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  1. #1
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    Attempting to answer whether MS is snooping




    TOP STORY


    Attempting to answer whether MS is snooping


    By Susan Bradley

    Microsoft has recently released updates to Windows 7 that allow it to gather more information about our PCs.

    But is the company really tracking what we do on our systems? And can this data gathering be turned off?

    The full text of this column is posted at http://windowssecrets.com/top-story/...s-is-snooping/ (opens in a new window/tab).

    Columnists typically cannot reply to comments here, but do incorporate the best tips into future columns.

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    Susan,

    I truly appreciate all the effort that goes into producing such a well written, well linked and well figured column. I thank you for all the work you put into each column.

    In this latest one I see a potential mixed message.......

    First you say:
    What Microsoft built into Windows 10 from the start, it recently added to our Win7 and Win8.1 systems via a series of updates. (That’s caused quite a tizzy in the blogosphere, with most of the “discussions” based on conjecture and hearsay.) For example, optional KBs 3075249, 3080149 and 3068708 give Win7 and Win8.1 data-gathering capabilities similar to Win10’s.
    and then go on to tell us how to avoid those updates. That's all well and good.

    However later, when discussing how to disable Windows telemetry function you say:
    Open the start menu and click Administrative Tools/Services (or Control Panel/Administrative Tools/Services). Scroll down the list of services until you find Diagnostic Tracking Service. Click it and stop the service, then click OK. Now right-click the service and open Properties. Change Startup type from Automatic to Disabled (see Figure 2) and then click OK. (Note: If you don’t see the service, it’s probably because you’re behind a domain and didn’t get optional updates KB 3075249, KB 3080149, and KB 3068708 installed, install that service.)
    Which is it?
    1) Should I avoid those updates and never allow Windows telemetry onto my Win7 systems?, or
    2) Should I install those updates just so I can disable Windows telemetry service?

    Or did I miss something?

    Thanks for any clarifications!
    brino

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    Quote Originally Posted by brino View Post
    In this latest one I see a potential mixed message.......

    First you say:


    and then go on to tell us how to avoid those updates. That's all well and good.

    However later, when discussing how to disable Windows telemetry function you say:


    Which is it?
    1) Should I avoid those updates and never allow Windows telemetry onto my Win7 systems?, or
    2) Should I install those updates just so I can disable Windows telemetry service?

    Or did I miss something?
    One or the other, with the second option probably being more permanent.

    I think you must have missed this paragraph between the two you quoted:

    An alternative to constantly checking these “optional” telemetry updates is to turn off the telemetry services altogether. Windows Secret’s sister publication — Windows IT Pro — provides advanced-user instructions for disabling the Windows Tracking Service; see the Sept. 9 article, “How to: Turn off telemetry in Windows 7, 8, and Windows 10.” This technique will ensure you don’t have to hide future telemetry updates.

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    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Microsoft's position would be significantly better if it would just come clean and explain itself a lot better than it has been.

    TweakHound: Looking At Windows 10 Privacy

    Judging from the info in TweakHound's above article, turning off MS's provided default privacy options are sufficient.
    WU is still a constant irritant, but that too can be remedied, although I prefer the previous operating systems handling of WU.

    I despise APPLE and everything to do with it. MS please STOP trying to be more like them.
    Cortana is a bad idea for anything but a mobile device.
    Last edited by CLiNT; 2015-10-01 at 09:44.
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    Susan,

    Your posts are worth their weight in gold (even at the current price!)... thanks!
    A question: I disabled the Diagnostic Tracking Service on my Win8.1 system but am still seeing these services running:

    Diagnostic Policy Service (Running - Automatic)
    Diagnostic Service Host (Running - Automatic)
    Diagnostic System Host (not running - Manual)

    What should be done with these services??

    Marty

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    Thanks so much for this tip, Susan.

    On my Win7 Pro system, Diagnostics [with an S] Tracking Service is located here:

    Control Panel>Computer Management>Services and Applications>Services>Diagnostics Tracking Service

    Steve

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    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    I've disable those with no ill effect. They also have no dependencies.
    DRIVE IMAGING
    Invest a little time and energy in a well thought out BACKUP regimen and you will have minimal down time, and headache.

    Build your own system; get everything you want and nothing you don't.
    Latest Build:
    ASUS X99 Deluxe, Core i7-5960X, Corsair Hydro H100i, Plextor M6e 256GB M.2 SSD, Corsair DOMINATOR Platinum 32GB DDR4@2666, W8.1 64 bit,
    EVGA GTX980, Seasonic PLATINUM-1000W PSU, MountainMods U2-UFO Case, and 7 other internal drives.

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    Thank you so much for that article, a subject close to my heart! A small point of clarification please.

    I don't install updates automatically, however, the three Updates are listed as Optional. Diagnostic Policy Service, Diagnostic Service Host, & Diagnostic System Host are all disabled. Do I install all three updates to enable the Diagnostic Tracking Service, and then disable it?

    David

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    2 Star Lounger csmart4125's Avatar
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    Thank you, Susan, for the thought and effort you put into your columns.

    My OS is Windows 7 Pro.

    I attempted to disable Windows telemetry service. Now I'm confused. I can do the following: Control Panel, All Control Panel Items, Administrative Items.

    What should I do next. Thank you for answering my question and helping me disable Windows telemetry service.

    Charles

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    Quote Originally Posted by csmart4125 View Post
    I attempted to disable Windows telemetry service. Now I'm confused. I can do the following: Control Panel, All Control Panel Items, Administrative Items.

    What should I do next.
    Services, as the article says.

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    What a wonderful column. I will pass it along.

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    Regarding "privacy". Whatever the intentions of the Microsoft's/Google's/Apple's/Etc. press releases and maybe even their upper management and most of the employees, these are huge corporations with armies of cubicle rats and there will always be people of poor scruples mixed in with them. So you can bet that your privacy will be and probably has been compromised thoroughly and often. If that sounds like paranoia, consider the recent Volkswagen emissions scam. Or the fact that Target's big credit card theft was perpetrated by an insider. I could go on back to besiegers bribing their way into impregnable castles. It's human nature, most of us are good, but some of us are amoral and some are just rotten. Our laws ensure that corporations almost all fall into the latter two categories. Competition is good for advancements and efficiency, but the price of that chronic pressure is often individual employee desperation, cheating, etc. (I should add that I'm not pointing at the lowest employees, either. Managers all the way up to the CEO are also employees of the corporation.)
    Last edited by Backspacer; 2015-10-01 at 20:26.

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    There is some confusion, whether it's me ...

    Diagnostic Policy Service
    Diagnostic Service Host
    Diagnostic System Host

    ARE NOT the same as "Diagnostics Tracking Service" and have been on Win 7 since SP1 or since RTM, IIRC.
    I disabled (and killed) all 3 and disabled my network connection then ran the diagnostic app on the connection and it seemed to work ok, not 100% sure though. I am curious as to what exactly they do.

    UPDATE -
    just reran diagnostics on my network and got the message this time that Diagnostic Policy Service must be enabled to do diagnostics.
    Last edited by mchldpy; 2015-10-01 at 13:21.
    REMEMBER--- "if you don't play well with others, you could end up playing with yourself."


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    2 Star Lounger csmart4125's Avatar
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    I figured out why I couldn't disable Diagnostics Tracking Service. The sentence "Open the start menu and click Administrative Tools/Services (or Control Panel/Administrative Tools/Services)." should tell the reader to double click Services.

    When I double click services, I'm able to follow the instructions in the article

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    Diagnostic Policy Service
    Diagnostic Service Host
    Diagnostic System Host
    The explanation for these has to do with windows troubleshooting on your computer.

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