back to article Put down your coffee and admire the sheer amount of data Windows 10 Creators Update will slurp from your PC

Next week Microsoft will begin the slowish rollout of its big update to Windows 10, the Creators Update. Right now, it's doing a little damage control, and preempting complaints about privacy, by listing the types of information its operating system will automatically and silently leak from PCs, slabs, and laptops back to …

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  1. BongoJoe

    Engineers, with permission from Microsoft’s privacy governance team, can obtain users' documents that trigger crashes in applications, so they can work out what's going wrong.

    Where does the owner of the document fit into this process?

    1. Jeroen Braamhaar

      Paying beta tester/advertising target market/gullible mark/other

      Any or all of the above combined.

    2. Alumoi
      Trollface

      Where does the owner of the document fit into this process?

      He's the one submitting the document, duh!

      1. boltar Silver badge

        "He's the one submitting the document, duh!"

        You might want to re-read the article more carefully.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Boltar,

          Considering the propensities of Win 10, if you install it you *are* submitting any document you create to the possibility of being hoovered up by MS. (for security purposes .... Honest Guv!!!.)

          In MS speak you have pre-submitted your documents to MS when you create them :) :)

    3. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      Re: BongoJoe

      "Where does the owner of the document fit into this process?"

      Make sure you don't put Windows 10 into Full telemetry mode.

      C.

      1. hplasm Silver badge
        Meh

        Re: BongoJoe

        "Where does the owner of the document fit into this process?"

        Make sure you don't put Windows 10 into your computer.

        FTFY

        1. John Smith 19 Gold badge
          WTF?

          "Make sure you don't put Windows 10 into your computer."

          Indeed.

          Did not ask. Do not want.

          IBM systems had a bit of a rep for calling home and letting the HO know what was going on.

          But that was in Mainframe and mini land.

          Now home users can also enjoy these "benefits"

      2. LDS Silver badge

        "Make sure you don't put Windows 10 into Full telemetry mode"

        You meant "Make sure you don't *leave* Windows 10 into Full telemetry mode."

        I still wonder if Full Telemetry doesn't break many EU privacy laws - especially gathering user data and files may lead to gathering "sensitive data" which have specific rules.

        For example, the Italian privacy law explicitly says that "sensitive data" gathering and management need a written approval, and approval by the privacy authority. Even more so if data are transferred outside the EU.

        It's not up to a "Microsoft Privact Team" to decide what could be accessed and what not - especially since I wonder how could they decide without actually looking at the data (probably in several foreign languages) - and the act of looking at the data itself is accessing and managing them.

        1. Archtech Silver badge

          Re: "Make sure you don't put Windows 10 into Full telemetry mode"

          It certainly dovetails admirably with the NSA's requirements to record and store everything.

          Probably just coincidence.

        2. HelpfulJohn

          Re: "Make sure you don't put Windows 10 into Full telemetry mode"

          You signed the EULA, did you not? After reading it, of course?

          That constitutes fully informed approval and consent.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "Make sure you don't put Windows 10 into Full telemetry mode"

            "That constitutes fully informed approval and consent."

            It doesn't constitute anything illegal and even less outside of the US, where EULAs area basically meaningless and legislation defines what you can do and what you can't do, not corporations.

            MS is breaking so many laws with this spying tool that it's not even funny, even in US where privacy is almost non-existent.

      3. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge
        Facepalm

        Re: BongoJoe

        I'm sure that I'm not alone here in thinking that MS will (by design or error as the case may be...) slip a reset of the diagnostic mode to FULL into an update?

        Septic? Yes I am at the moment. Picked up a Veruca that turned nasty at the local pool.

        Sceptic towards Windows 10? You betcha.

        I can't see why anyone would actually want this snooping POS running on their Hardware?

        1. Patrician

          Re: BongoJoe

          ..."I can't see why anyone would actually want this snooping POS running on their Hardware?" ..

          Because they do stuff other than web, email and office on their PC and have no choice; want to game, on your PC it's got to be Windows, there is no other option.

          1. badger31

            Re: BongoJoe

            @Patrician

            No other option?

            From Steam hardware survey:

            Windows 10 64 bit -> 52.22%

            Windows 7 64 bit -> 31.20%

            I presume you are talking about DX12. DX12 is an improvement over DX11, I agree, but it's not a requirement.

            1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

              Re: BongoJoe

              "I presume you are talking about DX12. DX12 is an improvement over DX11, I agree, but it's not a requirement."

              It's hard to think of any group with more OCD than hardcore gamers. They will HAVE to have DX12. They can't possibly watch their life waste away whilst stuck on DX11, and all their "friends" have moved on.

            2. Patrician

              Re: BongoJoe

              @ Badger31

              It's not a "requirement" to have DX12 admittedly, but paying £30 to £50 per game and not getting the full features because my OS doesn't support them is a bit of a deal breaker for me.

              I've said this before on these forums many time now, I'd love Linux to be a true alternative to Windows, I really would, but although some distro's have made great strides in usability and Valve has made valiant attempts to increase Linux support from game developers, it still isn't there yet I'm afraid.

              Unfortunately Windows is still just "easier"....

            3. Reg Sim

              Re: BongoJoe

              DX12 Will be a requirement soon, unless you like not being able to use new hardware with your new applications/games. O'yes and newer versions of hardware are designed to be incompatible with older versions of windows (yes designed).

              What Microsoft is saying, if you want control of your OS you need to buy an Enterprise version, otherwise you'll just sux it up, or you can go else were.

              Its beyond comprehension that they have screwed over Pro users.... you know the business one by screwing them with the same data mining crap and removing controls.

              I hope Vulkan's API does well, as I might manage the move away from Windows OS's at home atleast.

              -P

          2. Triggerfish

            Re: BongoJoe

            I can't see why anyone would actually want this snooping POS running on their Hardware?

            Well if you buy a new laptop it's pretty much forced upon you, and before you ask win 7 doesn't play nicely with some new hardware. I have really struggled to get it to even install on my new laptop because of this, I am at the point of thining it may not install.

            1. Orv Silver badge

              Re: BongoJoe

              "win 7 doesn't play nicely with some new hardware."

              This is by design. They've actually disabled updates for Win7 machines running on CPUs introduced after it stopped being sold.

          3. WylieCoyoteUK
            Mushroom

            Re: BongoJoe

            Aren't gamers already used to being spied on by games companies anyway?

            Glad I don't game. I don't use windows either.

        2. Wayland Bronze badge

          Re: BongoJoe

          Plenty of reasons to want Windows 10. If you want an up to date version of Windows then you want this. If you want to run DirectX 12 then you want this.

          The snooping spoils anything good about Windows 10.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: BongoJoe

        Make sure you don't put Windows 10 into Full telemetry mode.

        Ah, but I see another issue:

        This Microsoft TechNet document, last updated this week, claims all desktop and mobile builds of Windows 10 can choose between four different snooping levels: just security-related collection; basic mode; enhanced mode; and full mode.

        I believe the ICO ought to advice Microsoft that it has forgotten an option: entirely NO collection of any data, whatever the excuse reason. As far as I'm aware, this otherwise amounts to extracting data under coercion, which is an explicit no no under Data Protection laws (at least the current ones, not sure what May & friends is going to do once they're free of the clutches of the ECJ).

        1. King Jack
          Facepalm

          Re: not sure what May & friends is going to do once they're free of the clutches of the ECJ

          They will embrace it and probably pass a law to make it compulsory to use Windows 10. They will demand access to all the data M$hit collects. Governments of the 21st century want this.

          1. Roland6 Silver badge

            Re: not sure what May & friends is going to do once they're free of the clutches of the ECJ

            >They will demand access to all the data M$hit collects.

            I thought the relevant US and UK government agencies were already in on the deal and were only keeping quiet as MS takes the flack...

            I think it can also be argued that MS with Windows and it's bundled communications tools, is a Communications Service Provider, as defined by the Investigatory Powers Act 2016...

        2. Archtech Silver badge

          Re: BongoJoe

          But then the NSA and the CIA would be cross with them. And experience shows that isn't good for your business. (Or your health).

    4. Ole Juul Silver badge

      owner

      "Where does the owner of the document fit into this process?"

      Owner? You mean Microsoft?

    5. ShaolinTurbo

      T

      he owner of the documents agreed to the privacy policy..

      1. Triggerfish

        @ ShaolinTurbo

        Policies written by companies do not trump national laws, see Apple and Apple care in Europe.

        1. Hargrove

          Re: @ ShaolinTurbo

          Policies written by companies do not trump national laws, see Apple and Apple care in Europe.

          The problem is that lawyers are, all too often, unprincipled, sociopathic bastards, and, at least in the US in some cases the legislators and judges who craft and interpret the law.

          We here in the US are up to our proverbials with service and sales agreements whose terms and conditions require the customer to waive all manner of basic rights. Where information is concerned the T&C of the agreement generally incorporate the privacy policy by reference.

          The Agreement is a legal document, whose sanctity is protected by the best laws money can buy. (See first paragraph.). Whether or not it is a legally-binding document is a complex question.

          I am not a lawyer (although I've been accused of being fully qualified--Again, see para 1.). But in my checkered career I did get a fair amount of formal training in contracting. According to what I was taught, a valid legal contract must meet three essential requirements: A balanced quid-pro-quo (both parties receive comparable value), a meeting of the minds (that is a common understanding of the terms and conditions of the contract, and an uncoerced agreement (that is the stronger party cannot compel the weaker party to accept unfavorable T&Cs against their will.)

          I am personally skeptical that anything like a valid contract can exist between an individual or small business and a large corporation or a government, particularly when it comes to something as complicated as Software as a Service. Fortunately, at least in the US we have very clear de facto rules as to when such agreements are considered legally enforceable.

          1. Are you the IT provider? If yes, the Agreement is a contract and any and all rights claimed or asserted are protected by the full power of government.

          2. If no, are the customer? If yes, you can seek justice in the court, which will confirm that you are in a legal state of WTTF (Well and truly f---ed) that is to say, powerless, bankrupt, homeless, and with a rich lawyer who will refuse to return your calls

          The IT sector is not alone. This problem is pervasive in virtually all aspects of American life. The frustration of being powerless drove the election of President Trump, with the unspoken hope of breaking the government so badly that it would have to be fixed. So far, so good.

          1. Toni the terrible
            Happy

            Re: @ ShaolinTurbo

            That is the only reason I have heard which justifies Trump, as an agent of Chaos/Anarchy, who knows it just might work

      2. Jeroen Braamhaar

        I always understood that a privacy policy was something that assured your privacy was kept, not taken away.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          "I always understood that a privacy policy was something that assured your privacy was kept, not taken away."

          You thought wrong. A privacy policy is a vendor's self-justification for however much of your privacy they take away

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            A privacy policy is a vendor's self-justification for however much of your privacy they take away

            A modest rewriting and we have Syntax' law.

        2. Archtech Silver badge

          Unfortunately that turns out to be a misunderstanding, not an understanding.

      3. hplasm Silver badge
        Windows

        "T he owner of the documents agreed to the privacy policy.." (sic)

        In a lot of cases, the owner didn't even agree to install Win10...

        1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
          Flame

          Re: "T he owner of the documents agreed to the privacy policy.." (sic)

          I was at the dentist the other day and noticed their system was running on Win10.

          What assurances do I have that my medical records are not currently being shown on some screen in Redmond, and how is it that this *ISN'T TOTALLY ILLEGAL !!*??

          1. Archtech Silver badge

            Re: "T he owner of the documents agreed to the privacy policy.." (sic)

            "What assurances do I have that my medical records are not currently being shown on some screen in Redmond?"

            Well, you do have an assurance that your medical records are currently being stored on some server in Redmond... and on a few others belonging to the NSA. (Just in case they ever want to look you up, indict you, frame you, blackmail you...)

            "... and how is it that this *ISN'T TOTALLY ILLEGAL !!*??"

            That's slightly harder to explain. The simplest way I can put it is this: It's what the US government wants, and therefore it doesn't matter whether it's totally illegal under anyone else's laws.

            1. Updraft102 Silver badge

              Re: "T he owner of the documents agreed to the privacy policy.." (sic)

              "It's what the US government wants, and therefore it doesn't matter whether it's totally illegal under anyone else's laws."

              Or their own...

          2. Wayland Bronze badge

            Re: At the dentist

            Golly, I had not thought of that. My data is on other peoples Windows 10 computers. If it crashes the computer then Microsoft get to look at it.

            1. Danny 14 Silver badge

              Re: At the dentist

              Interestingly that will most certainly make Microsoft engineers criminals in the UK. If someone has pictures of their kids in the bath and the photo app crashes, an MS engineer consequently reviews the app crash and views the photo, that instantly falls foul of UK child porno laws. Worse so if they then notify their line manager, they also become complicit. Did they get auth from the privacy team? They too are complicit.

              This is just plain fucking stupid. Under no circumstances should MS be getting my documents or files.

              1. Wayland Bronze badge

                Re: At the dentist

                The law does not apply to people with power over us. MS is a big corporation and therefore as good as government in this fascist world. They can look at as much child porn as they want as long as it's corporate policy. However if we complain that they are looking at photos of our children in the bath then we have broken the law. It's all taken care of.

            2. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: At the dentist

              " If it crashes the computer then Microsoft get to look at it."

              They get to look it at in every case as all of it is slurped to Redmont, "just in case".

              Everything to the level of single key presses (to steal your passwords and logins, of course).

              No hacking needed by NSA when they already know all of your login details.

          3. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: "T he owner of the documents agreed to the privacy policy.." (sic)

            "how is it that this *ISN'T TOTALLY ILLEGAL !!*??"

            It is. But MS own DoJ so they don't care at all: Anything MS slurps will benefit NSA and FBI.

        2. BongoJoe

          Re: "T he owner of the documents agreed to the privacy policy.." (sic)

          I asked because the owner of the document need not have written it on a Windows machine (think CSV files for the simplest example) and well have been created by someone else.

          That document gets sent to someone else whose machine then posts it to Redmond completely without the owner's knowledge or permission.

          1. Pompous Git Silver badge

            Re: "T he owner of the documents agreed to the privacy policy.." (sic)

            @BongoJoe

            Precisely. I own very few of the documents I work on; they belong to the authors of those documents. I merely manipulate them so that they can be handed off to a bureau for film, or more often these days for printing direct to press. It's worth noting that the documents I hand off don't belong to the bureau either.

            1. BongoJoe
              Mushroom

              Re: "T he owner of the documents agreed to the privacy policy.." (sic)

              Precisely. I own very few of the documents I work on; they belong to the authors of those documents. I merely manipulate them so that they can be handed off to a bureau for film, or more often these days for printing direct to press. It's worth noting that the documents I hand off don't belong to the bureau either.

              I produce .docx documents each night. Or, rather my applications which I have written do. I have a load of code written in Visual Studio 6 running on a series of XP machines. I use Word 2007, via COM, to write the documents as a report generator tool. Each day there could be around eight or nine documents containing about 150 pages each of proprietry data.

              My data.

              Using a version of Visual Studio which I haven't given up any rights to the data it produces, on an operating system which is still 'mine' and doesn't have these new, fancy arrangements with Microsoft as to whom owns what or when it can be updated (actually being 'obselete' avoids this particular headache) and I am sure that under the terms of Office 2007 I still own the rights to the data that I create.

              Now, from what I understand about copyright law it's quite simple. I own the data within the document but when I send someone the report the document is theirs but the contents are still mine. And they have no rights to distribute the data whatsoever without my express permission, particularly to republish the data.

              So, when my customer has a machine crash on a Windows 10 machine and they are sending up the data, perhaps without either knowledge or understanding, they are effectively publishing my data (which is similar to where the legal issues of torrenting comes in, for example). Now, is here that is my customer breaking copyright law is the first question but the second question, which is undoubtably a resounding Yes is Microsoft doing the same having written the code expressly for this purpose.

              Note as the copyright owner of the information within the document I haven't given any permission for this data to be transmitted at all. Yes, I know that under copyright laws the data within the document is mine but the document itself (the container, if you like) now belongs to the customer. So, legally, if the document is to be uploaded to Redmond then all the data should be stripped along with the meta-data and the be sent as a zero byte file.

              Anything else has to be simply be copyright theft. I can't see it any other way because to assume that every document read or worked on on a Windows 10 machine was created on that same machine is utterly preposterous.

      4. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Irrelevant as no user can agree to criminal acts legally. And it's painfully obvious that W10 is against GDPR at every aspect of it: Whole goal of W10 is "no privacy at all, who cares about laws".

    6. steve 124

      creepy doesn't begin...

      That one line is the one that really made me shake my head and say aloud "See? THAT is why this will never be on my machine"!

      The "Creator" (God?) patch eh? Megalomaniac much Microslurp?

      1. soulrideruk Bronze badge

        Re: creepy doesn't begin...

        "CreatorS" update.

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