Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 6th Mar 2018 20:12 UTC
Windows

Microsoft is once again tackling privacy concerns around Windows 10 today. The software giant is releasing a new test build of Windows 10 to Windows Insiders today that includes changes to the privacy controls for the operating system. While most privacy settings have been confined to a single screen with multiple options, Microsoft is testing a variety of ways that will soon change.

There have been some concerns that Windows 10 has a built-in “keylogger,” because the operating system uses typing data to improve autocompletion, next word prediction, and spelling correction. Microsoft’s upcoming spring update for Windows 10 will introduce a separate screen to enable improved inking and typing recognition, and allow users to opt-out of sending inking and typing data to Microsoft.

I doubt any of these changes will reassure people who refuse to use Windows because of privacy concerns.

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Comment by Drumhellar
by Drumhellar on Tue 6th Mar 2018 21:25 UTC
Drumhellar
Member since:
2005-07-12

I doubt any of these changes will reassure people who refuse to use Windows because of privacy concerns.


Of course not, at least not until Microsoft figures out a way to keep people from moving the goalposts.

If Microsoft completely stopped collecting telemetry, many of these people would believe Microsoft just found a way to do it secretly - after all, now that there is a tool that lets you view all the telemetry Windows collects, those people still believe there is data Microsoft is hiding - a belief based on no evidence.

And then, there are the people that have the opinion that Microsoft knowing how many times you click the start menu is the same as breaking into your home to read your diary.

Reply Score: 3

RE: Comment by Drumhellar
by leech on Tue 6th Mar 2018 22:01 in reply to "Comment by Drumhellar"
leech Member since:
2006-01-10

To be fair, can you really trust it not to send anything unless it was open source and people could go through the code to see EXACTLY what it is doing?

With a tool "oh, we show you what we collect (at least that we're okay with you knowing what we collect...)"

The fact they started doing it in the first place is the big 'why'.

Reply Parent Score: 6

RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar
by BluenoseJake on Tue 6th Mar 2018 22:04 in reply to "RE: Comment by Drumhellar"
BluenoseJake Member since:
2005-08-11

Why is MS any different then Google, or Apple? They also collect all sorts of info, and are less transparent. The reason they started doing it is the same as MS, but for some reason, they get a pass.

Edited 2018-03-06 22:05 UTC

Reply Parent Score: 5

RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar
by Drumhellar on Tue 6th Mar 2018 22:33 in reply to "RE: Comment by Drumhellar"
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

To be fair, can you really trust it not to send anything unless it was open source and people could go through the code to see EXACTLY what it is doing?


I can. Not absolutely, but then again, that level of absolute trust isn't available for open source projects either.

Unless you are capable of reliably analyzing every bit of code that produces your OS on your own, you have to trust somebody.

You have to trust developers that say their software does what it says and nothing more. You have to trust your distribution that they're giving you the packages patched only in the way they say they're patching software. You have to trust that third parties actually bothered to check to make sure your distribution maker is giving you what they say, and that they are actually competent.

At some point, you just have to trust somebody. Pretending this isn't the case is naive, and simply incorrect.

Do I trust Microsoft software?
After all the years I've been using it, I've never heard of their software doing anything nefarious w/r to user data. They have consistently been clear about what they do, and in the areas they have been less clear, at least their opacity has been well defined.

I haven't seen any reasons why I should specifically distrust them.

From Microsoft's perspective, not doing so is a huge financial risk - think of what would happen in Europe especially if they were caught sending data they said they weren't collecting. The EU isn't shy from imposing huge fines and tight restrictions on large companies that break the rules.

The fact they started doing it in the first place is the big 'why'.


Started doing what in the first place? Collecting telemetry? That's easy: Makes it easier to find bugs and diagnose problems. There's been plenty of examples in Windows 10 where users were afflicted by bugs in updates that didn't show up in insider releases, that telemetry was able to provide answers for.

Why did they release the tool to examine all the telemetry? People have been asking for it, and it actually will assuage some of the distrust about the telemetry data when people are able to analyze it.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar
by FlyingJester on Wed 7th Mar 2018 01:39 in reply to "RE: Comment by Drumhellar"
FlyingJester Member since:
2016-05-11

Being "Open Source" never stopped Chromium from downloading backbox binaries on Debian that could listen in on your microphone.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar
by darknexus on Wed 7th Mar 2018 13:34 in reply to "RE: Comment by Drumhellar"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

Don't be ridiculous. Even if it were open source, no one is going to audit every line of that code before they run it. You have to trust the rest of the community, and your distributor (Canonical, Red Hat, etc) and even then you can't be guaranteed someone in the chain won't put something in later. If you audit every single line of code that runs on your machine, good for you. The rest of us have a job and a real life to worry about, so there's just as much trust required as there is with Microsoft or any other closed company.

Reply Parent Score: 1

RE: Comment by Drumhellar
by WorknMan on Wed 7th Mar 2018 00:26 in reply to "Comment by Drumhellar"
WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

those people still believe there is data Microsoft is hiding - a belief based on no evidence.


Well, hopefully those people are not using Windows 7, if they're that paranoid.

As for the 'FOSS or death' crowd, they would never use anything proprietary anyway, so their opinions don't matter much in this regard.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: Comment by Drumhellar
by Alfman on Wed 7th Mar 2018 01:41 in reply to "Comment by Drumhellar"
Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Drumhellar,

Of course not, at least not until Microsoft figures out a way to keep people from moving the goalposts.
If Microsoft completely stopped collecting telemetry, many of these people would believe Microsoft just found a way to do it secretly - after all, now that there is a tool that lets you view all the telemetry Windows collects, those people still believe there is data Microsoft is hiding - a belief based on no evidence.



That's not all of us though, a simple option to turn off all data collection without having to block the OS at the firewall would go a long way. A user's choice should be respected regardless of their reason.


And then, there are the people that have the opinion that Microsoft knowing how many times you click the start menu is the same as breaking into your home to read your diary.


To be fair though, even trivial evidence like that can be used in court. Beyond that, it's also a matter of principal, some of us just don't want corporations monitoring us at all. Microsoft has no business monitoring me in my home against my wishes no matter how innocuous it claims the data collection is.

Reply Parent Score: 3

RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar
by shotsman on Wed 7th Mar 2018 07:13 in reply to "RE: Comment by Drumhellar"
shotsman Member since:
2005-07-22

There is a list of IP addresses that MS use for data collection available on the Internet. AFAIK, it changes after each update but add all those addresses to your external firewall and see how many connection attempts are blocked. It is staggering even from someone just doing a bit of web browsing (not using IE or Edge naturally).
Doing that was enough to tell me that they have clearly crossed the line. No one in their right mind can persuade me that that amount of data is related to bug reporting unless Windows 10 is the buggiest bit of software ever written.
{I'll put my tin-foil hat away now}

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: Comment by Drumhellar
by l3v1 on Wed 7th Mar 2018 06:38 in reply to "Comment by Drumhellar"
l3v1 Member since:
2005-07-06

now that there is a tool that lets you view all the telemetry Windows collects, those people still believe there is data Microsoft is hiding - a belief based on no evidence


So, we don't know what they collect, but if they give you some tool that shows you something, then suddenly i). you know what they collect, ii). you believe what they collect is what the tool shows you, iii). everyone else is crazy tinfolhatter. The one thing you're right about is that there's no evidence, but that goes both ways, and this issue is clearly not one of belief. There's no absolute way to tell what they collect, thus, there's no way anyone could believe anything about it. You could disable telemetry service, but again, there's no evidence that's the only way they collect anything, plus, they have a habit of renaming services for fun's sake.

My point is, unless we know for sure, which we don't, there's no reason to believe anything they try to convince us about. But this is not a Microsoft/Win-specific issue, you'd do better take everything with a grain of salt.

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: Comment by Drumhellar
by birdie on Wed 7th Mar 2018 17:59 in reply to "Comment by Drumhellar"
birdie Member since:
2014-07-15

You're so full of BS, it's unbelievable.

First of all, you can never know if this wonderful "a tool that lets you view all the telemetry Windows collects" actually shows all the data that Windows collects and sends.

Secondly, if Microsoft was completely honest, they would just let the "Off" switch for data telemetry. No ifs, no whats, just "Off".

Thirdly, Microsoft made sure that you cannot stop telemetry by 1) adding offending domains to `hosts` 2) by blocking the offending collection servers in their own firewall - IOW, they completely broke and infringed on all the networking rules and RFCs.

Fourthly, they could have made data collection Opt In rather than a hundred layers of semi-working (mostly not) Opt Out.

There's just one way not to leak your personal data with Microsoft: you do not run Windows 10 (corporate users enjoy the LTSB Enterprise Edition but let's just not talk about it right now - SOHO users cannot legally run it).

Reply Parent Score: 4

RE: Comment by Drumhellar
by bassbeast on Sat 10th Mar 2018 21:30 in reply to "Comment by Drumhellar"
bassbeast Member since:
2007-11-11

Have you ever looked at the page MSFT has for corps on how to turn off the spying in Enterprise? Its like 41 PAGES long and the majority of it? Yeah it doesn't work in Windows 10 Home and Pro, sorry, its exclusively for Win 10 Enterprise.

Here read for yourself and enjoy, according to MSFT it will take 57 MINUTES just to go through it and again, most of the things require tools simply not available to Windows 10 Home and Pro users, sorry.

Yeah so ask me again why we don't buy their bullshit?

https://docs.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/configuration/manage-connec...

Reply Parent Score: 2

RE[2]: Comment by Drumhellar
by Drumhellar on Sat 10th Mar 2018 23:59 in reply to "RE: Comment by Drumhellar"
Drumhellar Member since:
2005-07-12

The fact that you broadly classify everything in this document as "spying" shows that you are either unwilling or incapable of having a thoughtful discussion on the subject.

To you, everything is spying, including:

1) The Map app's ability to download maps

2) An application's ability to use your camera

3) Automatically setting the time

etc.

Yes. Using your choice of words, you consider automatically setting the system clock to the correct time as "spying."

A quick glance shows that the majority of these settings actually have nothing to do with data being sent to Microsoft's servers. if you had even bothered to scroll past the headline, you might have noticed.

Many of these settings are indeed available in Pro and even Home editions, and actually do not require special tools.

So, do you understand why I don't buy your bullshit?

Reply Parent Score: 2