner and greener. It's like coming from a busy city to a “zen” place in the mountains.

I installed updates on Windows 10 yesterday. Not Creator's Update, just ordinary updates. There was one update that took very long time. I didn't know how big the update was or what is was supposed to do (because MS doesn't provide this info). It was on a Core i5 with SSD and the computer just kept on chewing, starting other drives in the process. I seriously thought now MS is going to collect every filename on my drives. Most files are on OneDrive already, because I've embraced the cloud. I just want to upload files myself instead of the OS deciding what is interesting...

There is a level of uncertainty around Windows 10. Business adoption is still very low. This kind of uncertainty is probably the new norm. The US government (and other governments) want data just as bad (or even more) than Microsoft so there is no solution to the problem.

The saga continues...

 

on Apr 06, 2017

@ Anotherside: 

You raise some very valid points and pose various questions that many users of Win 10 should ask but don't... like the "smartphone generation", for example.  The point is, MS collects more data than is necessary, all in the name of providing 'better' services, but I do not believe this for one moment.

The fact that the Win 10 start menu is invaded with advertising is testament to what much of the data collection is about, apart from power and control.  It's more about making more and more money than providing users with a better experience. I mean, how does scanning your collection of 'lesbian' porn assist MS in providing you with better services?

Oh, and I'm not suggesting anyone here has a collection of 'lesbian' porn, either.  It was just the first thing that popped into my head to help demonstrate my point.

anotherside

Mr Nadella wants us to love Windows 10. My advice is that he should love his customers. Give 'em freedom. Most people accept some data collection, but not too much. They also want control over their machine. They want a Personal Computer in every meaning of the word.

Exactly!  Users have lost more control over their PCs since Win 10 was released... and more again as it has been updated.  I read somewhere that this Creator's Update will install a feature into Windows Explorer that will enable telemetry and advertising directly from Explorer windows, that disabling them will make Windows unusable and crash without the possibility of a restart... only a complete reinstall will allow the user to restart the PC.  So why did MS decide to hard-code this rubbish into Explorer?  Because much of it was enabled through the Start Menu and built-in apps that users could disable and did, by the millions, in fact.

Like you say, if Nadella wants us to love Windows, then he had better listen to users and their complaints and their suggestions.  A personal computer needs to be just that.  100% personal and not controlled from afar by Redmond.

on Apr 07, 2017

starkers

I mean, how does scanning your collection of 'lesbian' porn assist MS in providing you with better services?

They can then provide you with links to more 'lesbian porn' and save you the effort of doing it yourself.

That is the sole reason for targeted advertising....

It gets even better [for them] when Lesbians-R-Us.com pay MS [and Google, et al] to be front of the queue on every search.

It's called 'Commercialism"....

...and MS gotta get paid somehow...afterall they gave you the shitty OS for free...

on Apr 07, 2017



Quoting starkers,

I mean, how does scanning your collection of 'lesbian' porn assist MS in providing you with better services?



They can then provide you with links to more 'lesbian porn' and save you the effort of doing it yourself.

That is the sole reason for targeted advertising....

It gets even better [for them] when Lesbians-R-Us.com pay MS [and Google, et al] to be front of the queue on every search.

It's called 'Commercialism"....

...and MS gotta get paid somehow...afterall they gave you the shitty OS for free...

Thing is, I don't have a collection of lesbian porn... though now you mention it, and MS does all the hard work searching for it, I might just start one.

As for MS getting paid somehow, I think they get more than enough money now... without profiting from my soon to be lesbian porn collection.  I mean, who do they think they are?  Microsoft Office and related products rake in billions each year.. and now they're charging 20 times what Win 10 is worth to make up for when they were supposedly giving it away.

Nope, Microsoft should leave the advertising and commercialism to Google  so it can get on with the business of cleaning Win 10 up and making it a users OS instead of a data collection mechanism.  And I don't want or need targeted advertising.  If and when I want or need something, I will do my own research and base my purchase[s] on my own results rather than from advertising forced down my throat by greedy corporations who have no fechen idea of who I am or what I want/need.

Put bluntly, targeted advertising angers the fuck out of me.  And when organisations pay big money to be at the front of the queue, it pisses me off a lot.  Often times I want to do business smaller companies who treat their customers like real people, but because they cannot afford the big bucks to pay for 'first-in-line' search results, and because the high rollers get 'first on several pages after the first one, I have to trawl through pages and pages of results to find what I want. 

Actually, I should clarify that first sentence above.  Advertising in general angers the fuck out of me.

on Apr 20, 2017

There is no privacy on the internet any more.  If it's not Microsoft mining your data, it's Google, Yahoo and just about every other company with a website.  And that's happening now!  It will get worse in the future, and I don't see governments legislating against it when it benefits them as well, but let's just hope that every day people without criminal involvement/activities don't become victims of overzealous data collection and [even more] unscrupulous people exploiting it.

on Apr 20, 2017

And here I am worrying about Microsoft spying on the contents of my hard drive such as passwords and keystrokes. I've been freaked out about it for a few weeks now. I have nothing to hide on my computer, but I don't need people seeing my sensitive information either. 

on Apr 20, 2017

Don't want them to see......don't put anything there for them to see. You can't see what ain't there. Just my opinion. FWIW YMMV and other capital sets that I don't remember.  

on Apr 20, 2017


Don't want them to see......don't put anything there for them to see. You can't see what ain't there. Just my opinion. FWIW YMMV and other capital sets that I don't remember.  

Thing is, in this day and age of bank closures and reduced services, internet banking has become essential for some people.  Then there are those who are incapacitated and/or in remote areas and need online shopping services to purchase various goods and services.  Yes, people managed to conduct their business dealings before the internet, but banks and corporations have made it difficult [almost impossible] to do that any more.  For example, there are some businesses that operate online only these days, with no customer retail outlets remaining.

While there are ATMs all over the place, my bank of choice [like it or not, gotta have one these days] closed 5 - 6 local branches and now we only have one.  It is not always convenient [or even possible] to visit this bricks n' mortar branch, so I [and many others] have to rely on online banking to pay bills, etc.

Same thing with retail stores, with closures all around us.  Now while that doesn't affect me in a lot of cases, the closing of some specialty stores, PC sales and service, for example, has forced me to look at online purchases to acquire parts that I need.  There are still some small repair shops here and there, but that's about it, and most are costly, meaning people have to travel much further from home to get more expensive PC service and repairs, or go to one of the online companies that do in-home repairs... for a price.

Sadly, that's the way of the world.  Smaller stores with a more personalised customer service have been pushed out by big business and have pretty much become a thing of the past.  Consumers are now just invoice numbers printed out by a computer, and generally online sales staff often don't give a flying fech about them.  I really miss being able to go into my fave PC store and have a chat with the owner and/or his techies about my needs and which parts best suited them.

on Apr 23, 2017

So nowadays if you want to do stuff online you gotta be like The Atom. Squish all the way down and thumb a ride from a passing electron and hope its going your way. Who thinks up this stuff.   

on Apr 23, 2017

I'd like to think that MS reads forums/posts like these and sees all the hate and hostility towards it regarding data collection and advertising within the OS, then has a rethink about its methods.  Sadly, I don't see that happening because MS has embarked on a path of power accumulation and it knows Windows is the only truly viable OS on the market currently.

It's like the very unfunny comedian in a theatre with all the exits locked... he has a 'captive' audience.  Well that's pretty much how it is with Windows.  Yes, there is Apple's OS-X and there's Linux, but Apple did itself no favours when it created the 'walled garden' and locked users into the OS-X ecosystem with regard to programs and 3rd party apps, etc.  Discerning users and power users want better than that, and thus they stick to Windows, which since Win 10 has become increasingly like Apple's walled garden.... and continues to get worse.

As for Linux, well it is still not mature or main-stream enough to challenge Windows, and Microsoft knows it.  Linux distros have come a long way and have improved tremendously with better user friendliness, but the average PC user is still frightened of Linux because it fails to adequately get its message out there.  And then there's all the bad press about how difficult Linux is to use. 

Meanwhile, Microsoft is laughing all the way to the bank.

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