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Thread: Windows 10: Microsoft under attack over privacy

  1. #1

    Default Windows 10: Microsoft under attack over privacy


    Windows 10: Microsoft under attack over privacy

    From personalised ads in Solitaire to an address book-reading personal assistant, some users are unhappy with Windows 10’s approach to privacy


    Alex Hern

    @alexhern

    Saturday 1 August 2015 04.44 EDT


    Windows 10 is under attack over default settings which users say compromise their privacy, just days after the operating system’s successful launch saw more than 14 million installs in the first 24 hours.


    Hundreds of commenters on sites such as Hacker News and Reddit have criticised default settings that send personal information to Microsoft, use bandwidth to upload data to other computers running the operating system, share Wi-Fi passwords with online friends and remove the ability to opt out of security updates.


    Many of the complaints relate to the new personalised adverts embedded in Windows 10. When the OS is installed, Microsoft assigns the user a unique advertising ID, which it ties to the email address registered with the company. That email address is also associated with a raft of other services, such as the company’s productivity and communication programs, as well as app downloads and cloud-storage uploads.


    Using that information, Microsoft is able to personalise ads to the user, during both web surfing and, for newer apps downloaded from the Windows Store, app usage. Microsoft itself is leading the way on that front, even turning the in-built version of Solitaire (the card game that has been a staple of Windows installations since 1990’s Windows 3.0) into a freemium game, complete with unskippable video adverts.


    Elsewhere, Windows 10 also harvests user information in order to teach the built-in personal digital assistant Cortana, Microsoft’s answer to Siri. To enable Cortana, the company says, it “collects and uses various types of data, such as your device location, data from your calendar, the apps you use, data from your emails and text messages, who you call, your contacts and how often you interact with them on your device”.


    Related: Windows 10 review – final version of Windows might be Microsoft's best ever


    Users are given the option to opt out of most of the data collection, but critics say that that isn’t enough.

    Alec Meer, of gaming website Rock Paper Shotgun, says: “Microsoft simply aren’t making it clear enough that they’re doing this, how it might affect you and how to opt out – despite chest-thumping, we’re-all-chums-here talk about how ‘real transparency starts with straightforward terms and policies that people can clearly understand’.


    “There is no world in which 45 pages of policy documents and opt-out settings split across 13 different Settings screens and an external website constitutes ‘real transparency’.”


    Others have criticised the company for a seeming get-out clause in its terms of service, which allow it to share user data based on nothing more than a “good faith” belief that doing so is required to comply with law enforcement, “protect our customers”, secure the company’s services, or “protect the rights or property of Microsoft”.


    The terms are reminiscent of those applied by the company in March 2014, when it read the hotmail account of a blogger suspected of being involved in leaking an early version of Windows 10. After facing criticism for doing so, Microsoft tightened its privacy policy, and promised a full internal legal review before it would do so again in the future.


    The European digital rights organisation (EDRi) sums up the company’s 45 pages of terms and conditions by saying: “Microsoft basically grants itself very broad rights to collect everything you do, say and write with and on your devices in order to sell more targeted advertising or to sell your data to third parties.”


    In many ways, however, Windows 10 is merely moving closer towards what has become the new normal thanks to mobile operating systems. Both Siri and Google Now require access to the user’s personal information to personalise responses, while both Apple and Google offer developers the ability to deliver personalised ads to users based on information such as app installs.


    And some of the criticised settings may turn out to be a net positive for all concerned. Users have attacked Windows 10 for only offering two settings when it comes to Windows Update: either install and restart immediately, or install and ask permission to restart. The option to not install updates does not appear to be present on the base version of the OS. But that decision chimes with the advice of security experts, who say that the number one thing for staying safe online is to install every security update immediately.



    http://www.theguardian.com/technolog...fault-settings



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  3. #2

  4. #3

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    This should be a heads up to all you entrepreneurs out there. There's a market for an OS with stronger privacy protections. And also encrypted web browsing

  5. #4

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    Windows 10? Nope. Not gonna do it. Wouldn't be prudent at any juncture.

    http://www.backwoodshome.com/blogs/C...nday-links-60/

    Windows 10 is spyware pure and simple — even when you think you’ve turned off some of its most intrusive features. Here’s another recommendation for Linux Mint that actually makes “going Linux” seem simple. (And that’s because, generally, it is when you choose Mint.)
    Based on the idea of natural rights, government secures those rights to the individual by strictly negative intervention, making justice costless and easy of access; and beyond that it does not go. The State, on the other hand, both in its genesis and by its primary intention, is purely anti-social. It is not based on the idea of natural rights, but on the idea that the individual has no rights except those that the State may provisionally grant him. It has always made justice costly and difficult of access, and has invariably held itself above justice and common morality whenever it could advantage itself by so doing.
    --Albert J. Nock

  6. #5

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    Hijack a Cortana variant for Linux (based on Google NOT Bing).

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    I'm using Windows 10 only for Steam games and Linux for everything else.

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    What pisses me off the most is the arrogance. They can't possibly be so tone-deaf that they didn't think their users were concerned about privacy, so the only other explanation is that they just don't care.
    * Enforce Border Security – America should be guarding her own borders and enforcing her own laws instead of policing the world and implementing UN mandates.

    * No Amnesty - The Obama Administration’s endorsement of so-called “Comprehensive Immigration Reform,” granting amnesty to millions of illegal immigrants, will only encourage more law-breaking.

    * Abolish the Welfare State – Taxpayers cannot continue to pay the high costs to sustain this powerful incentive for illegal immigration. As Milton Friedman famously said, you can’t have open borders and a welfare state.

    * End Birthright Citizenship – As long as illegal immigrants know their children born here will be granted U.S. citizenship, we’ll never be able to control our immigration problem.




    Reprinted from http://www.ronpaul2012.com/the-issues/immigration/ [Nov. 29, 2011]

  9. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by angelatc View Post
    What pisses me off the most is the arrogance. They can't possibly be so tone-deaf that they didn't think their users were concerned about privacy, so the only other explanation is that they just don't care.
    Check back and see how things look after Win 10 Service Pack 2 is released.

    I'm expecting the EU to make a major fuss, over stuff.

  10. #9

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    I would rather go without a PC than use windows 10 nsa edition. those of you who think windows 8 is any more private are living in a fantasy world. I would go on to say windows 7 has it's fair share of backdoors as well
    A savage barbaric tribal society where thugs parade the streets and illegally assault and murder innocent civilians, yeah that is the alternative to having police. Oh wait, that is the police

    We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home.
    - Edward R. Murrow

    ...I think we have moral obligations to disobey unjust laws, because non-cooperation with evil is as much as a moral obligation as cooperation with good. - MLK Jr.

    How to trigger a liberal: "I didn't get vaccinated."

  11. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by Warrior_of_Freedom View Post
    I would rather go without a PC than use windows 10 nsa edition. those of you who think windows 8 is any more private are living in a fantasy world. I would go on to say windows 7 has it's fair share of backdoors as well
    Noted. That'll show 'em. They'll really be sorry, now.

    Whatever. <shrug>

  12. #11

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    Quote Originally Posted by Warrior_of_Freedom View Post
    I would rather go without a PC than use windows 10 nsa edition. those of you who think windows 8 is any more private are living in a fantasy world. I would go on to say windows 7 has it's fair share of backdoors as well
    How about 2000 ?

  13. #12

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lucille View Post
    Windows 10? Nope. Not gonna do it. Wouldn't be prudent at any juncture.

    http://www.backwoodshome.com/blogs/C...nday-links-60/
    10?? Hell we have over 30 computers between our home and business and some (my favorites) are running XP. The "newest" version of windows we have here are win7 machines... It's getting harder for me to find them but on Ebay I can get good refurbished systems for about $120 with win7 pro on them...
    BEWARE THE CULT OF "GOVERNMENT"

    Christian Anarchy - Our Only Hope For Liberty In Our Lifetime!
    Sonmi 451: Truth is singular. Its "versions" are mistruths.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/User:ChristianAnarchist

    Use an internet archive site like
    THIS ONE
    to archive the article and create the link to the article content instead.

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    Freebsd is good so is linux. Slackware was easy to install on a laptop a few weeks ago and it supposed to be one of the hardest distributions to use. I have a phone that is android with a SE Linux kernel (with NSA inside).

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    Quote Originally Posted by timosman View Post
    How about 2000 ?
    well the OS or LINUX doesn't matter much now if you use new hardware because a lot of new processors and other hardware are coming with backdoors built into them. As far as I know the only processors you can buy are INTEL or AMD, which are both compromised. So good luck getting a Linux processor.
    A savage barbaric tribal society where thugs parade the streets and illegally assault and murder innocent civilians, yeah that is the alternative to having police. Oh wait, that is the police

    We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home.
    - Edward R. Murrow

    ...I think we have moral obligations to disobey unjust laws, because non-cooperation with evil is as much as a moral obligation as cooperation with good. - MLK Jr.

    How to trigger a liberal: "I didn't get vaccinated."

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    So if the hardware is already spying and reporting on you, what real difference does the operating system software make on the privacy issues, etc.?

  18. #17

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronin Truth View Post
    So if the hardware is already spying and reporting on you, what real difference does the operating system software make on the privacy issues, etc.?
    none I guess, it just makes it easier
    A savage barbaric tribal society where thugs parade the streets and illegally assault and murder innocent civilians, yeah that is the alternative to having police. Oh wait, that is the police

    We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home.
    - Edward R. Murrow

    ...I think we have moral obligations to disobey unjust laws, because non-cooperation with evil is as much as a moral obligation as cooperation with good. - MLK Jr.

    How to trigger a liberal: "I didn't get vaccinated."

  19. #18
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    Microsoft backports privacy-invading Windows 10 features to Windows 7, 8

    Every time Microsoft releases a new version of an operating system, there’s always a few users bitterly unhappy at the company’s decision not to support new features on older products. Microsoft has finally listened to these die-hard devotees of older operating systems. If you felt like Windows 7 and Windows 8 offered you a little too much privacy, rejoice: Microsoft is updating those operating systems with the same telemetry gathering software it deployed on Windows 10.
    http://www.extremetech.com/computing...to-windows-7-8


  20. #19

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    Windows 10 downloaded 75 million times.

    http://money.cnn.com/2015/08/27/tech...-10-downloads/

    Go figure!
    Last edited by Ronin Truth; 09-02-2015 at 08:42 AM.

  21. #20

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    You guys can complain about personal info all you want. Microsoft doesn't care about you, the individual PC user. You do what you're told, you like what you're told to like. You are an insignificant portion of their revenues. You don't like it? Leave. They're not stopping you. You already paid for their license when you bought your computer anyway, so it makes no difference to them whether or not you use it.

    What I want to see is what businesses are going to say about it. Because they are not an insignificant part of their revenues.
    My employer absolutely refused to put Windows 8 on any PCs. All new PCs at work have still come with Win 7, and they've announced that nobody will get a new OS until 10 comes out. This was done AFAIK because they didn't want any training issues, or they realized that trying to be productive with a tablet OS on a laptop is a pretty big order....

    ...In any case, I think MS is going to get bitten in the ass here again. Those of us in IT know that the security concerns can get pretty ridiculous. But expecting that the operating system isn't going to be sending regular data back to the mothership... that's NOT a ridiculous security concern.

    There is not a week that goes by without my hearing about a new requirement somewhere in the world where something much less significant than collecting personal data makes a large company threaten to shut down a project they've already sunk over 5 million dollars and two years into. They have to walk away from all that if there is no way around some of these concerns.

    I think MS is going to see Windows 10 going on lists pretty soon. Lists that say "Under no circumstances will systems using Windows 10 be security rated with our group".
    Lists that will cost businesses millions of dollars if they don't pay attention to it.

    When the CIOs of those companies start writing directly to Microsoft, that's when they'll back down.
    There are no crimes against people.
    There are only crimes against the state.
    And the state will never, ever choose to hold accountable its agents, because a thing can not commit a crime against itself.

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    We live in an information age and the most valuable information is consumer profiles. Everything from personal beliefs to how often you buy toilet paper can and is being tracked, stored, and monetized.

    Free open source technology is the way to go.

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    They're doing it to Win7 and Win8 as well now, under the guise of a mandatory "important" Windows Defender update.

    Here's how to clean it out:

    http://www.ghacks.net/2015/08/28/mic...and-8-systems/
    Oligarchy delenda est

    “If you love wealth greater than liberty, the tranquility of servitude greater than the animating contest for freedom, go home from us in peace. We seek not your counsel, nor your arms. Crouch down and lick the hand that feeds you; May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.” - Samuel Adams

  24. #23

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    Quote Originally Posted by fisharmor View Post
    You guys can complain about personal info all you want. Microsoft doesn't care about you, the individual PC user. You do what you're told, you like what you're told to like. You are an insignificant portion of their revenues. You don't like it? Leave. They're not stopping you. You already paid for their license when you bought your computer anyway, so it makes no difference to them whether or not you use it.

    What I want to see is what businesses are going to say about it. Because they are not an insignificant part of their revenues.
    My employer absolutely refused to put Windows 8 on any PCs. All new PCs at work have still come with Win 7, and they've announced that nobody will get a new OS until 10 comes out. This was done AFAIK because they didn't want any training issues, or they realized that trying to be productive with a tablet OS on a laptop is a pretty big order....

    ...In any case, I think MS is going to get bitten in the ass here again. Those of us in IT know that the security concerns can get pretty ridiculous. But expecting that the operating system isn't going to be sending regular data back to the mothership... that's NOT a ridiculous security concern.

    There is not a week that goes by without my hearing about a new requirement somewhere in the world where something much less significant than collecting personal data makes a large company threaten to shut down a project they've already sunk over 5 million dollars and two years into. They have to walk away from all that if there is no way around some of these concerns.

    I think MS is going to see Windows 10 going on lists pretty soon. Lists that say "Under no circumstances will systems using Windows 10 be security rated with our group".
    Lists that will cost businesses millions of dollars if they don't pay attention to it.

    When the CIOs of those companies start writing directly to Microsoft, that's when they'll back down.
    Interesting analysis. We shall see. Thanks!

    I've signed up for Win 10 Pro. Multiple MS attempts have failed to load on my Win 7 Pro machine. <shrug>

    (I'm still in the process of checking out Linux Mint 17.2. )

  25. #24
    Based on the idea of natural rights, government secures those rights to the individual by strictly negative intervention, making justice costless and easy of access; and beyond that it does not go. The State, on the other hand, both in its genesis and by its primary intention, is purely anti-social. It is not based on the idea of natural rights, but on the idea that the individual has no rights except those that the State may provisionally grant him. It has always made justice costly and difficult of access, and has invariably held itself above justice and common morality whenever it could advantage itself by so doing.
    --Albert J. Nock

  26. #25

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    Am really enjoying it, thanks. (Added to my Favorites. )

  27. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Paul View Post
    The intellectual battle for liberty can appear to be a lonely one at times. However, the numbers are not as important as the principles that we hold. Leonard Read always taught that "it's not a numbers game, but an ideological game." That's why it's important to continue to provide a principled philosophy as to what the role of government ought to be, despite the numbers that stare us in the face.

  28. #27

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    Quote Originally Posted by Suzanimal View Post
    What?

  29. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ronin Truth View Post
    What?
    These guys are hilarious on Twitter.
    Quote Originally Posted by Ron Paul View Post
    The intellectual battle for liberty can appear to be a lonely one at times. However, the numbers are not as important as the principles that we hold. Leonard Read always taught that "it's not a numbers game, but an ideological game." That's why it's important to continue to provide a principled philosophy as to what the role of government ought to be, despite the numbers that stare us in the face.

  30. #29

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    Quote Originally Posted by Suzanimal View Post
    These guys are hilarious on Twitter.
    What?

    (Sorry, no speakin' zee Twitter.)

  31. #30

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    FWIW Update: Win 10 Pro 64-bit ISO downloaded, not yet installed.
    Mint Linux 17.2 Rafaela 64-bit downloaded, not yet installed.
    Currently working out a multiboot strategy for a partitioned combo system of the above also including a Win 7 Pro 64-bit.

    [Mad techie scientist mode has obviously kicked in. <"Mwuhahahaha!!!"> ]

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