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  1. #1
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    What price would you put on privacy?

    Firstly full disclosure…I don’t use any social media. I don’t share, twitter, tweet or blog; don’t upload photos to anywhere, and don’t store anything on any cloud; I have no smart phone; the GPS facility in my camera is disabled. I use Roboform to store and insert extraordinarily complex log-ins. And I will not upgrade to Win 10 simply because of the EULA, that’s the document that nobody reads. So yes, I am paranoid.

    However, I felt that Fred’s article in WindowsSecrets rather glossed over the privacy issues:

    “…first you should know that Microsoft's data-collection practices are generally in line with those of other major tech companies. Win10 collects the same types of data commonly collected by operating systems and apps from Apple, Google, Samsung, Yahoo, and others.”

    Well that’s certainly not setting the bar very high. So now I suppose we can expect each of these companies to strive for the lowest degree of privacy that people will tolerate, and that as far as I can tell is pretty damned low. Well MS is certainly in with the right crowd. But there are other tech writers who don’t feel quite so sanguine about the privacy issues. Some I grant you are sensationalists, that’s how they get noticed, but David Auerbach writing in Slate isn’t one of them. He writes:-

    “The problems start with Microsoft’s ominous privacy policy, which is now included in the Windows 10 end-user license agreement so that it applies to everything you do on a Windows PC, not just online.”

    And he quotes this from the EULA:-

    “Finally, we will access, disclose and preserve personal data, including your content (such as the content of your emails, other private communications or files in private folders), when we have a good faith belief that doing so is necessary.”

    Good faith”?!? In corporate governance? I used to have faith in bankers! There was even a time when I had faith in lawyers, but that was a very, very long time ago. I know that Google, Yahoo and the rest of them scan e-mails for key words to aid in ‘targeting’ ads, but “other private communications”? And “files in private folders”? So what exactly does private mean? To MS that is.

    Fred wrote: “If you're installing Win10, the best, first step is to not accept "Express settings…”

    David Auerbach puts it rather more forcefully:- “During installation, Microsoft will encourage you to accept its “express install” defaults. Without exceptions, these defaults will result in the maximum sharing of your information with Microsoft.”

    Fred makes no mention of peer-to-peer sharing.

    David Auerbach says: “By default, Microsoft turns your computer into a peer-to-peer node to help it distribute Windows 10 updates, in order to save Microsoft server bandwidth costs. “Microsoft calls it Windows Update Delivery Optimization,” or WUDO. WUDO really should have been turned off by default, because it may slow you down and may even cost you additional money if you have a metered connection. Instead, it is also one of the hardest settings to turn off, requiring clicking through four obscure screens.”

    Given the fact that virtually nobody reads the EULA I would hazard the guess that almost all Win 10 installations are in fact peer-to-peer nodes. But of course it was “done in good faith”!

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhinoceros View Post
    “The problems start with Microsoft’s ominous privacy policy, which is now included in the Windows 10 end-user license agreement so that it applies to everything you do on a Windows PC, not just online.”

    And he quotes this from the EULA:-

    “Finally, we will access, disclose and preserve personal data, including your content (such as the content of your emails, other private communications or files in private folders), when we have a good faith belief that doing so is necessary.”
    The last time you quoted that five weeks ago I asked if it had been edited, as it seemed incomplete (but perhaps you didn't see this):

    Quote Originally Posted by Rhinoceros View Post
    did you by any remote chance read the EULA? Or even a small part of it? Like:-

    "We will access, disclose and preserve personal data, including your content (such as the content of your emails, other private communications or files in private folders) , when we have a good faith belief that doing so is necessary to protect our customers or enforce the terms governing the use of the services." (italics added)
    Quote Originally Posted by BruceR View Post
    That quote seems to have been edited. Which document or link is it from? Did you leave out parts about complying with laws and maintaining security?
    But now it's even shorter!

    If the terms are going to be discussed, I think it should be the unaltered terms:

    Finally, we will access, disclose and preserve personal data, including your content (such as the content of your emails, other private communications or files in private folders), when we have a good faith belief that doing so is necessary to:
    1. comply with applicable law or respond to valid legal process, including from law enforcement or other government agencies;
    2. protect our customers, for example to prevent spam or attempts to defraud users of the services, or to help prevent the loss of life or serious injury of anyone;
    3. operate and maintain the security of our services, including to prevent or stop an attack on our computer systems or networks; or
    4. protect the rights or property of Microsoft, including enforcing the terms governing the use of the services - however, if we receive information indicating that someone is using our services to traffic in stolen intellectual or physical property of Microsoft, we will not inspect a customer's private content ourselves, but we may refer the matter to law enforcement
    .
    https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/priv...t/default.aspx
    Last edited by BruceR; 2015-09-13 at 17:01. Reason: (emphasis added to highlight omitted sections)

  3. #3
    Super Moderator bbearren's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rhinoceros View Post
    I am paranoid.
    I'm not. The "opt out" availabilities in Windows 10 are sufficient for me.
    Create a fresh drive image before making system changes, in case you need to start over!

    "The problem is not the problem. The problem is your attitude about the problem. Savvy?"—Captain Jack Sparrow "When you're troubleshooting, start with the simple and proceed to the complex."—M.O. Johns "Experience is what you get when you're looking for something else."—Sir Thomas Robert Deware.
    Unleash Windows

  4. #4
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    BruceR you are right, it would have been better to have quoted the whole paragraph. However, one phrase, "when we have a good faith belief" negates everything that follows. They could have padded it with another yard and a half of clauses, all laudable in themselves, wouldn't mean a thing.

    Regrettably Corporate America, with its bought and paid for politicians, have forfeited the right to be trusted. And I'm not just referring to MS, the auto industry, energy, tobacco, oil, pharmaceuticals, insurance, health care, all have their lobbyists, all conspire, collude and cover up. Trust? Ethics? Quaint concepts.

  5. #5
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    And to you, bbearen, I would say that yes, there are choices to opt out. You know about them, of course you do, you're a regular contributor to the Lounge. But how about the the people who will buy millions of Win 10 machines in the coming year? Many will be bought on-line, others in big-box retailers, how many will boot-up and accept all the default values? How many of the millions who have jumped at the chance of a "free upgrade" from 7 or 8 have delved into the Settings?

    I live in Silicon Valley, I went into a branch of a national chain and had a look at laptops they had on offer. "What settings will I have to customize? Is there anything I'd need to watch out for?" "Oh no, that's the best thing about Windows 10," said the salesman. "Everything has been thought through, you just have to switch on and if you have a Microsoft account you can log in and you'll be up and running.

    However, as you rightly say, the option to opt out is as simple as an On/Off switch, well most of them. But how about WUDO (peer-to-peer sharing)? It is in fact an On/Off switch but a well hidden switch. Choose 'Settings'. Choose 'Update and Security'. Select 'Advanced'. (Which on the machines I looked at in the store was in gray text, not black like everything else). In Advanced select 'Choose how updates are delivered'. And then you get to the switch.

    But ask yourself, why couldn't this switch have been placed right under all those other ones? Could there be a reason?? And read the text just above the switch: "When this is turned on your PC may also send parts of previously downloaded Windows updates and apps to PC's on your local network, or PC's on the Internet depending on what's selected below." There is not a word to suggest that in doing this your Internet connection may slow to a crawl, nor that it could cost you money. And how long will it be before someone finds a way of using this 'feature' to hack into machines? Target didn't think it could be done, neither did Home Depot, Sony, the DoD, NSA and the Federal Government. Someone will crack it, and there'll be millions of machines to harvest.

  6. #6
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BruceR View Post
    If the terms are going to be discussed, I think it should be the unaltered terms:

    Finally, we will access, disclose and preserve personal data, including your content (such as the content of your emails, other private communications or files in private folders), when we have a good faith belief that doing so is necessary to:
    1. comply with applicable law or respond to valid legal process, including from law enforcement or other government agencies;
    2. protect our customers, for example to prevent spam or attempts to defraud users of the services, or to help prevent the loss of life or serious injury of anyone;
    3. operate and maintain the security of our services, including to prevent or stop an attack on our computer systems or networks; or
    4. protect the rights or property of Microsoft, including enforcing the terms governing the use of the services - however, if we receive information indicating that someone is using our services to traffic in stolen intellectual or physical property of Microsoft, we will not inspect a customer's private content ourselves, but we may refer the matter to law enforcement
    .
    https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/priv...t/default.aspx
    It sounds to me like Microsoft is simply codifying what is acceptable and necessary practice.

    It sure sounds less scary when you read the entire wording!

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by mrjimphelps View Post
    It sure sounds less scary when you read the entire wording!
    Of course it sounds less threatening, a team of highly paid lawyers would have worked on the wording for weeks. But the devil is in the detail. Ask yourself, 'How many people read it?' And, 'How many of those would notice "when we have a good faith belief"? That is their call, "But your honour we believed that ( ). Fill in the space

    And MS is very defensive of "intellectual property", their own that is. They had no compunction about destroying Netscape by bundling their own browser in Windows for free thus stifling competition. The US authorities did nothing, but when the EU investigated and ordered IE to be removed MS said that it was so tightly coded into the core of the OS that it simply couldn't be done. However, after being threatened with a fine of some millions of dollars per day it turned out to be not quite as difficult as they had claimed. And this is the company that we should trust to do the right thing? I don't think so.

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    This is not the same company that made those decisions over a decade ago. Microsoft essentially lost a decade defending itself in the US & European courts. It gained them nothing and cost them tremendously. Are they still capable of stupid decisions? Certainly. But they are smart enough to have learned some lessons.

    BTW, Microsoft was under no obligation to protect Netscape's intellectual property. Every company has an obligation to protect their intellectual property. They can't pick and choose which cases they pursue. It is pretty much all or nothing. I remember when TCP/IP software was an add-in which cost a crazy amount for what it did. Are Microsoft and Apple both guilty of something for including that in their OSes?

    Joe

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    I'm pleased there is so much information on how to disable those privacy options, but annoyed MS buried them so deeply in the settings.

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    Hi Rhinoceros,
    I agree with your sentiments entirely. I wouldn't install 10 under any circumstances. Stay on 7 or 8.1, if it ain't busted don't fix it.

    I believe the privacy statement runs to 45 pages and is regarded by many as an infringement of civil liberties as it gives Microsoft carte blanche to report anything they deem underhand to the NSA and FBI. This is indeed of great concern.

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