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  1. #1
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    Windows 10 telemetry gathering

    Here's a good article which has a more balanced view by people who've actually used Win10 - Relax, Windows 10 doesn’t have a malicious ‘keylogger’

    Joe

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    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    The author has a dismissive tone throughout the article, ridiculing those who are concerned about their personal data being collected by Microsoft. And he continually mentions "keylogger with malicious intent", as if everyone who is troubled by data collection suspects that a keylogger is what is being used to collect the data.

    This causes me not to put complete confidence in what the author says.

    In speaking of Cortana, the author says, "If you feel [Cortana's collection of your data] is a violation of your privacy, then you shouldn’t be using a personal assistant — even on your phone." I fully agree with that.

    But I don't agree with the author when he says, "Does Cortana or Bing use any of the data to sell advertising or mine information? No." The fact is, ALL companies use whatever data they collect to sell advertising. That's why they give you all of the freebies -- so that when you use them, you will put in your personal information, so that they can then mine it and sell advertisements. THAT'S HOW THEY MAKE THEIR MONEY!

    The author continues with his dismissive tone when he says, "If you think Microsoft has secret intentions to share your data to bad people, steal your bank account information, etc., you are mistaken or have watched too many conspiracy shows on television." He also uses a straw man for his argument - "bad people". No, I don't think Microsoft shares my data with "bad" people; but they do share it with "people". The sharing of personal data with "whoever" is what concerns most people, not necessarily the sharing of personal data with "bad people".

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    It is your prerogative to not like the words or feel insulted by them. You can believe what you wish or you can believe what Microsoft's terms of service say about the data collected.

    However, you offer no proof that Microsoft is collecting much less sharing personal data. Sorry but it appears you wish to believe the click baiting headlines.

    Joe

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    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoeP517 View Post
    It is your prerogative to not like the words or feel insulted by them. You can believe what you wish or you can believe what Microsoft's terms of service say about the data collected.

    However, you offer no proof that Microsoft is collecting much less sharing personal data. Sorry but it appears you wish to believe the click baiting headlines.

    Joe
    My comments were about the credibility of the author, not about the information he included in his article. Based on his condescending tone, and on his use of straw men to make arguments, I don't feel confident in believing what he says.

    In fact, he may be right on everything he says, except for the part about Microsoft not collecting and then selling people's personal data. All of the other major players do that (Google, Yahoo, etc., etc.), so it is reasonable to believe that Microsoft also does it, at least with regard to their freebie products.
    Last edited by mrjimphelps; 2015-09-09 at 14:35.

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    What I have not seen discussed in a credible way is this. How identifiable is the information being collected? Is it meant to be traced back to you specifically?

    For years Microsoft has requested that certain types of program feedback, especially concerning program crashes, be submitted. They don't collect personal information in this process (that's their statement and basically I trust them, having never heard anything to the contrary). I've always said "no" to these requests because my job requires very high privacy and security processes and it has been nearly impossible to discern specific benefits to me, or my employer, to allow this information gathering to take place. However I suspect it would be harmless.

    In my work I sometimes zero in on an individual. I'm not interested in them personally, it's because they represent a type or class of individual, and I need to start somewhere. Ultimately this is what I believe MS is doing with a lot of this information. "Application X always fails with Message Y when using Driver Z and free memory drops below Threshold W".

    OK, but what about Cortana and personalizing information? That's an exposure, right? Not necessarily. MS can link that information to you based upon non-personal information, such as your MAC address, your IP address, and there have been credible reports of using multiple data points to uniquely identify people (for example the combination of OS, browser, versioning, apps, installed memory, and falling within specific IP address ranges).

    But let's cut to the chase. Suppose MS keeps a record of you, personally, by name. They know your dirty little secrets, like you claiming to use Firefox but on a regular basis you use IE (oh no!). What could they do?

    Targeted advertising seems like the most likely outcome. You could also be logged to the databases of the Three Letter Agencies (though they likely have other sources for that, but they never say no to another database).

    Yet Google and Yahoo already do this. "But" you say, "I trust Google!" OK, fair enough. Can't help you there. It so happens that I don't entirely trust anybody. Yet I can't live in the world without having some trust in a lot of people. I am a believer in Trust But Verify.

    The existence of so much venom against MS on the telemetry issue leads me to believe prior issues with MS are at play.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mrjimphelps View Post
    My comments were about the credibility of the author, not about the information he included in his article. Based on his condescending tone, and on his use of straw men to make arguments, I don't feel confident in believing what he says.

    In fact, he may be right on everything he says, except for the part about Microsoft not collecting and then selling people's personal data. All of the other major players do that (Google, Yahoo, etc., etc.), so it is reasonable to believe that Microsoft also does it, at least with regard to their freebie products.
    I don't know why you think the author is not credible. He is just as credible as someone else claiming the worst about Microsoft who quite possibly has not even used Windows 10 much less made an effort to discover what is really being collected and reported.

    Microsoft is very upfront in their EULA and Privacy Statements about what they collect and what they do with the collected data. If you choose not to believe what they say there is nothing I can do.

    Joe

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    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BHarder View Post
    The existence of so much venom against MS on the telemetry issue leads me to believe prior issues with MS are at play.
    There was a time when Microsoft was knocking off company after company on its way to market dominance. During that time, MS did some unethical things, such as requiring IBM to pay more for each copy of Windows that they sold than others were required to pay.

    However, MS seems to have calmed down over the past several years, not playing such hardball with other companies as before.

    My guess is that the "venom" is from people who don't trust Microsoft, because they remember how they were during their "hardball" days.

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    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Some people are just so anti Microsoft that it's subjectively ingrained in them. It's almost like it's PC to berate them.
    And you know the funny part is that's it's coming largely from people who use Windows.
    It's almost like the knucklehead Linux userbase who were certain Linux would overtake Windows are upset that it hasn't happened.

    For me...
    A major aspect of my own personal security is maintaining a lean system with knowledge of process and network activity
    that is easily identifiable. Equal on par to a good AV/AM application, and in some respects better.

    You're a knowledgeable computer user and if you don't like a lot of this telemetric data collection or advertising crap, just turn it off.
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    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by CLiNT View Post
    Some people are just so anti Microsoft that it's subjectively ingrained in them. It's almost like it's PC to berate them.
    And you know the funny part is that's it's coming largely from people who use Windows.
    It's almost like the knucklehead Linux userbase who were certain Linux would overtake Windows are upset that it hasn't happened.
    I thought that Linux had a chance to do that in the dying days of Novell, when Novell adopted Suse Linux.

    Quote Originally Posted by CLiNT View Post
    You're a knowledgeable computer user and if you don't like a lot of this telemetric data collection or advertising crap, just turn it off.
    One of these days, when I get a 2nd computer and install Windows 10, I intend to do just that!

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    There's a program called Key Scrambler that encrypts keystrokes. Free version does the web browser, Premium version adds a lot of other major software, like MS Office. Useful for keyboard input, although Cortana will still remember her stuff.

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    Silver Lounger wavy's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BHarder View Post
    What I have not seen discussed in a credible way is this. How identifiable is the information being collected? Is it meant to be traced back to you specifically?

    .
    Whether it is meant to be or not if they get a NSL they will be able to. I am very ambivalent about privacy these days, lots of bad actors out there.
    David

    Just because you don't know where you are going doesn't mean any road will get you there.

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    Whether it is meant to be or not if they get a NSL they will be able to. I am very ambivalent about privacy these days, lots of bad actors out there.
    Right there with you wavy! The question often (well, for me anyway) isn't "does this invade my privacy?" And the reason that's not the issue is that I turn off or away from overt invasions of privacy. That's a non-starter.

    No, the question is, "can this information be used against me indirectly or over time." Unauthorized & bad people might get ahold of it. Or the original decision makers are gone and new decision makers are now in charge with a totally different agenda (technically authorized but I disagree with their policy).

    I know that a skilled and determined hacker (includes the Three Letter Agencies) with lots of resources can break down my security. Yet I see no reason to make it easy for them. So much of security simply amounts to wearing down the attacker until they get tired, or bored, or frustrated. Best of all is to get them arrested but that rarely happens these days.

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    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    As far as security, I do the best I can to reduce my exposure. There's no way to eliminate your exposure these days.

    The only entry points I have to the internet are my two home computers, my work computer, and my iPhone. I use good A/V software, and I watch where I go and what I click on when I'm on line.

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    3 Star Lounger djohnson's Avatar
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    You can disable telemetry on windows just the same as you can take the wheels off a new car. You will still have the OS, and the car, but what good are they?

  17. #15
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Telemetry is no big deal at all.
    If your system is up and running fine, no reason not to disable it.
    There are no real consequences to doing so except the hounding errors that will be present in the event viewer.
    Most non tech folks will just leave it alone, which is fine by MS. But we do have the option to kill it.
    DRIVE IMAGING
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    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
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