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  1. #1
    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Win 10 DOES collect business or personal information by default

    Is it possible for Microsoft to collect business or personal information?
    Yes, especially at the higher telemetry settings.

    (For 'higher', read 'default')

    Interesting article from Ed Bott who reverses previous stance (No, Microsoft is not spying on you with Windows 10) and now admits Win 10's default telemetry data settings can and does transmit personal info... and now advises 'dialing back' the settings.

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    I see the Dep[t of Defense is moving to Windows 10. I wonder if they got a special version without the telemetry junk.
    Joe

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    Quote Originally Posted by Joe S View Post
    I see the Dep[t of Defense is moving to Windows 10. I wonder if they got a special version without the telemetry junk.
    Any larger business will be rolling out a version with Group Policies set that would (likely) address this.
    Graham Smith
    DataSmith, Delaware
    "For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.", Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - 2008)

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    It appears there are two circumstances when personal information may be sent to Microsoft.

    One - "However, at the Enhanced setting, when Windows or an app crashes or hangs, the memory contents of the faulting process are included in the diagnostic report generated at the time of the crash or hang, and that crash dump might include sensitive information."

    This has been going on with every system I've known for > 45 years. Crash data typically contains whatever was in memory at the time. That is the only way to debug crash issues.

    Two - "At the Full setting, you grant Microsoft permission to collect extra data when your device "experiences problems that are difficult to identify or repeat using Microsoft's internal testing.

    The formal documentation makes it clear that this sort of investigation can snag personal documents:

    This info can include any user content that might have triggered the problem and is gathered from a small sample of devices that have both opted into the Full telemetry level and have exhibited the problem.

    However, before more info is gathered, Microsoft's privacy governance team, including privacy and other subject matter experts, must approve the diagnostics request made by a Microsoft engineer. If the request is approved, Microsoft engineers can use the following capabilities to get the information:

    •Ability to run a limited, pre-approved list of Microsoft certified diagnostic tools, such as msinfo32.exe, powercfg.exe, and dxdiag.exe.
    •Ability to get registry keys.
    •Ability to gather user content, such as documents, if they might have been the trigger for the issue."

    Once again a limited set of circumstances.

    In neither case is it an ongoing, routine data collection and transmission.

    As Ed Bott says if you don't like it change your settings.

    Joe

  6. #5
    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    A couple of points:

    1. Microsoft (in the form of Terry Myerson, Executive Vice President, Windows and Devices Group) stated in a Privacy and Windows 10 blog post:
    This includes data like an anonymous device ID, device type, and application crash data which Microsoft and our developer partners use to continuously improve application reliability. This doesn’t include any of your content or files, and we take several steps to avoid collecting any information that directly identifies you, such as your name, email address or account ID.
    (My emphasis.)

    2. This TechNet article, referenced by Ed Bott, contradicts this by stating "This info can include any user content".

    (It also describes how this is "gathered from a small sample of devices that have both opted into the Full telemetry level and have exhibited the problem". I'm not sure how this can be described as 'opting in' when the default setting is Full, which collects the most information.)

  7. #6
    WS Lounge VIP mrjimphelps's Avatar
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    From the TechNet article linked by Rick (#5):

    If you are set to "Full", and there has been a triggering event, and "Microsoft’s privacy governance team" decides that they need to access your data, they can access "user content, such as documents" on your computer.

    The "Basic" telemetry level sounds reasonable to me. Too bad that that's not the default.

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    I have not waded through this latest article completely (been too busy) but a quick look indicates that there is some kind of "Telemetry Throttle" that lets you select Basic, Enhanced, and Full. I don't recall seeing that and a quick look at the Privacy settings doesn't show it.

    What is he talking about? I was rather under the impression that there were dozens of different settings to wade through.
    Graham Smith
    DataSmith, Delaware
    "For every expert there is an equal and opposite expert.", Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - 2008)

  9. #8
    Super Moderator Rick Corbett's Avatar
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    Ed Bott is talking about the Feedback & diagnostics section within the Privacy area of Settings. Within this Feedback & diagnostics section there are 2 settings: Feedback frequency and Diagnostic and usage data (which has Basic, Enhanced and Full). This is just one of many Privacy settings in Windows 10.
    Last edited by Rick Corbett; 2016-02-23 at 15:05.

  10. #9
    Super Moderator CLiNT's Avatar
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    Truth is we don't know WHAT information exactly they are getting because that information is largely encrypted, and probably compressed prior to.
    But I highly doubt it's as bad as the conspiracy theorists would have us believe.

    At any rate I think it's a good practice all the same to keep & maintain a lean system, and to disable all those services that one doesn't need.
    The bandwidth issues with this OS is something that anyone on a limited monthly allowance should take seriously.
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