back to article Sneaky Microsoft renamed its data slurper before sticking it back in Windows 10

“Anonymity is like virginity. You don't get it back once you've lost it,” writes one Register reader on Microsoft’s latest raid on your privacy. Microsoft pulled a major update for Windows after it blew away the user's privacy settings, allowing app developers and advertisers to glean the user’s identity. But that’s only part …

  1. Zog_but_not_the_first Silver badge
    WTF?

    Updates listed?

    Is anyone maintaining a list of updates for Wins 7 and 8? I have several updates for Win 7 indicated but not installed until I know exactly what they do. Trust has GONE.

    1. nkuk

      Re: Updates listed?

      There's a surprisingly large number that have been back-ported to Windows 7. I find an open source utility DWS Lite (Destroy Windows Spying) is very good at removing them all and blocking all the associated URLs/IPs. Its source code is available so you can see what it does, and which KBs it removes.

      1. Justin Clift

        Re: Updates listed?

        DWS Lite repo on GitHub:

        https://github.com/Nummer/Destroy-Windows-10-Spying/

        Looks like it has a back door though, so best to get someone to vet/cleanse it before using: :(

        https://github.com/zeffy/Destroy-Windows-10-Spying/commit/72f8ffe446a60211285ef51d1beae5d5844cb10a

      2. Michael Habel Silver badge

        Re: Updates listed?

        There's a surprisingly large number that have been back-ported to Windows 7. I find an open source utility DWS Lite (Destroy Windows Spying) is very good at removing them all and blocking all the associated URLs/IPs. Its source code is available so you can see what it does, and which KBs it removes.

        That sounds like a useful little tool, perhaps someone here could review it?

      3. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

        Re: Updates listed?

        @nkuk - If I have to constantly fight the OS to avoid it installing assorted malware I will do something like ditch it or restrict its usage.

    2. Jack of Shadows Silver badge

      Re: Updates listed?

      I'm keeping such a critter updated in Evernote. As the article says, they keep renaming stuff and reintroducing it repeatedly. My list isn't likely all of the updates though so I don't offer it up.

    3. swschrad

      cannot trust MonsterSlop any more

      sneaky little weasels, I have had to pry the GetWinX gouge off my machine three times to get critical updates. and now I have to chase their spyware. hey, Redmond, call Sony and see how that kind of shit works for building reputations.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Updates listed?

      No. Why bother? I'm planning on Linux.

      It's possibly no better. But the same applies if someone puts muck in my food. I'll go elsewhere, even if the alternative only serves plain food. Linux will do the job, I'd not trade it for glitter and gold encrusted ****.

      1. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Updates listed?

        It's still possible to use Windows for specialty apps that aren't available on other OS's. I primarily use a Mac, but still need to use Windows on a real Windows computer for some engineering apps. Just don't connect the Windows machine to the internet and feed it data through the CD drive or from your LAN after you have vetted it. This has worked for me for years.

    5. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Updates listed?

      This is the problem.

      I'm running 10, but getting increasingly concerned that if I have to make a job out of policing changes made to privacy and / or monitoring what updates are up to all the time, then I may just give up entirely and move to a Linux distro.

    6. just_me
      Holmes

      Re: Updates listed?

      I assume the Win7, Win8 updates you are worried about are the Nag/Auto update to Win10 patches. The list I have so far is; KB3022345, KB2952664, KB3021917, KB3035583, KB3068708, KB3075249, KB3080149, KB3102429,KB971033 - This is the list I use for my machines, so it includes MSFT's "telemetry" patches as well as the Win10 update patches.

      I also have KB3102810 on the same sheet - I would need to double check why I have this included in the list. I tend to look for these and hide them. There is also a registry entry "AllowOSUpgrade" that should be 0. Key location is "HKLM\SOFTWARE\Microsoft\Windows\CurrentVersion\WindowsUpdate\OSUpgrade\"

  2. Camilla Smythe Silver badge

    FTFY

    Examples of data we collect include your name, email address, preferences and interests; browsing, search and file history; phone call and SMS data; device configuration and sensor data; and application usage.

    Examples of data we do not collect include... errr... uhm. Can we get back to you on that one?

    1. Badvok

      Re: FTFY

      I know I'll probably get loads of downvotes for even asking this but has anyone actually checked whether any of this information actually does get sent anywhere if you don't sign up to the 'Let us see everything you're doing programme' or as Microsoft call it the 'Customer Experience Improvement Program' ?

      1. swschrad

        don't know, don't hack fortune 50 corporations

        and you'd have to do that to really see if your liasons are saved and watched over and over

      2. CompUser

        Re: FTFY

        Not sure exactly what is sent back to microsoft but a microsoft representative has stated that you can't stop information leaving your computer.

        What information they are slurping, well, take a guess.

      3. Michael Habel Silver badge

        Re: FTFY

        More like could you show us the way to track down and opt out of what is in all likelihood an opt-in from the time if install, and then assume that the local machine will then respect that decision till the next time I'm forced to re-install the OS again?

        That's the problem, (Well One of them anyway!), with Windows 10. Is that it can, has, and will disregard your opinions at the request of the Mothership at the drop of a pin. I can't say that I'm overly fond of such practice's.

      4. Longtemps, je me suis couche de bonne heure

        Re: FTFY

        Microsoft employee 1 writes:

        "I know I'll probably get loads of downvotes for even asking this but has anyone actually checked whether any of this information actually does get sent anywhere if you don't sign up to the 'Let us see everything you're doing programme' or as Microsoft call it the 'Customer Experience Improvement Program' ?"

        And Microsoft employee 2 immediately replies (a coincidence, perhaps?):

        "Whilst I'm not defending them for collecting it, I think it's pretty refreshing to see that a company can be open about what they do collect. So many hide it, or try to."

        Dear MSE 1 - perhaps Microsoft will check for you and discover "Lo, none of it gets sent anywhere"

        Dear MSE 2 - "refreshing" is a lovely word to describe data piracy, perhaps you should ask FAST to investigate on your behalf.

        1. Timmy B Silver badge

          Re: FTFY

          Longtemps, got any actual evidence these people work for Microsoft? No? That's a surprise. You're playing to the wide and generally established anti-MS crowd on the Reg with you're fairly poor attempt at ad hominem aren't you?

          1. Dave K Silver badge

            Re: FTFY

            I'm personally not "anti-MS". I use Windows as my OS of choice and am generally happy with it. However, MS's attitude and behaviour here stinks to high heaven and I am amazed that there are people out there in any way sticking up for it. Maybe these people aren't MS employees, but with that level of devotion to the company, they certainly should consider applying.

            1. Daniel Hall

              Re: FTFY

              /thanks for the career advise.

              1. MachDiamond Silver badge

                Re: FTFY

                ….advice.

                /your welcome

            2. Terry 6 Silver badge

              Re: FTFY

              I was a fan of MS, with reservations. But no longer. It's the mix of slurping and shitty, arrogant, clumsy design.

              (I want to be able to control my start menu, with reasonable ease, and remove (cr)apps that I don't want or need).

          2. Daniel B.

            Re: FTFY @Timmy

            Well, there's the thing that there are always a lot of "a.c." comments with decidedly pro-MSFT defense arguments, which is a clear sign of corporate shillings.

            1. Kiwi Silver badge
              Thumb Up

              Re: FTFY @Timmy @Daniel B. Silver

              which is a clear sign of corporate shillings.

              As is the 2 downvotes you've received at the time of writing this :) Here's a couple to help redress the balance (counting the icon)

      5. Kiwi Silver badge

        Re: FTFY @badvok

        It's not a "sign up" for most users.

        If you go with the "express" settings during your first run of your machine, all (or at least most) of the slurping stuff is turned on.

        Which, BTW, is almost certainly illegal under New Zealand Law. The user is not being given the ability to make an informed consent. And no, expecting the user (generally computer illiterate people who buy a machine at the nearest big box) to know that they need to research this stuff and learn what to turn off does not count.

        It has to be "opt in", and to "opt in" requires truly informed consent, not a lack of understanding of what the default settings mean.

        MS need to be gone. Badvok, there is nothing to be gained by defending this behaviour. How can someone who has the intelligence to turn a computer on see this as something even close to being OK?

        1. David McCarthy

          Re: FTFY @badvok

          Maybe this is also illegal in the UK. What is ICO doing about it?

          1. HelpfulJohn

            Re: FTFY @badvok

            "Maybe this is also illegal in the UK"

            It is. It is unlawful under several computer misuse acts, and, because it breaches section three, the data protection act. However, MS have more lawyers than me so taking them to task over it would be idiotic. Even *mentioning* it is probably grounds for a libel and slander case brought by them.

            If they care enough, Which they most likely do not.

            I'm too small to worry them.

            "What is ICO doing about it?"

            Apart from fuck all? Fuck all.

            Aluminium foil suit time: Microsoft collect all of this data. *They* don't use it but they can sell it to those who do. Those who do are the NSA in USAlia and the lovely guys at GCHQ in UKland, as well as any other mass surveillance group.

            Probably also Goo---- (mustn't mention them. Lawyers could be listening.)

            Why? Did you think a *Government* agent was set up and empowered to protect *us*?

            Really?

            Anyway, has anyone of us ever taken MS to the ICO? Or to court for breach of the data protection acts? Has anyone even tried?

          2. Eion MacDonald

            Re: FTFY @badvok

            Nowt! At least in public. This shows the level of IT incompetance in our 'classics' educated civil serviec.

      6. brainout
        Big Brother

        Re: FTFY

        Doesn't matter, and of course you can't see it, they HIDE that stuff. Sickening Win10 fanboys use that HIDING as an excuse to claim no such data is collected, but hey, it's BY CONTRACT that they can collect whatever they want, whenever they want.

        The actual contract terms are in several places, so I had to create a thread about it in a new forum I created (new since August, due to Win10), here: http://brainout.net/frankforum/viewtopic.php?f=7&t=59

        Forum now has a lot of topics. No tracking, don't want your real name or social or id or birthdate or even email to join (board doesn't email, no ads, no mods, no tracking, I need anonymity so everyone else gets it too).

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: FTFY

      Whilst I'm not defending them for collecting it, I think it's pretty refreshing to see that a company can be open about what they do collect. So many hide it, or try to.

      1. Jack of Shadows Silver badge

        Re: FTFY

        At the end of the day, so far each and every loving patch they do try to slip through has had a full description attached detailing what it's collecting in the online kb entry. That's the level of candor I wish the others would put into their update processes.

        1. John Tserkezis

          Re: FTFY

          "At the end of the day, so far each and every loving patch they do try to slip through has had a full description attached detailing what it's collecting in the online kb entry."

          Using "Windows update" in the description doesn't count. Sorry.

        2. This post has been deleted by a moderator

        3. Steven Roper

          Re: FTFY

          "so far each and every loving patch they do try to slip through has had a full description attached detailing what it's collecting in the online kb entry."

          Identically labelling every update as "This update resolves issues in Windows" is not what I would call "candour." I don't have time to go online and individually check the entries for 3 dozen updates every week, nor should I have to. They should, at a minimum, state right in the update description: "This update remedies a security vulnerability" or "This update collects [x] data and transmits it to Microsoft for [y] reasons."

          That I would consider candour, because then I can decide if I want the update on the spot without having to click around on the internet. But of course MS will NEVER do that because then everyone would reject all the "telemetry" updates!

      2. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: FTFY

        "I think it's pretty refreshing to see that a company can be open about what they do collect."

        Which company did you have in mind?

        1. el_oscuro

          Re: FTFY

          Perhaps Ubuntu?

      3. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: FTFY

        Most companies are upfront about the data they collect and what they plan to do with it if one just slogs through the "privacy" policy and EULA.

        The "Dollar Shave Club" scam in the US states very clearly that they intend to sell your information to anybody that will give them a buck. The lure is cheap razors delivered by mail every month. No thanks, I buy name brands from the big box stores in bulk about once every two years when they are on deep discount.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    WTF?

    "Microsoft’s reputation as a trusted consumer brand."

    Eh?

    1. Captain DaFt

      Re: "Microsoft’s reputation as a trusted consumer brand."

      "Eh?"

      You know: "Rabid weasel in a henhouse", That type of rep.

      If you feel that's just too harsh, shorten the original:

      "Microsoft’s reputation as a trusted con"

  4. ZSn

    Surprising

    Yes, it seems suprising that even Microsoft can be this blatant. I know that it has a justified reputation for monopolistic behaviour spanning decades, total indifference to what the user actually wants, price gouging... oh perhaps it doesn't seem so surprising after all.

    Perhaps they looked at what Google could get away with and thought that they wanted a slice of that pie

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Surprising

      > Perhaps they looked at what Google could get away with and thought that they wanted a slice of that pie

      The difference is, perhaps, that Google gives away free services for your data.

      Windows is a product that you have to buy and it still screws you over.

    2. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      Re: Surprising

      "Perhaps.."?

      You think?

  5. Antonymous Coward
    Unhappy

    "damaging Microsoft’s reputation as a trusted consumer brand."

    Oh crap, censorship's cranked up to 11 again and damaging El Reg’s reputation as a trusted brand.

    Need the headstone icon back ------>

    1. JudeKay (Written by Reg staff)

      Re: "damaging Microsoft’s reputation as a trusted consumer brand."

      Horse puckey, anonymous. But I'll look into the headstone thing...

  6. Hairless Biker
    Windows

    I'm not one for foul language,,,

    but couldn't Microsoft be a little more honest and rename it the 'Connected User Networking Telemetry Service'?

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

      Re: I'm not one for foul language,,,

      It's just a shame that the old saying about "Roses by any other name" also applies to compost heaps, even if the smell isn't as sweet...

      1. TRT Silver badge

        Re: I'm not one for foul language,,,

        Service

        Linked

        Usage

        Reporting

        Package

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "The Scroogled campaign positioned Microsoft itself as the ethical alternative; the occupier of the moral high ground.

    For a while, it was."

    Was it? I didn't actually think anyone had fallen for their advertising, I am proved wrong.

    1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      No, not fallen for it as a characterisation of MS as such. But as a characterisation of Windows (at the time). Not so any more though. And, as someone mentioned, can we now even trust that Windows 7 won't be ruined just so it won't matter any more if we move on to 10 or not? I'm not so sure.

      Perhaps XP will get a final maintenance release as well, just so it too can be a telemetry device?

  8. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    Great Mug!

    When can we get them fro the El-Reg Shop?

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Great Mug!

      Lawyas would be in touch...

      1. Captain DaFt

        Re: Great Mug!

        "Lawyas would be in touch..."

        Point out that

        A. It's satire.

        B. Taking us to court amounts to free advertising for the mugs.

        1. HelpfulJohn

          Re: Great Mug!

          Vistaprint.

          Many, many other mug-services are available.

          https://ixquick.com/do/search "mug print" no quotes.

  9. TonyJ Silver badge

    Truth, trust and faith

    About 15 years ago, one day at work I happened to be stood talk to a colleague when I noticed a small golden sticker on the filing cabinet beside me. After we'd done chatting, I read it and it said "How can you trust Microsoft? This is a company that if left alone in a room with the truth would cause a matter/antimatter explosion!".

    Made me laugh at the time but it's starting to seem quite prescient.

    1. TRT Silver badge

      Re: Truth, trust and faith

      It's a bit like the mess my kids made in the local Italian bistro when they didn't finish their starter before the main course arrived. Talk about a pasta / antipasti explosion...

  10. wyatt

    All I need to do is keep rejecting the updates to turn win 7 to win 10 and eventually it won't be a free upgrade and they'll give up...

    Yeah right. They've have found a way to retrospectively bill me and it'll keep on going.. Microsoft, I purchased Win 7 not 10. I don't want it, f**k 0ff.

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge
      Devil

      By that time they'll have slurped your name, address, and CC number by telemetry, the form will be pre-filled in, and Windows 10 will have downloaded and be ready to install. You'll have a floating OK button following your mouse pointer around the screen.

      1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        And then they will start releasing updated drivers for Windows 7 that destabilises the system. All end-of-line updates for that hardware.

        1. Kiwi Silver badge
          Linux

          @anonymous boring coward

          And then they will start releasing updated drivers for Windows 7 that destabilises the system.

          I think they're already doing that. We're seeing a number of systems running 7 that with no changes other than updates suddenly become slow and/or unstable. And I do mean suddenly.

          No detectable malware (we use several scanners and run a minimum of 2 different offline scans as part of our regular service), no changes to hardware, no new software.

          (That's not counting the font update for orifice the other week that made some machines unbootable.....)

  11. ratfox Silver badge
    Coffee/keyboard

    Windows 10 is bad for your privacy, and it is damaging Microsoft’s reputation as a trusted consumer brand.

  12. xj650t
    Coat

    If someone can show me

    How to get all my Windows Steam games running at a decent frame rate on Linux Wine then I'm off.

    Until then I'll keep disabling services and checking privacy settings every week or so.

    Mine's the one with a copy of Mint in the pocket.

    1. msknight Silver badge

      Re: If someone can show me

      Steam's running on Linux native. Check which of your games are already ported.

    2. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: If someone can show me

      How about the Steam Client for Linux?

    3. Avatar of They
      Happy

      Re: If someone can show me

      Steam OS will help, built around the whole Steam on Linux thing.

      Look in steam store for 'steamplay' (there are windows and apple and steamplay icons.) If memory serves there are over 3000 title but mostly indie and small titles. However the big Valve titles are in there and things like borderlands 2 and prequal, metro redux etc..

      If it is steamplay then you can use Steam OS, or steam client on another linux. I have it running on my Linux mint.

      You will lose some older games and anything from EA as they don't like Steam much but then you can look at Wine.

    4. kryptylomese

      Re: If someone can show me

      You can just install Steam under playonlinux and games will mostly work as though they are native on Windows. I have never seen a performance drop with Wine, sounds like you have a config issue!

    5. Paul_Murphy

      Re: If someone can show me

      After looking at the Linux Steam client Wine (and PlayOnLinux) would be the first port of call but you may also want to look at Cedega.

    6. LDS Silver badge

      Re: If someone can show me

      Steam is just another telemetry service. Frankly, I can't understand why I have to install their client to install and run a game.

      One of the reason I didn't upgrade to Windows 10, besides the privacy issue, it's I'm running Flight Simulator X and I don't want to incur issues. I know there's a Steam version with some fixes, but I won't install their client to run a game.

      Guess I'll switch to Prepar3D even if it costs more (I like my RealAir planes, so I won't switch to other simulators).

    7. Cheshire Cat

      Re: If someone can show me

      Steam runs natively on Linux.

      Also, I found that using the vendor-supplied graphics card drivers (NVidea Geforce) made a huge difference in game framerate for games like Minecraft, though X seems to run fine using either.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Windows 10...

    Approved by the NSA.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Windows 10...

      More than approved

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge
      Black Helicopters

      Re: Windows 10...

      What? No approval by GCHQ? No approval by the Chinese? The Russians? Where's the Miscreant Seal of Approval? Damnit... this beast needs official approvals!!!!

  14. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

    consumer brand?

    Quote

    For a while, it was. But Windows 10 is bad for your privacy, and it is damaging Microsoft’s reputation as a trusted consumer brand.

    Until people stand outside places like PC-World with banners describing the MS Data Slurp then I really don't thing the average consumer will ever get to hear about this.

    Please someone prove me wrong...

    1. Michael Habel Silver badge

      Re: consumer brand?

      Until people stand outside places like PC-World with banners describing the MS Data Slurp then I really don't thing the average consumer will ever get to hear about this.

      Sadly all too true, you can try to explain why Windows 10 is a bad idea, and perhaps 1:10 will "get it", the other 9 are ready to brand you a tinfoailer in their ignorance. It's that ignorance + well Google does it so why should I care attitude that MicroSoft still hasn't been CX called out on this yet.

    2. Andy Non
      Facepalm

      Re: consumer brand?

      Demonstrations outside PC-World won't happen (unfortunately). Most of the ordinary (non-technical) people I've spoken to either don't know about the Microsoft data slurping or don't care. People seem to have become largely desensitised to having their personal data gobbled up by the likes of Google, Facebook or by Android apps. They are walking into a 1984 society where big brother and big commerce knows everything about them and they are apathetic or welcome it with a shrug of the shoulders believing it is necessary to keep track of terrorists and pedos.

      Can't help wondering how long it will be before those of us who use Linux are regarded as dangerous subversives with "something to hide"?

      1. elDog Silver badge

        Can't wait until the consumer brands of Linux go the same way

        What's to stop this from polluting the Linux (or other alternative OS) world?

        Nothing to worry about comrade penguin, we already have your data.

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Can't wait until the consumer brands of Linux go the same way

          "What's to stop this from polluting the Linux (or other alternative OS) world?"

          A more informed user base and the availability of alternatives. Canonical tried something along those lines. They quickly discovered it was unpopular & pulled back*. But Mint came to prominence largely as a result of that. Nevertheless, it's worrying that when the big H/W vendors, the ones who tend to add a few unwelcome extras to Windows, offer a Linux version that seems to be Ubuntu.

          * I'm not sure to what extent they did pull back as I haven't used Ubuntu for years so I haven't followed at all closely.

          1. Pookietoo
            Linux

            Re: Canonical tried something along those lines

            ITYF it was easily disabled, and never a secret. Presumably the opted-in by default was what upset people, but it was minor in comparison with the current MSFT crap.

      2. Michael Habel Silver badge

        Re: consumer brand?

        But, isn't Secure Enhanced Linux (SEL), also written by our fine feathered friends down in Fort Mead too? Or can SEL be reviewed?

        1. Vic

          Re: consumer brand?

          Or can SEL be reviewed?

          Trivially. It's GPL, so source is available from your usual upstream provider.

          Vic.

    3. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: consumer brand?

      Until people stand outside places like PC-World with banners describing the MS Data Slurp then I really don't thing the average consumer will ever get to hear about this.

      You'll need a catchy hashtag phrase to start the ball rolling and lots of Twatterati posting it. Yeah.. I don't ever see this one happening.

    4. HelpfulJohn

      Re: consumer brand?

      You are wrong, sorry.

      I'm a professional IT-thingy but I did tell my sister and her family, who are definitely not. None of them cared. They automatically went fro Win7 to Win-ten and they seem to have automatic updates turned on.

      Even when we warn them, they don't see the problem.

  15. Teiwaz Silver badge

    A Pox on the House of Microsoft

    Whenever a company tries to claim the 'moral high ground', they are just after the high ground for nefarious advantage.

    Windows 10 is a 'tower of babel' built to grab your personal information from the cloud.

    1. Timmy B Silver badge

      Re: A Pox on the House of Microsoft

      "A Pox on the House of Microsoft ". You do realise that you just attempted to claim the moral high ground? Is your limit of this misuse just down to companies? Are individuals likely to have a nafarious motive? Interesting......

      Also the tower of babel isn't what you think.

  16. Blank-Reg
    Big Brother

    To paraphrase the Baby Eating Bishop of Bath and Wells:

    "Bend over you products, ITS POKER TIME!"

  17. BobChip
    FAIL

    It's all about trust - and the lack of it.

    "But Windows 10 is bad for your privacy, and it is damaging Microsoft’s reputation as a trusted consumer brand."

    Trusted consumer brand? MS seem to pay lip service to being "trustworthy", but their behaviour shouts out loud that they don't give a toss. This has to be a deliberate policy since (mostly) nothing they have done in the last 30 years suggests that they are really that incompetent.

    I have not deployed anything made by Microsoft in over six years, and I don't miss them one bit.

    1. CompUser

      Re: It's all about trust - and the lack of it.

      I think there has always been a shady side to Microsoft but there was some sort of ethical treatment of the end user, some sort of concern for the end user experience so that the product would be accepted and used.

      At least until Windows 8. Then things started going bad.

      Now for Windows 10, the end user is the enemy to be monitored and controlled. Any treatment, no matter how unethical is allowable.

  18. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    My corporate Windows 7

    ... contains "Diagnostics Tracking Service," which is described as "The Diagnostics tracking service enables data collection about functional issues in Windows components." - is started, automatic and policy says I can't disable it.

    I think there's a larger issue here about personal data/safety/security at work.

    1. Def Silver badge

      Re: My corporate Windows 7

      I've just disabled it on my Windows 7 machine at home. My Windows 10 machine in the living room also still has that particular service (which has also just been disabled).

      To be honest, our work IT department installs so much spy ware and other shit on our PCs, nothing we really do can be considered private.

      1. elDog Silver badge

        Re: My corporate Windows 7

        Yes, but the corporate infrastructure really does belong to the corp. If your PC is under their control, I'd assume that they can control what you're doing while using it.

        One reason I've never connected my cell phone to a corporate network is because they will install software to manage the phone in any fashion they deem appropriate. And I think they're right for that.

    2. stuartnz

      Re: My corporate Windows 7

      The tutorial here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rczgCmoNSSE for Win10 gave the suggestion to enter this in the AdminCommandPrompt "C:\Windows\system32\ sc delete DiagTrack" - it worked for me in 10, would it be worth trying in 7?

      1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

        Re: My corporate Windows 7

        The problem with most corporate PC's is getting the Admin Command Prompt in the first place. We humble minions wouldn't be trusted with admin rights, or else we might actually make the machines usable with some judicious pruning and uninstalling.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          @Anonymous Custard - Re: My corporate Windows 7

          Or you can happily install the Cryptolocker version of the day. Either of the two versions has 50% chance of happening but only one of them will require re-imaging of the ruined laptop (or a crash course on crypto currency).

          Didn't give you any vote since I'd like to remain neutral on this matter.

      2. That MrKrotos Bloke

        Re: My corporate Windows 7

        Just tested on Win8.1 and it worked :)

    3. arctic_haze Silver badge

      Re: My corporate Windows 7

      If you have administrative privileges, just get rid of all of the following updates that you have on your system:

      KB3022345

      KB3068708

      KB3080149

      1. iranu

        Re: My corporate Windows 7

        KB3022345 seems to install and run "Diagnostic tracking service" and "Diagnostic Policy Service" (found under system configuration) in Windows 7.

        I've had enough of this crap now. Updates will not be installed until after 3 months when I can review them. KB3022345 was listed as an "important update" yet it spies on me.

        MS are now so untrustworthy that even their own updates cannot be installed on day 1.

        1. HelpfulJohn

          Re: My corporate Windows 7

          According to Add-Remove's search box I don't have that. According to services.msc it isn't on my Win7 box.

          I must be very clever. :)

          I tried searching A/R for KB's that *are* there. They are found, so the search works.

  19. Rich 11 Silver badge

    Coincidence?

    Two bugs would be a puzzling coincidence – but something else makes it altogether more troubling.

    "Once is an accident, twice is a coincidence, three times is enemy action."

    I think it was Ian Fleming who wrote that.

  20. MatthewSt

    Come on, using a third party quote from a preview version of Windows to demonstrate how bad privacy is in an older version of Windows?

    Cortana knows my name so it can put it on the screen and on my phone. Windows uses it to put it on emails.

    Windows knows my email address so I can log in, so it can download my emails, so I can buy stuff.

    Everything else in that list is collected so that apps can be written to make use of the data, and so that the data can be synchronised across devices. Microsoft aren't in the advertising business so don't have the need or the inclination to mine personal data. I can't remember where I read it now, but I saw a quote the other week about Microsoft's health dashboard; Wearing a Band, Microsoft now have months of his sleep data and activity logs, and they haven't seen a single advert for pillows or gyms or whatever else.

    Windows 10 is only bad for your privacy if you read the press. If you actually look at the options in the release build of Windows (previews don't count, as they have telemetry in for debugging, which is the whole point of the preview) you can disable anything related to personal information.

    I know that facts ruin a good story, but Microsoft have published what they do and don't collect at https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/privacystatement/default.aspx and http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-10/windows-privacy-faq. If you think they're lying and are collecting more than they're stating, start a class action suit and take them to court. If there's any evidence out there then I doubt you'll have any problems getting people to jump on the bandwagon. Failing that, can we have some real stories?

    1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

      re: Matthew St

      you must be:-

      1) new here

      or

      2) work for MS or an MS Shop.

      What about the 60+ IP addresses they send telemetary data to then?

      Why do MS ignore any aliasing done in the hosts file then?

      It is sneaky and many, many commentators on other sites than this one have voiced their concerns.

      1. MatthewSt

        Re: re: Matthew St

        That's the key though, telemetry is not personally identifiable information. As a developer (who doesn't work for Microsoft and doesn't get paid by Microsoft in any way shape or form) I think telemetry is a fantastic way to make your products better.

        This is basically just the current version of Watson

    2. Bloodbeastterror

      @ MatthewSt

      Wow. Just wow.

      1. MatthewSt

        Re: @ MatthewSt

        http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=wow%20just%20wow - just sayin' ;)

    3. Wensleydale Cheese Silver badge
      FAIL

      "Windows knows my email address so I can log in, so it can download my emails, so I can buy stuff."

      Some of us prefer to have separate email addresses for different levels of trust.

    4. DaLo

      "Microsoft aren't in the advertising business so don't have the need or the inclination to mine personal data."

      Eh? http://choice.microsoft.com/en-GB/opt-out

      Kinda undermines your whole post?

    5. Teiwaz Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Cortana Knows my name...(so does MS and 'partners', uncles, aunts, 2nd cousins...)

      "Examples of data we collect include your name, email address, preferences and interests; browsing, search and file history; phone call and SMS data; device configuration and sensor data; and application usage."

      Name and e-mail address, fine. Your system needs to know that if you want certain functionality with email embedded in the OS (at basic, the email client alone only 'needs' to know). Many other items on the list on applications/devices/sensors I also understand their 'need' for operational feeback (as long as opt out is clearly marked under options (and actually works).

      But preferences and interests? Browsing and search history? Phone call and SMS 'data'?

      And these are only 'examples' not a definitive list.

      The opt-outs are cloudy and evasive - as with Google and others. No moral high ground here. They should be linked to functionality in an easy to interpret way, and totally switch-offable by the average user.

      Anything else is underhanded and deceptive.

      1. John P

        Re: Cortana Knows my name...(so does MS and 'partners', uncles, aunts, 2nd cousins...)

        Of course the answer to why is Cortana. As fun as conspiracy theories are, I think the simplest answer here is also the most likely to be true.

        In order for their digital assistant to work in any half-decent way, it needs all of this information to build up a profile of you.

        This does not take in to account the fact that many users with Windows 10 do not use Cortana. I like the ability to set quick reminders by typing plain English, but other than that I have no use for it. I'm not against the concept and can see how it could be useful for some people, but I'm just not sufficiently disorganised that I need a constant watcher to organise my life for me.

        I'm okay with this being the price if you really want to use Cortana and enable it to do all the recommendation, telling you about flights, informing you its your wedding anniversary tomorrow and your wife is already pissed off with you because she texted you complaining that you hadn't done the washing up again, but Cortana, along with all the information it needs to work, should have a simple and complete off-switch.

        If MS just provide this, all those who hate the idea of MS slurping their data and who don't need Cortana will be happy, and all those willing to pay the data price for having Cortana work will also be happy. Simple.

      2. MatthewSt

        OK, should have probably specified that I meant Microsoft aren't a big player in the advertising space. I've got all of those options enabled and I have never seen an ad that looks targeted at me, based on gender, location, age, emails, conversation history etc

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Hmmm...Maybe a bad case of the Stockholm syndrome.

      3. MatthewSt

        Phone Call and SMS Data

        Yes, and this is one of the best bits. If my phone rings, a message pops up on my computer. I can then reply by text message.

        I can do all of this even if I've left my phone at home or in the car, because this data is "collected". Microsoft aren't doing anything with it apart from using it to provide a service that I personally think is incredibly useful.

        1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

          Re: Phone Call and SMS Data

          Oh, so nice. And not even having to opt-in for this AMAZINGLY useful and INDESPENSABLE service!

          Having all this automation surely does not open you up to any security risks at all?

          Since Microsoft is a highly regulated state owned, tax financed service based in your home country you can feel confident the data will not be misused in the furture! Eh.. Hang on now..

          1. Diogenes

            Re: Phone Call and SMS Data

            I dont own a smartphone, so i don't care if it synchs or not

            I have several different devices that for one reason or another (cpu/ram/camera/form factor/ hdd size) are used for different purposes i don't want the sodding things linked and synchronised - i accidentally filled a128 gb sdd with 1tb of data synching from the cloud had to reinstall everything. No i don't need my banking app, on the machine i use for dev, or making podcasts.

            I really hate how kindle tries to synch, i can have the same book open on several devices, each on a different page as i am trying to write a lesson or prepare a podcast, even though i have told it "no sinkee pliz", and clicked the I understand that my experience will be suboptimal as far as amazon are concerned button, it still asks every time .

            So why does it need telemetry data?

      4. Terry 6 Silver badge

        Nota Bene

        Windows gives us two choices; interest related ads or general ads. There is no "Sod off I don't want your stinking poxy ads" option.

      5. Terry 6 Silver badge

        And type in the chosen email addy for the chosen purpose as and when we do the choosing. MS do not need to store this for us.

    6. Anonymous Coward
      1. MatthewSt

        Actually no. No affiliation with Microsoft apart from being a customer

        1. Two Lips
          Mushroom

          @MatthewSt: No affiliation with Microsoft apart from being a customer

          Lying Bar Steward...

    7. MatthewSt

      Clarifying

      Just to clarify here, I'm not saying that the behaviour listed in the article is acceptable for a shipping product, I'm saying that there's not a chance that's what they're doing. We're living on a continent where it's now illegal to operate a website that places cookies on someone's computer without notifying them what a cookie is and what it's there for and promising not to track them so I don't think for one minute that if this data was being collected then they'd be getting away with it.

      Yes there are lots of commentators out there that are saying this is what Microsoft are doing, but they're all quoting each other and there isn't actually any documentation or evidence of any kind about this. This particular article links to Reddit, a forum with no Microsoft staff present on it, and other Reg articles as "evidence" for what is going on. The quote from the website isn't on the page linked to, and it's not on the page that that links to either. The only official documentation they list in the support article is about the CEIP, which has been around for years and is for collecting crash dumps and stats.

      Maybe I'll be proved wrong, maybe they'll get hacked and everyone's personally identifiable information will be out there all of a sudden and no one will be safe, or maybe all of a sudden they'll realise that I'm not interested in Sky TV (which wouldn't necessarily be a bad thing!) but I doubt it.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Clarifying

        MatthewSt,

        1) Why do you think Windows 10 is handed out for free?

        2) What do you think Microsoft plans for future revenue streams?

        3) Why do you think they do everything in their power to make users downgrade from Windows 7 or Vista to Windows 10? (I.e why do they even care?)

        I think you'll find the answer to your questions after answering the above.

      2. RobHib
        Facepalm

        @MatthewSt - Re: Clarifying : You're evading the main issues again.

        You're evading the main issues again which is (a) that Microsoft has exchanged its traditional paid mode for a so-called 'free' update in exchange for 'stealing' users' data, and (b) that it's done so underhandedly and on the sly (i.e.: without users being fully aware of the ramifications/consequences).

        Is this not obvious? (For detailed facts, read my post in reply to your first post!)

    8. Shufflemoomin

      Yeah, I'm sure it's innocent and I'm sure they're doing nothing with the data they pull with your unique identifier. I'm sure there's no connection between them pulling mass data from users that would be worth a fortune to advertisers and them giving away an operating system for free. I'm sure MS just wanted to do something nice and eat a billion dollar loss giving away their new product. You can't possibly be this naive.

    9. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      Please explain to me why MS needs to have this data on their systems, as opposed to locally on my PC?

      Perhaps you are just a technology ignoramus, and as such extra easy to dupe?

    10. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Microsoft aren't in the advertising business so don't have the need or the inclination to mine personal data.

      Actually they are getting into it. They've mentioned "meaningful ads" on the desktop and in various applications. People have mentioned that there's a choice with some of the games... ads or pay per month. These are formerly "free" games that have around almost along as Windows. There's monetization coming in a big way to a desktop in front of you. Read what MS actually says on the business side as far as "profit", "monetization", etc. There's hints and statements but not headlines.

    11. RobHib
      Mushroom

      @ MatthewSt - Your comments re Win 10 and privacy.

      I have previously read those links in your post, and I've just refreshed my mind by rereading most of them again (including the 'more' expansions).

      Do you honestly believe that the enormous amount of data Microsoft collects (together with the sheer scope and range of the collection) [as outlined in those links] is acceptable practice or are you just mouthing the Microsoft corporate line? If you do believe so then you live in a very different world to me (and a check of other El Reg readers' posts shows I'm far from being alone). Simply, you and Microsoft are way off-beam with huge numbers of IT personnel–the very people Microsoft should be courting.

      With Windows 10, Microsoft [Nadella] has essentially done what Gates did with Windows 95 when he decided to change direction and commit Microsoft to the internet—the difference is that Gates never kept the matter secret as MS has attempted to do here.

      If Microsoft had said openly that 'we don't believe there's ongoing monies to be made by continually upgrading Windows so it's more profitable for us to give you users Windows 10 for free* in exchange for you giving us your personal data including the way you run your lives day-to-day' then it wouldn't have pissed off so many millions of users! Instead, Microsoft decided to be sneaky and underhanded about the Windows 10 upgrade and it did so by conning many unsuspecting millions with a tempting candy-covered but arsenic-laced download. That alone should be sufficient to have Microsoft sued in many jurisdictions (in many countries false pretenses, deception etc. are illegal).

      Where I live that under the Trade Practices Act such deception is considered 'deceptive and misleading conduct'. Hopefully, snail-paced law will eventually catch up with Microsoft–not that I'm naive enough to believe it will happen any time soon such is Microsoft's power, influence and lobbying.

      [* MatthewSt, we're not completely stupid you know! Why the hell would Microsoft give away Windows 10 for free? Of course it wouldn't, and many of us know the exact reason as to why Microsoft's 'free' is diametrically opposed to the OED definition of 'free'. Stephen O’Grady in his excellent little book 'THE SOFTWARE PARADOX-The Rise and Fall of the Commercial Software Market', http://shop.oreilly.com/product/0636920033325.do , sums up and exposes the reasons just perfectly.

      This book outlines the underlying reasons why Microsoft and others have or are moving from the paid mode to 'free' in exchange for personal data; it is considered such an important publication that for a short time PayPal actually sponsored a free download (but unfortunately it's no longer available that way.)]

      As for your comment '...If you think they're [Microsoft] lying and are collecting more than they're stating, start a class action suit and take them to court....' why would anyone bother (other than regulators)? Just reading the 'privacy' fine print alone says it all. Combine this with the way Microsoft is 'conning' many users into downloading Windows 10 as well as the fact that it's now essentially forcing (actively push-serving) the Windows 10 upgrade then it's very likely users will have an actionable case on multiple accounts.

      [IMHO, Microsoft would also be on pretty thin ice if it were to rely on users having accepted the EULA, etc. thus it's not its fault, especially so after all the ramifications of Microsoft privacy heist are fully understood and exposed.]

      If you are still in any doubt as to what many of us are complaining about then may I suggest you read my other posts to this article as well as those in yesterday's story Microsoft Windows: The Next 30 Years. ...And don't stop there, also read the many other posts that more often than not essentially agree with my position.

      May I suggest to don't stop there either: tell your masters, especially Nadella, to do the same. If they still don't comprehend the issues then I'm sure many of us would only be too glad to explain them (despite our anger and outrage I'm sure we'd do so in a most civilized and courteous way).

      P.S.: also, tell Nadella, et al that Microsoft is 'stealing' our internet download time with its enormous downloads. I've run out of my wireless internet credit on more than one occasion and been left without internet access whatsoever simply because I'd forgotten to immediately nuke Windows Update after a Windows re-installation.

      Message to Microsoft: Microsoft, you really do have a damn fucking hide to do that–how dare you! Recovering the millions of dollars you've cost users in download fees from questionable downloads does seem to be a very legitimate reason for a class action to be launched against you. It seems to me that eventually when the law does catch up with you, you'll be then forced to explain the explicit details of what every download actually does as well as you'll have to seek explicit permissions from users before you put anything whatsoever onto their machines.

      Oh, BTW, the fact that Windows Update has to download in excess of a gigabyte during a re-installation of the SAME Windows version (as it does in Win 7 sp1) shows clearly that the Windows code base is in one hell of a fucking mess! You don't have to be Einstein or even an IT graduate to figure that out. Remember, here I'm referring to the amount of Win 7 updates–even after sp1, Windows Update STILL downloads over a GB of updates.

      After 30+ years of development that Windows is still in such a diabolical mess is an utter disgrace. This is not only a reflection on Microsoft's disingenuousness but also on the Computing Industry itself–the IT industry ought to be horrified. Serious questions have to be asked as to why we ITers let Microsoft get away with 'software Murder' for so very long. If we don't ask and call Microsoft to account now then history most certainly will do it for us.

      1. Shadow Systems Silver badge

        @RobHib, re your reply to MST.

        *Standing ovation & roof raising boisterous roar of approval*

        To hell with a mere pint, I'd buy you an entire KEG for your post.

        Damn well said Sir, damn well said.

        1. RobHib
          Thumb Up

          @Shadow Systems - Re: @RobHib, re your reply to MST.

          Thank you muchly, flattery will get you everywhere!

          Now the keg's a wonderful idea ('tis a long while since I've had one all to myself), but methinks it better to share it with most posters here–so much the unanimity of opinion.

          As a magnanimous gesture, perhaps we should also give a thimbleful to MST for getting us so riled.

          ;-)

          Oh, and I've chucked in an upvote for good measure!

      2. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: @ MatthewSt - Your comments re Win 10 and privacy.

        Sorry I could only give this one upvote RobHib. Very well put...

    12. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      "Everything else in that list is collected so that apps can be written to make use of the data, and so that the data can be synchronised across devices."

      And that would be pretty reasonable. But as you say "Microsoft have published what they do and don't collect at https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/privacystatement/default.aspx and http://windows.microsoft.com/en-us/windows-10/windows-privacy-faq"

      I have to wonder if you've actually read that or, if you have read it, whether you understand that. Yes, the tone seems reasonable & gentle but you have to work out what they actually say.

      First of all the categories of information listed there go a lot, lot further than enabling you to log in or synchronise data. Categories such as "We collect data about your interests and favorites, such as the teams you follow in a sports app, the stocks you track in a finance app, or the favorite cities you add to a weather app. In addition to those you explicitly provide, your interests and favorites may also be inferred or derived from other data we collect." That alone should worry you - it should be nothing to do with them.

      But go back to what looks like innocuous stuff. All that data which is quite reasonable for logging in and so on. Go back and read it carefully. Did you notice something a little strange about it? Did you notice that they don't limit themselves to collecting information which refers to themselves? Go back again and find out where they exclude themselves from collecting your online banking credentials, your credentials for any AWS services you may use, your eBay, PayPal or Amazon credentials or purchases, your logins to your ISP, non-Microsoft email, your remote login to your work.

      Maybe you can excuse this on the basis that they don't really intend to do that but they were a bit sloppy writing their T&Cs. Do you really think they lack the legal resource to make their T&Cs say something they didn't intend?

      About the most benign interpretation that could be put on this is that they really don't intend to collect any of this but they're just covering their backsides if some sloppy coding accidentally does that. And that really may be the intention. But wouldn't it be better and more honest, to limit their T&Cs to what they intend to collect and be prepared to take the consequences for not living up to it? As things stand the best that a victim could hope for in the event of something going wrong is that a court would throw the T&Cs out as being unenforceable.

      As things stand ISTM that any business that uses Microsoft should get those T&Cs reviewed by their legal advisors.

    13. 404 Silver badge

      Popped in to let you know....

      ... I was downvote #73.

      You have a *great* day!

      ;)

  21. sabroni Silver badge
    Unhappy

    Great!

    Now I'm going to have to learn to love editing config files and piping things to grep.

    Thanks a fucking bunch MS!!!

    1. Stoneshop Silver badge
      FAIL

      Re: Great!

      It doesn't hurt to know how and when to use command line tools, but need them? No.

      You clearly haven't kept up with what the major distro's offer via GUI.

    2. Teiwaz Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: Great! + Learning to love editing config files

      You may not 'have to' unless you decide on a) a tweakers distro b) a window manager instead of a desktop.

      At the very least, you'll never worry about your changes being overwritten by an update to the associated application(*) (as long as you store them in home).

      (*)provided the config file format hasn't changed.

    3. Vic

      Re: Great!

      Now I'm going to have to learn to love editing config files and piping things to grep

      You don't have to. It's entirely possible to do everything via some GUI application if that's your thing.

      But if you do learn to use the command line, you'll understand why some of us choose to do it that way...

      Vic.

    4. Kiwi Silver badge

      Re: Great!

      Now I'm going to have to learn to love editing config files and piping things to grep.

      Actually the last command line I used was1 :

      dism /image:D:\ /remove-package /packagename:Package_for_KB3097877~31bf3856ad364e35~x86~~6.1.1.1 /scratchdir:D:\temp

      And it was in Windows, in a recovery environment, to fix a machine where the customer could not log in even in safe mode, because an update (something to do with Orifice and fonts) caused the system to be significantly screwed up.

      You can, if you really want to, do Linux with manual edits to config files and use grep and so on. I usually do but then I was using Linux for headless servers long before I started using it for a desktop, so I'm at home with it.

      1not counting the occasional log in to our headless web-facing servers to run basic maintenance.

  22. Pascal Monett Silver badge
    FAIL

    So maybe a bit of tinfoil is justified after all ?

    There have been commenters stepping up to say that, Microsoft having acknowledged a bug in its download image, we should all consider that MS is not that shady and cut it some slack.

    Well here is your answer : no way we're cutting Microsoft some slack on anything.

    Microsoft CAN NO LONGER BE TRUSTED, period.

    1. Chika
      FAIL

      Re: So maybe a bit of tinfoil is justified after all ?

      To be honest, I'd cut them more slack if they hadn't previously been so vocal about other companies and their ID slurping activities. They made such a big thing about Google's Chrome, for example, that you could say that the whole thing is a blatant show of hypocrisy on Microsoft's part.

      Having said that, however, I wouldn't cut them a lot of slack, especially not as it appears that renaming and reissuing highly unpopular "features" within the operating system, not to mention backporting these features to Windows 8.x and Windows 7 and forcefully downloading to users that have already expressed their wish not to "upgrade" shows that Microsoft are only interested in what they can get out of you. I've read items from apologists in various places (they seem to monopolise ZDNet at the moment, for example) but Microsoft's actions speak louder than any apologist's rantings.

    2. Joe Werner

      Re: So maybe a bit of tinfoil is justified after all ?

      "There have been commenters stepping up to say that, Microsoft having acknowledged a bug in its download image, we should all consider that MS is not that shady and cut it some slack."

      Yes, my first thought exactly and I do stand corrected. Doing the Pavlovian response of "they are eeeevil, eeeeeevil! I tell you!" would indeed have been correct. I just do not like that reflex of immediately bashing MS for all evil in the world...

      1. Pascal Monett Silver badge
        Trollface

        Re: immediately bashing MS for all evil in the world

        That would indeed be exaggerated.

        Putin is responsible for some of it.

  23. stuartnz

    Can't find it?

    I can't find any service in my Services with the exact name "Connected User Experiences and Telemetry", nor any with either "Connected User Experiences" or "Telemetry" in their name. I'm running 10 Pro 1511 build 10586.14, all updates installed. Is it perhaps not part of Pro?

    1. Simon Westerby 1

      Re: Can't find it?

      1511 should still have the "Diagnostics Tracking Service" in it - which is its old name.

    2. Thought About IT

      Re: Can't find it?

      I've just disabled it on the same Windows 10 version as you. I had previously turned off all spying options so am not at all happy that MS is using their update service to override my preferences.

    3. Alan Sharkey

      Re: Can't find it?

      I'm running 'Home' and it's there in services. For now, I've stopped and disabled it. Lets see what happens....

      Alan

      1. Steve Davies 3 Silver badge

        Re: Can't find it?

        Dear User,

        You seem to forget that you no longer OWN your computer. You relinqished ownership when you installed W10. Part of the license you accepted (in 3pt white on white on page 9999) gave title of your Computer to Microsoft plc.

        We are sorry but preferences don't count any more when they interfer with our stated data collection priorities.

        Yours (smugly)

        Microsoft

      2. stuartnz

        Re: Can't find it?

        Thanks. I'd deleted that service when I first installed Windows 10, following the instructions of a tutorial on Youtube.

  24. dogged

    Antivirus

    It uninstalled NOD32 on my test machine. That was irritating but it didn't complain when I reinstalled it myself.

    No privacy settings were altered.

  25. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
    FAIL

    Sir

    "Redmond doesn't need to read your email, it told everyone owns the OS so can see *everything*."

    tftfy

  26. Novex

    Retrocompromise

    It's this continual reconfiguring of the various settings and services that really pissed me off. I've moved to Linux Mint for general work now, so this is less of an issue for me, but it still worries me that this kind of screwing around to get user data is being done by Microsoft. It harms so many people who don't have a clue that this kind of data grabbing is going on, and even if they do take steps to try and restrict it, how can they keep up with the constant little changes? It's like Facebook with their constant buggering around with their privacy settings (and no, I'm not on Facebook). Microsoft have lost all credibility with me now.

  27. Anonymous Coward
    FAIL

    Microsoft is doing very well at getting customers to upgrade.............

    to Linux.

    People said Stallman was mad (well he is a bit) but he was right.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      He is just way smarter than most of us.

      If he was clean shaven (and clean?), had a haircut and wore a suit (or, perferably, a Jobs turteneck) everyone would admire him.

      As it is only those who can see beyond the surface admire him.

  28. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge
    Megaphone

    Can we have comparison of Windows privacy tools such as O&O ShutUp10 , Windows Privacy Tweaker etc? There are plenty of "reviews" available, when the only thing being reviewed is how easy they are to run, but I couldn't find useful reviews on how effective they actually are.

    1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      @Bronek Kozicki - The best Winbloat privacy tool is your favorite Linux distro. No spying, well behaved, and very polite. Many recommend Linux Mint as a good alternative to Winbloat.

  29. Mystic Megabyte Silver badge
    Unhappy

    I'm off to Change.org

    It's time that everyone should be writing to their MPs and explaining in (very) simple terms how this behaviour is unacceptable. Microsoft should not be allowed to have a pre-paid installation on non-Microsoft branded computers. When booting up a new device give a choice of buying Windows for £100 or Linux for £0. It would not be so bad if you could actually get a refund of the Windows Tax. How the hell have they got away with this so long?

    In the meantime I'm truly sorry for those of you who will have to support this odious OS.

    1. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: I'm off to Change.org

      Hmm.. not a bad idea... a choice. I'd pay for a pre-installed (without bloatware, thank you) Liniux that would require minimal configuration.

      Which, as a newbee to the Linux world and researching... is there such a thing with a distro that would require minimal config? Also allow some of the legacy programs that are Windows only? I get a lot of mixed signals here and on the many of the sites with Linux distros, we Linux newbees seem to blasted into smithereens.

      Disclaimer: I've run some of the old Linux/Unix distros probably 10-15 years ago, but the current batch still seems to need a lot of user input and knowledge to get it up and running.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: I'm off to Change.org

        @Mark 85

        Most of the distros these days come up in a usable manner with little or no custom config. Some such as Zorin set out specifically to be as Windows-like as possible. I installed that on a couple of PCs for a cousin but it's some time ago & I can't remember off the top of my head whether it included Wine so Windows stuff would run automagically. [Quick Google - yes it does but best to check your programs' compatibilities at https://appdb.winehq.org/ ]. Mint is also a good bet.

        If you install a Linux distro alongside Windows you should be able to open the Windows partitions to see your existing files. LibreOffice will be installed with practically any distro & will open your MS Office files. There'll be some gui-based text editor, probably such as gedit, kwrite or mousepad which will open your notepad files and a PDF viewer.

      2. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: I'm off to Change.org

        "the current batch still seems to need a lot of user input and knowledge to get it up and running"

        Not really. The only annoying thing is creating bootable media (which you can first run directly from to make sure your hardware works ok).

        This is why pre-installed OSs rule so far.

        Look for a pre-loaded USB drive from some reputable source, or boot DVD if that's better with your machine.

        1. Mark 85 Silver badge

          Re: I'm off to Change.org

          Thanks Dr. Syntax and Anonymous Boring Coward. That clears things up for me.

      3. Eion MacDonald

        Re: I'm off to Change.org

        Two ways to try. One Download a Knoppix Linux ISO and burn to a DVD disc (note Not COPY). Run a computer with Knoppix DVD as a Live Linux (google 'live linux'), then make a USB Key of Knoppix from inside Knoppix. You can then run any machine provided you have BIOS set to start from DVD or USB key as aLinux system without altering your windows set up.

        Second the same applies to other Linux distributions, but I find Knoppix is better to find and work with unknown hardware on a first attempt.

        Third , if Live Linux of your choice is OK. Just dual boot or use Linux.

  30. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The leopard's spots...

    ...haven't changed, despite the few sops towards openness and rampant PR puffery.

    Even under Nadella MS is anti-freedom, anti-user, anti-choice and anti-privacy. You are only continuing to reinforce the rod for your back if you continue to deploy Windows in any meaningful way. I mean, we're talking about a company that provides a mechanism for OEMs to rootkit your Windows images FFS!

    If you can; migrate to open protocols, open standards, open formats and tell the MS drones where to ram their software.

    If you can't; demand your software/hardware vendors look beyond MS before you go and find one of their competitors who does.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: The leopard's spots...

      Interesting the support this had garnered on a mostly pro-MS site. Does this mean MS has lost its way in the modern world?

      1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: The leopard's spots...

        > on a mostly pro-MS site

        If you think El Reg is a "a mostly pro-MS site" then you haven't been here long. Mostly we commentards are equal-opportunity cynics..

      2. Daniel B.

        Re: The leopard's spots...

        This is not ZDNet, El Reg is most definitely not a pro-MSFT site. There are a few MSFT shills, but a majority of the commenters, or staff, they do not make at all.

  31. kz20fl2

    What a shock!

    Quelle surprise....another thing to add to my list of "secure Windows 10" tick boxes

    http://appsensebigot.blogspot.co.uk/2015/11/windows-10-part-4-secure-your-privacy.html

  32. Calum Morrison
    Thumb Down

    Connected User Experiences and Telemetry Service?

    That's a bit of a sloppy mouthful; I think it needs a snappy acronym. Connected User experiences N' Telemetry Service perhaps?

    1. gazthejourno (Written by Reg staff)

      Moderator comment

      Enough of the vaginal puns, please, everyone.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Moderator comment

        @Gazthejourno

        "It's true that obscenity is a matter of taste and in the eye of the beholder." - Christopher Hitchens

    2. Daniel B.

      Re: Connected User Experiences and Telemetry Service?

      Windows Application Network Kernel Experience Recollection Service would be a far better name for that service, wouldn't it?

  33. NanoMeter

    Upgraded to Win 10

    on my portable which I use once or twice a month. Use it with Startisback-button.

    I have decided to let Win 7 stay on my desktop computer which I use daily.

  34. theOtherJT

    “Connected User Experiences and Telemetry Service”

    You know, the first thing that went through my head when I heard that was

    "Combined spinal injuries and maternity ward"

    and I find the concept about as appealing. With a name like that you just _know_ it's going to be something you don't want to be part of.

  35. Efros

    Shutup10

    Nice little free utility will shut down all this nonsense, and more.

  36. AustinTX

    As long as data-slurping is profitable...

    ...they'll keep doing it. So let's have a nice open-source service we can install which intercepts microsloth's telemetry and replaces it with lies. Ones which fall within valid limits, but which completely protect the privacy of the PC user.

    I'd also like to hear what deals they're giving to corporations which weirdly choose to run on W10 (or is that WX?) I can't believe a corporation is going to permit all their personal activity to be broadcast outside their firewall. Even if there's just a few W10 devices, there should be a provision to silence them.

    1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      Re: As long as data-slurping is profitable...

      Companies using Win 10 can probably be counted on the toes of your right hand.

      1. Chika
        Coat

        Re: As long as data-slurping is profitable...

        Companies using Win 10 can probably be counted on the toes of your right hand.

        For now, probably. No doubt some smaller companies that don't use domains and such may have "upgraded", possibly against their will as has been the case in some home environments.

        The trouble there is that there are those out there that will, given the choice, swallow anything that Microsoft sends their way. When Vista came out, they were proud to have all their systems ready. Same with W7 and W8. Same with the server systems, though I should note that many of the server releases have been a lot better than the desktop equivalents, probably because the main part of a server doesn't really change that much from system to system and Microsoft knows better than to take risks with servers (hopefully!)

        One of my previous employers is probably already feverishly peddling out W10 and is drooling over W2K16 Server as we speak...

    2. elDog Silver badge

      Re: As long as data-slurping is profitable...

      Good idea! No, I mean it.

      For the "Pro" version we could add some telemetry that sticks it to someone we don't like. You know, show how Putin likes to visit little boy sites.

    3. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

      Re: As long as data-slurping is profitable...

      I suggest we replace the telemetry by Marvin the Paranoid Android's autobiography. Any AI on the receiving end would quite quickly commit suicide.

      More practically, I suggest we send the word "NI!" or "eki eki eki patang zoo poing zzraazrroohhhh... NI! (ssshh!)"

  37. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    "As Microsoft explained:"

    That link takes you to a post by a windows user quoting a blog quoting the privacy policy of the technical preview.

  38. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    No

    Examples of data we collect include your name, email address, preferences and interests; browsing, search and file history; phone call and SMS data; device configuration and sensor data; and application usage.

    Nice.

    When you're doing stuff online you sort of expect the sites to have this sort of data because you're actually using their systems and your data is on their physical servers (whether or not they actually do anything with it is a legal/ethic issue, not a technical one).

    But when using my machine, I expect it to stay on their unless I explicitly send it out. We've all spend a lot of time and money to protect ourselves from software that steels our private data but when the operating system is doing it, it's game over.

    I'm sorry Microsoft, but you can stick your spyware up your arse. Bye!

    1. Chika
      Trollface

      Re: No

      I'm sorry Microsoft, but you can stick your spyware up your arse. Bye!

      They probably already have. Didn't somebody already mention Special High Intensity Training?

  39. TheOtherHobbes

    Connected User Notifications and Telemetry Service, surely?

    1. cd

      I think we need to probe this.

  40. Stoneshop Silver badge
    Holmes

    You don't say

    But Windows 10 is bad for your privacy, and it is damaging Microsoft’s reputation as a trusted consumer brand.

    Contender for the Understatement of the Year award.

  41. malle-herbert Silver badge
    Big Brother

    This isn't a coincidence...

    And as I have said before... Windows 10 isn't free...

    You'll pay for it... one way or another...

  42. RobHib
    Flame

    Why no outrage over Microsoft spying?

    I find it very difficult to understand why there hasn't been outrage over Microsoft's spying in Windows 10. Moreover, it's very strange as to why EU regulators didn't pounce on Microsoft the moment the spying was recognized.

    Why are regulators so damn scared of Microsoft?

    If people want to be spied on for some perceived advantage then they should be provided with an explicit warning to that effect, then after agreeing they would tick a defaulted-off box to 'on'. Later, if they changed their minds then they could deselect the option.

    This is one of the few times I wish hackers would patch out all these loss-of-privacy options at a binary level. I for one would welcome a 'clean' patch utility to do just this. A Linux boot disk with a once-only utility on board to do just that would solve the problem.

    In the meantime regulators ought to be forced to take Microsoft to court for blatant privacy violation.

    1. Jagged

      Re: Why no outrage over Microsoft spying?

      Regulators aren't scared of Microsoft. They just move at different speeds. Glacial.

      1. RobHib

        @Jagged - Re: Why no outrage over Microsoft spying?

        My question was rhetorical of course. Perhaps I'm more cynical than you. Microsoft wields power, influence and many lobbyists; ordinary users usually can't/don't.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Why no outrage over Microsoft spying?

      Why are regulators so damn scared of Microsoft?

      I don't think they are.

      For whatever reason, I believe that Microsoft's intentions are OK as far as our governments are concerned.

      1. RobHib
        Devil

        @JustaKOS - Re: Why no outrage over Microsoft spying?

        Right, Microsoft has good-to-excellent PR with governments and corporates, most see it as a highly successful, profitable company (which it is). For most of the 30 years of Windows, Microsoft was an unchallenged monopoly and thus the majority of PC users were only familiar with its products (thus learning alternatives wasn't on the agenda–no one wanted to throw away his/her skills in MS products, so most were protective of MS when they heard criticism of it).

        The result is that it's been almost impossible to explain to the general public Microsoft's sins in any comprehensible way (i.e.: there was no stomach for widespread reporting/news* on the subject). To make matters worse, ordinary users through to governments simply didn't and still don't understand the issues with sufficient depth which means that Microsoft's PR department had (and still has) little trouble brushing off criticism of serious issues such as security breaches, etc. onto perpetrators/hackers etc. MS comes out essentially lily-white, it's baddies that cause all the problems.

        To top it off, the IT industry has never formed any cohesive policy on the issue (as many ITers also had a considerable 'investment' in/knowledge of Microsoft products–many rely on MS like sucker fish for their income–at times me included). Thus, the 'noise' always came from the 1% of PC users who used Linux, the small percentage of Apple users and the 'IT whingers' such as many of us here at El Reg–those of us bleeding from having been on MS's cutting edge. All up, this would have hardly amounted to 10% of the world's PC users, thus we could be (and were) ignored.

        However, that MS nexus has been seriously broken in recent years by the phenomenal growth of Google/Android, the remarkable phoenix-like resurrection of Apple together with the major shift in software usage (smartphones etc.). Ten years ago, no one would have predicted what has happened. It's a phenomenal change.

        Microsoft is now very vulnerable, so it's time to kick it screaming all the way into the professional world of real engineering (and it's going to be much easier than it would have been ten years ago).

        __

        * The IT media were (and still are) compliant, over the years there's been precious little effective criticism of MS or any in-depth analysis of the problems with MS software (mostly, criticism was of the indirect kind about patches, workarounds, etc.). Big IT publishers, such as ZDNet were particularly compliant and there were few exceptions El Reg being one of them (it's probably the reason these posts are often so critical of MS, as those of us in the know have had to gravitate here. ;-)

        1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

          Re: @JustaKOS - Why no outrage over Microsoft spying?

          @RobHib - Slurp also got lucky that major competitors in the late 80's and early 90's almost uniformly were run by the dimmest of PHBs. Linux is a usable form (for average users) did not exist at that time. OS/2 was an IBM fiasco that the average PHB would not make. Slurp was able to capture most of the OS market by various means some rather illegal at that time.

          Slurp has had a good 20 year run but the market shifted. Other products and players are entering that challenge them. Unix, BSD, and Linux in various guises are commonly used by the average user today even if the user is unaware of the fact. Users seem to be more adaptable than Slurp expected using none Winbloat OSes on many devices without any problems. What is holding most users back on the desktop is a lack of awareness of their options and the fact that most home users do not really need any Slurp products including Office. Except for some highly specialized Winbloat applications there functional equivalents to all the common applications including online services.

          1. RobHib

            @ a_yank_lurker - Re: @JustaKOS - Why no outrage over Microsoft spying?

            '... by the dimmest of PHBs.' - Absolutely, I recall around that time being invited into a couple of board rooms in Silicon Valley and I was told some of the assumptions those companies had made and I couldn't quite believe how stupid they were. Needless to say, those companies are only memories these days.

            Correct, OS/2 was a fiasco but the choice was limited, either the UNIX road, CP/M and or DOS or preemptive multitasking OS/2. At the time, if UNIX was out (for various reasons such as a business already using IBM's mainframes etc.) then OS/2 was often the best option.

            Right too about the 20-year run, there's no doubt the stars all lined up for various reasons (there's already many books about it, the definitive ones still have to be written).

            'Users seem to be more adaptable than Slurp expected...' Initially this wasn't the case (seems the pre-PC generation who actually managed to adapt to the PC were less inclined to relearn new ropes than the generation born to PCs who adapted with relish (few seemed to appreciate how quickly they would adapt, me included).

            1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

              Re: @ a_yank_lurker - @JustaKOS - Why no outrage over Microsoft spying?

              @RobHib - I know some aging users who have migrated from DOS to Winbloat to OSX or Linux. The transition from Winbloat to OSX or Linux was fairly easy for them. GUI interfaces are basically the same.

        2. Pompous Git Silver badge

          Re: @JustaKOS - Why no outrage over Microsoft spying?

          For most of the 30 years of Windows, Microsoft was an unchallenged monopoly

          And it's worth thinking about why this was so. Initially, nobody was at all interested in developing applications for Windows. The market for DOS applications was thriving. As one wag said to me at the time: "If I wanted a slow computer with a graphical interface, I'd buy a Mac."

          As a consequence, BillG hired a team of devs to write Winword and Excel who had no choice. Secondly, MS gave away the Windows SDK for free to virtually any developer who wanted a copy. IBM were charging around a thousand dollars US at the time for the OS/2 SDK. Neither giving away SDKs for free, nor hiring developers were at all illegal back then. And it's a certainty that IBM were in a much better financial position to undercut any price that MS set on its products.

          IBM's arrogance even extended to hardware. I was training at an NGO when the receptionist's PS/2 she used had its hdd die. I replaced it and expected to get into the BIOS using the Del key. No dice. I telephoned IBM support who asked me for the machine's ID code. It had been on a sticker on the side of the case, but had worn away. When I informed the IBMer of this, she said "We can't help you then." and hung up. This was in the days before the WWW and it took several phone calls over two days to ascertain the key press needed to enter the BIOS.

          Needless to say the NGO never purchased from IBM again.

          1. RobHib

            @Pompus Git - Re: @JustaKOS - Why no outrage over Microsoft spying?

            '..."We can't help you then." and hung up.

            Yeah, I well remember that attitude. Also, I recall one of my staff left and went to work for IBM. He'd left us in jeans and T-shirt and some months later paid us a visit as a dapper-suited ponce sporting a flashy tie. He explained that dress code was often more important to IBM than the work.

            Mind you, this isn't my only backroom source of IBM information, besides my work being a reasonably large customer of its PCs, some years beforehand I was trained on an IBM mainframe, so I was well acquainted how inflexible the company was back then.

            No wonder the new nimble generation outwitted them.

            1. Pompous Git Silver badge

              @RobHib

              I remember being very impressed by William H. Rodgers' Think; A Biography of the Watsons and IBM back in the early 70s. Not the kind of place you'd find The Pompous Git!

          2. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

            Re: PS/2 BIOS

            "it took several phone calls over two days to ascertain the key press needed to enter the BIOS."

            Sure about that? PS/2 machines did not have built-in BIOS setup. They needed a config floppy with a misleading name - a reference disk, if memory serves right. This floppy had to have a special .adf config file for every odd Micro Channel adapter in the machine, or no work to be done that day. Quite annoying. Especially in pre-www days.

            TBH, PS/2 wasn't the only family of weird beasts out there. Older Compaq machines like Deskpro 286 also needed a set of config floppies. It was possible to install these floppies on the HDD and call out via F10 key. Unless you had to replace the HDD - in that case, back to floppies again.

            1. Pompous Git Silver badge

              Re: PS/2 BIOS

              Could be faulty memory regarding the model. It was the first IBM I had to get into and, thankfully, the last. It was a 486 SX and definitely a PS [mumble-mumble]. Once I was in the BIOS it was straightforward setting the number of heads and cylinders.

              1. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

                Re: PS/2 BIOS

                Could have been PS/1 then, or PS/VP. These had BIOS setup in ROM. Can't remember the entry key though. Somewhere around 1995 IBM started to use F1 key for most machines.

                Anyhow, in 90's there were dozens of possible keys and weird key combos around. Del worked on a rather small fraction of machines.

                1. Pompous Git Silver badge

                  Re: PS/2 BIOS

                  Del worked on a rather small fraction of machines.

                  Oddly, most of the machines I've owned have used Del, but then I've mostly built my own. My Zenith 286 used Ctrl-Alt-Esc IIRC. Most of the alternatives I've come across have been on notebook computers.

    3. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      Re: Why no outrage over Microsoft spying?

      EU regulaturs are like syrup: Thick and slow moving.

    4. King Jack
      Big Brother

      Re: Why no outrage over Microsoft spying?

      What M$ is doing is a governments wet dream. I'm sure the UK government are happy with this as it will save them time and money in the future as they bring mass spying of the public into law. I just hope that M$ gets hacked and all the slurped data for important people are spaffed everywhere. Then the witch-hunts will begin.

    5. Kiwi Silver badge
      Linux

      Re: Why no outrage over Microsoft spying? @RobHib

      A Linux boot disk with a once-only utility on board to do just that would solve the problem.

      They do. All of them. Usually 3rd or 4th icon on the desktop. They have the added bonus of being a permanent fix for all your registry woes and (nearly) all AV issues.

      The name starts with "install".

  43. steamnut

    Only when there is no alternative

    Microsoft's almost desperate efforts to gather our data by covert means - even back-porting it into Win8 and, possibly, Win7 - has made my decision to use Linux for all of my business computing requirements unless there is absolutely no alternative very easy.

    Software that will run under XP will be run on our virtualised XP systems.

    We have just one Win7 system for use when there is no alternative. All network traffic goes through a Linux firewall so we can keep an eye on what data is being sent to the dark-one.

  44. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    “Connected User Experiences and Telemetry Service”

    Should be

    “Connected User experieNces and Telemetry Service”

    And then you have what they are - a bunch of ***ts.

  45. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    The determination is impressive

    Unless you're a shareholder, since the determination appears to be to alienate as many users as possible. Every instance and revision on the misbegotten W8/W10 path has failed to do what users wanted, whilst adding stuff that users didn't ask for or actively don't want.

    Not only do I now need to (again) edit the services on all the W8 and W10 home machines, but I really ought to change all the sensitive passwords because the twerps at Redmond have intentionally compromised them

    Perhaps the Reg could put a question to Nutella: "Why does Microsoft persist in being a corporate @rsehole?"

  46. Mage Silver badge

    You couldn't make this up!

    Maybe MS has bought Redhat, Ubuntu or Suse and is set to launch Linux-on-everything once they have totally destroyed the desire of business to upgrade (or use Windows at all!). I bet they add this to XP, Vista, Win7 and Win 8.x. Or the last two.

    What are they thinking of?

    This probably isn't even legal in most of the World.

  47. chivo243 Silver badge
    Stop

    Professionally vs Personally

    Professionally, I will keep supporting MS Products, as it pays part of the bills at this time, this may change in the future. Personally, I don't see any MS product later that Win7 crossing the threshold of my home. I have even stopped accepting "side jobs" that involve Win8 or above.

    1. RobHib
      Happy

      @ chivo243 - Re: Professionally vs Personally

      Bravo! Same here.

  48. Bloodbeastterror

    Services.msc

    I'm a fair fan of Windows - I think without Bill Gates personal computing wouldn't have reached the levels we're at now.

    But... to those who say "accident" I retort thus - someone ***wrote a module*** specifically designed to slurp all this personal data. The inclusion of the module may have been an accident (hmmm.... right... "Review team, has anyone noticed this module right here? Do you think it's ok? Ok then...") but its deliberate writing wasn't. Scummy.

    No doubt most people will know how to disable it, but for those who don't - start menu, type services.msc, find the service, properties, disable.

    My level of trust is now so low that I've restarted my laptop to make sure they aren't re-enabling it by default. They aren't.

    1. Sir Runcible Spoon Silver badge
      Trollface

      Re: Services.msc

      "I'm a fair fan of Windows - I think without Bill Gates personal computing wouldn't have reached the levels we're at now."

      You are probably right, without him it would probably be a lot better by now.

      1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

        Re: Services.msc

        Before Windows became popular, I used various UNIX versions (SCO, Sys V, BSD, etc).

        The 80286 PCs were running stably, with little RAM, multitasking nicely.

        Then came the Ctrl-Alt-Delete nightmare of MS.

        I think they set back computer evolution 10-15 years.

        Thank god for Linux and Free BSD.

        1. Bloodbeastterror

          Re: Services.msc

          You guys are *harsh*... :-)

      2. RobHib

        @ Sir Runcible Spoon - Re: Services.msc

        Correct, and I'll bet history will eventually prove it.

    2. elDog Silver badge

      Re: Services.msc

      I'm a fair fan of Windows - I think without Bill Gates personal computing wouldn't have reached the levels we're at now.

      Hello out there. There were a lot better alternatives to the PC-DOS that Gates foisted on the nascent personal computer world. The only reason it conquered were the letters IBM, which later rued the day they let that whipper-snapper do his thing.

      I was happily using CPM, DR-DOS, some other PC-based versions of UNIX and VMS. But all of a sudden all the PHB's heard about the new IBM-approved version of a microcomputer OS and we're where all PHB efforts end up.

      No doubt most people will know how to disable it, but for those who don't - start menu, type services.msc, find the service, properties, disable.

      I'm sure you are having a bit of an off day. Please tell Aunty Mabel how to disable these snooping services. Especially when they decide to change their names. Or have auxillary services that restart the Stopped/Disabled ones.

      1. Bloodbeastterror

        Re: Services.msc

        @elDog

        " Please tell Aunty Mabel how to disable these snooping services."

        Wot...? Am I being stupid? Communicate, guy, communicate.

        1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

          Re: Services.msc

          "Wot...? Am I being stupid?"

          Sure looks like it.

          1. Bloodbeastterror

            Re: Services.msc

            "Sure looks like it."

            Thank you. Please explain it in simple terms that I can understand then.

      2. RobHib
        Angel

        @elDog - Re: Services.msc

        PIP B:=A:*.COM [VO]

        I think that syntax is correct but it's been a long time! OK, I've thrown my credentials down so I feel qualified to reply. :-)

        Yeah, at the time I was using all the same stuff and it was pretty solid, software and hardware just worked as it was supposed to. Some manuals were often cryptic but once you got the hang of them they were accurate and comprehensive, Kildall's CP/M manuals are a case in point. On the other hand, the IBM PC tech manuals (which I still have) were a delight to use, even the hardware came with circuit diagrams and component layouts etc. (one could stick an oscilloscope onto an IC pin and actually figure out what was happening–shame we don't produce stuff in the same manner and with the same thoroughness these days). And if one had an Intel MDS/ICE–In Circuit Emulator complete with bond-out chip–then you could do pretty much anything (that's assuming one understood the implications of the .ASM extension which was pretty much mandatory in those days).

        Nevertheless, it was far from a bed of roses: switch off UNIX machines without powering down and you'd likely have serious problems; the damn 8*3 file name limitations in CP/M; and the puny 1M address space of those toy 8085s etc. (even 80286 was a bitch) meant that the size of jobs that we could tackle was rather limited.

        Trouble was, useability was an issue (Kildall seemed to have little regard for it), then when we thought things were getting a little better with OS/2, Gates came along and fragmented the market, not to mention made products much more proprietary.

        Today, (at least for ITers etc.) things are in a bloody shambles, we might be told what services.msc actually is but we've not a clue (or no practical one anyway) about how services 'bolt' onto say the kernel, such is proprietary nature of MS products.

        For the last 30 years or so these have been serious issues for IT as the average IT person either didn't have to skills or more likely the time to establish a research project to reverse-engineer such code. Of course, the consequences of this were serious, Windows was like a Swiss cheese, vulnerabilities everywhere, and the only truly knowledgeable people were often the hackers.

        Gates might have built an empire but he's left a bloody disaster in his wake. It's been a damn tragedy really (as I've said elsewhere, one day history will inevitably come to that conclusion).

  49. hoveringfalcon

    BITLOCKER ISSUE

    Did they fix that Bitlocker issue in Self Encrypting Drive SSDs yet?

  50. 27escape

    Sorry we slurped all your data for a while

    But we've switched it off again now.

    We may share it with our friends in the NSA if they ask for it or maybe they already asked for it and this is how we collected it!

    Potential for the conspiracy people to have a field day with this, though as ever human failures are the most likely cause

  51. vacantrob

    Not so black and white...

    After reading this and following the links in the article I have been checking my own update.

    I use Cisco VPN all day everyday. It was there and working fine post upgrade. I wonder if the missing software after upgrade is due to something like having to reinstall it but it fails for some reason... or I can imagine an older version of the Cisco VPN not being carried over. They are not so compatible with Windows 8 or 10.

    Anyway, just saying my CISCO VPN was working fine after the upgrade.

  52. Wade Burchette

    Thankfully, I figured out how to block it at the router level

    I have the Asus RT-AC66U router. If you can install the Merlin firmware on your Asus router or if you can install DD-WRT on your router, you can block all this tracking at the router by modifying the DNSMASQ settings. I didn't install DD-WRT on my Asus router, but the Merlin firmware still lets you modify the DNSMASQ. It is a lot easier with DD-WRT, but install it can be a chore.

    The short version is I used a SSH shell to connect to the router, went to the /jffs/configs/ folder, used the Linux command cat > dnsmasq.conf.add and finally just copied and pasted all the commands for every bad Windows domain name (i.e. address=/a.ads1.msn.com/0.0.0.0). The DNSMASQ domain names are available on many sites, such https://github.com/WindowsLies/BlockWindows. After a router restart, no computer on my network can connect to any of these tracking websites.

    1. elDog Silver badge

      Re: Thankfully, I figured out how to block it at the router level

      Aren't MS changing the IP addresses they connect to? How do you stay on top of these changes?

      Are we reaching the point that we need to white-list IP ranges? With expiration dates and some further verification as the monied parties start to buy IP ranges from each other?

    2. Vic

      Re: Thankfully, I figured out how to block it at the router level

      used the Linux command cat > dnsmasq.conf

      Should that not have been cat >> dnsmasq.conf ?

      Vic.

  53. msknight Silver badge

    Windows 7 post on Microsoft forum

    It looks like the original was deleted, but fortunately, Web Archive has our back...

    http://web.archive.org/web/20151020074848/http://answers.microsoft.com/en-us/windows/forum/windows8_1-update/what-is-diagnostics-tracking-service-which-was/253fe2ec-fba6-4240-bfb8-2a3bdc801ed1

    Windowsforme commented...

    "Addictive, seriously?

    I'm not here to pick up a fight or anything, but your answer kinda looks like a "desperate attempt" to justify a wrong behavior by MS.

    I have been using Windows since Windows 98.

    And I've NEVER had a virus/malware/spyware on the computer since Windows Vista.

    The ONLY spyware I got, was delivered by Microsoft as this "Optional Update"."

    And also commented...

    "My primary reason for posting this was to understand why they're doing this, but I'm glad some users will read this and avoid the update."

    ...well, apparently they won't any more, because the original post seems to have... strangely... vanished.

  54. Graham Cobb

    Anyone got a VM config guide for isolating Windows?

    I am a Linux and open source guy. All my personal machine are Linux (although my employer supplies a Win 7 system for work).

    One day I will retire, and I acknowledge that I may need a Windows system occasionally. In fact, I acknowledge the unfortunate fact that Outlook is a great PIM -- and much better than any of the free alternatives (including Kdepim and Evolution). I will probably decide that I find Outlook sufficiently useful to be willing to pay Microsoft for a licence for it and for the OS to run it on. I don't begrudge them their licence fee but I don't want to find, after the fact, that MS have been snooping on me because I hadn't heard about some new privacy violating service they have installed.

    So, does anyone maintain a script to configure a Linux VM that can be used to run Windows in a limited environment, with the network config for the VM set up to go through a firewall blocking anything but a few whitelisted sites? I know it isn't rocket science but it seems like others must have done this already.

    1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

      Re: Anyone got a VM config guide for isolating Windows?

      I don't have script for that since my solution is rather more complex than merely running Windows in a VM, but see my last post at the end of thread For Windows guest - KVM or XEN and which distro for host?

    2. Palpy

      Re: Anyone got a VM config guide for isolating Windows?

      @Graham -- Qubes is reportedly able to run Windows in a VM, currently using Xen. I have not done that myself; I'm a fair newbie to Qubes and just run the default Fedora. But running guest OSes under a bare-metal hypervisor with kernel isolation and configurable levels of VM security seems useful.

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Anyone got a VM config guide for isolating Windows?

      "One day I will retire,"

      Welcome to the club.

      "and I acknowledge that I may need a Windows system occasionally. In fact, I acknowledge the unfortunate fact that Outlook is a great PIM"

      If you need a PIM after you've retired you're doing it wrong ;)

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: Anyone got a VM config guide for isolating Windows?

        If you need a PIM after you've retired you're doing it wrong ;)

        If you don't need a PIM after retirement then you either retired quite young, or lead a very boring life. A few years ago I was having trouble working with an elderly client on her book; she would regularly fail to turn up for appointments. When she explained it was a memory problem I said:

        "Don't you write things down?"

        "Oh yes, "Ruth said cheerily,"but neither John nor I can ever remember where!"

        1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

          Re: Anyone got a VM config guide for isolating Windows?

          "appointments"

          That's the problem right there. As far as possible you turn up when you feel like it and don't turn up at all when you don't want to. As for the rest there's either a mechanism (e.g. 2nd Tuesday in the month) or a scribbled note on the kitchen calendar.

          1. Pompous Git Silver badge

            Re: Anyone got a VM config guide for isolating Windows?

            Aah, you are a youngster then. Most of my appointments are at the doctor or the hospital. If you fail to show at the appointed time, then you miss out. They run to their schedule which has never been of the nature of "2nd Tuesday in the month". Since my continued survival appears to hinge on their ministrations, I make a habit of keeping those appointments.

            As for notes on the kitchen calendar, by the time I arrive in the city it's more than likely I will have forgotten I possess a kitchen calendar, never mind its contents ;-)

            Anyhoo, my PIM for these many years long past has been a Collins "Week to an Opening" FY pocket diary. Hence my routine when leaving the house: "me spectacles, me testicles, me vallet, me vatch and me diary".

            1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

              Re: Anyone got a VM config guide for isolating Windows?

              There is, of course, something more effective than any PIM, calendar or diary. SWMBO.

    4. Kiwi Silver badge

      Re: Anyone got a VM config guide for isolating Windows? @ Graham Cobb

      I will probably decide that I find Outlook sufficiently useful to be willing to pay Microsoft for a licence for it and for the OS to run it on.

      I once pissed off a former boss by showing him that Office versions up to 2010 installed quite happily on Wine without any special effort. Put in the disk/mount the ISO/ double click the MSI. Run through the prompts as normal. Done.

      Tested on Ubuntu 10.04, Mint 11 and whatever Mint was standard in 2013 (may have been 11, I may've shown it to him twice to piss him off even more by doing it in front of a customer when he was bitching about it)

  55. simpfeld

    Worse than Google

    A lot of people dismiss this as just being like what Android does. I think what W10 is substantially worse.

    1/ With Android they "only" log my activity when I interact with Google. I can avoid this, or at least I know when (using maps, Google Now, gmail etc). I can use my own mail services, Firefox, etc W10 logs *everything* , i've tried that experiment of watching it phone home when firing up the calculator.

    2/ MS are moving to uninstall software automatically. Google have never done this.

    3/ Even if I don't like this level of containment of Google I can replace their Android with Cyanogenmod. Even though a bit of a faff, there is no option to do this with W10.

    4/ This is my PC, was an open device, I've come to expect this. I expect more from this than my phone or tablet. This makes W10 so much worse.

    How long until media companies etc ask for undesirable programs to be removed or at least who has them so they can sue people?

    2/ if

    1. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

      Re: Worse than Google

      MS sure has moved the boundaries for what an "operating system" means.

      A new term is needed for PC infections that masquerade as operating systems.

      1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: Worse than Google

        There already is a term ... DOS

        Deceitful

        Operating

        System

    2. CompUser

      Re: Worse than Google

      Same here. I use android without using Google services and avoid any information collection.

      Windows 10 is worse in the way they violate your privacy, its sort of an active process. Google collects information when you come to them. Microsoft hunts your information down. Passive versus active. The active is far worse.

  56. Diodelogic

    I Can't Seem to Find

    anything called "Connected User Experiences and Telemetry Service". Is that the actual name as would be listed in Services? Or where?

    1. matrix29bear

      Re: I Can't Seem to Find

      "Connected User Experiences and Telemetry Service"

      How about "STASI User Observation and Tattletale Enslavement"

      1. Diodelogic

        Re: I Can't Seem to Find

        matrix29bear, thank you for your very helpful response. I'm still not switching from Windows.

    2. Daniel B.

      Re: I Can't Seem to Find

      Your version probably still has the older "diagnostic tracking service" named version of that "feature".

      1. Diodelogic

        Re: I Can't Seem to Find

        Daniel: I've got the 1511 version and neither service shows up. I dunno what is going on but I guess if it's not there, the telemetry isn't either. Thanks for the suggestion, though.

        1. Solmyr ibn Wali Barad

          Re: I Can't Seem to Find

          If neither service is present, maybe you have uninstalled KB3022345/KB3068708? Or managed to intercept them before install?

          1. Diodelogic

            Re: I Can't Seem to Find

            Solmyr: I haven't uninstalled anything (so far as I know) and I haven't deliberately intercepted anything, but your comment gives me someplace definite to look. Thank you.

  57. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

    Lawsuits

    Slurp is heading into shoals they should avoid. Resetting user choices, removing software, and other mucking about when "updating" leaves a foul taste. I know people who are planning to move to another OS because of these actions - customers Slurp has permanently lost. Many are not geeks but have heard from their informal IT department the Slurp is jumped the shark with W10 and are listening.

    Right now the migration is taking two forms: refusal to upgrade to W10 or switching to another OS. The first is subtly damaging. These users will not be upgrading to W10 but will not show up as a lost customer until later - the W10 kit they never bought. The second, more vocal and less numerous, are setting the stage for the first. The second is actively gaining experience with something else (Linux or OSX). As they learn that the transition is overall pretty easy, the biggest issue is application substitution (LibreOffice for MS Office, etc), they can help the first make a reasonable choice when they ditch Bloat.

    The one market where Slurp will hold onto for the near future is enterprise installations. Enterprise users, however, prize stability and consistency over featuritis. W10 suffers from a fatal case of featuritis.

  58. Bladeforce

    Unbelievable absolutely...

    ...unbelieveable...people moan and moan then moan some more about the data slurping and how abhorrent Microsoft is then continue using it. I mean talk about lost causes and how pathetic people sound

  59. J J Carter Silver badge
    Big Brother

    FAO tin-hatters

    If you've done nothing wrong, you've got nothing to worry about.

    1. chivo243 Silver badge
      Facepalm

      Re: FAO tin-hatters

      Let's try that again...

      If M$ have done nothing wrong, you've got nothing to worry about.

      Just because you trust M$ with personal data, doesn't mean some 21 yr olds at M$ aren't rifling through any of your data for interesting stuff?

      *

      1. Online gaming logins

      2. Dating site logins, I'm sure they won't tell you missu$

      3. GitHub login... oops my work is gone? but now I have a $50,000 bill from AWS?!

      4. Pictures of _____________. you fill in the blank.

      I seem to remember some NSA or FBI kids looking for porn daily in regular people's data that had been slurped.

  60. Palpy

    About leakage --- ?

    If the idea behind "any non-trivial program will have bugs" is down to complexity, is there a similar axiom for communications?

    "Any communication stream which has non-trivial complexity of connections will, at some points, be vulnerable to intrusion" perhaps?

    If something generally like that is possibly true, then even if Microsoft is using Windows' com streams purely for enhancing usability, it also means that as the complexity of the telemetry grows so too does the vulnerability of the system to intrusion.

    If so, this is the wrong way for a major OS to go. Black hats are not becoming less skilful, hacks are not becoming less sophisticated, malware code is not becoming less widespread. How much of what Cortana tells herself and Microsoft across your phones, laptops, public wifi, home wifi, will become exposed?

    Maybe Microsoft is not malevolent. But maybe they don't have to be malevolent to be a danger to your security, though.

    Dunno anything about that, really. Just thinking out loud. Curious what others think about it.

    1. a_yank_lurker Silver badge

      Re: About leakage --- ?

      @Patpy - The best way to avoid leaking data is not to collect any more than you absolutely need. This is the first rule of operational security. No one can leak what they do not have or know. With data collection the same rule applies, what you do not need do not collect. If one does not have it, a hack on you will never expose it, you never had it.

      Slurp (and others) fail to grasp that the best security policy for them is not protecting what you collect but what you do not collect from the start. The less one collects, the less one must secure. At most the OS or application vendor needs crash dumps to understand why a crash occurred.

      However the complaints against Slurp is they are resetting user settings, deleting programs, and generally harassing users with W10. User alienation is their biggest risk with these tactics.

  61. Michael H.F. Wilkinson Silver badge

    Just hunted down and terminated the Diagnostic Tracking service on this home win 8.1 box.

    To quote queen Victoria: "We are not amused"

  62. Cincinnataroo

    Thanks for that vital info. I've duly nuked that little evil piece of sub-humanity. So:

    1) We can't trust the government

    2) We can't trust those who advertise

    3) We can't really trust those who make operating systems

    4) Social media is junk.

    Back to rugged individualism folks. Trust nobody and do your own thing.

  63. Cincinnataroo

    Remember one thing

    on Windows you can change what runs and what doesn't, alter your hosts file,...

    For those who care and take the time you can be in control. For those who take the defaults, their problem

    1. elDog Silver badge

      Re: Remember one thing

      I'm suspecting some 'bot activity.

      No, you can't really control what runs and what doesn't. You can terminate processes, disable services, remove device drivers. But like any system, there can be hidden pieces that can restart these, perhaps under different names.

      One of the major complaints about this particularly nefarious MS telemetry is that it also uses direct IP addresses rather than relying on any HOSTS/LMHOSTS translation. If you and your mother-in-law are proficient with setting the routing table or router firewalls, perhaps you can stop the packets from going through. However the next MS update will probably change the IP addresses. Enjoy.

      "For those who take the defaults, their problem" - You mean 95% of the market, right? So MS is not to blame, just the stoopid people who buy their products. OK, I agree.

      1. RobHib

        Re: Remember one thing

        'However the next MS update will probably change the IP addresses.'

        That's why we need some binary hacks to nuke these bypasses for once and for all.

      2. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

        Re: Remember one thing

        One of the major complaints about this particularly nefarious MS telemetry is that it also uses direct IP addresses rather than ...

        ouch, that's a new one for me. It appears Microsoft are learning from VXers handbook. Thanks for the tip.

    2. RobHib

      @ Cincinnataroo - Re: Remember one thing

      One of these posts refers to a site that points out that some MS DLLs can bypass the hosts file. (Not being a Win 10 user, I've just learned this. I'll definitely be checking this out in more detail.)

    3. CompUser

      Re: Remember one thing

      The spyware bypasses your host file.

      It is possible to run programs that are hidden and cant be viewed by task manager. As a programmer, I've done it a few times.

      Do you think microsoft will leave the spyware that is collecting all of your personal information visible in task manager?

  64. This post has been deleted by its author

  65. Hans 1 Silver badge
    Mushroom

    >The Scroogled campaign positioned Microsoft itself as the ethical alternative; the occupier of the moral high ground.

    >For a while, it was.

    MS has never, ever had any kind of "moral high ground" over any other software purveyor on this planet, not for a minute, a second, or millisecond, ever. What are you guyz smoking ? Quit it, now!

    1. Chika
      Mushroom

      @Hans1

      I don't believe that anyone said that Microsoft actually had the moral high ground, just that it was attempting to claim it over Google.

      Hey! Pass it, don't hog it! ;-3-

  66. Adam_OSFP

    Ditch your Windows or shut up

    Yes, we, the Windows users, don't get to complain about Windows. We could use Linux distro of our choice and open source software only, but we don't. We choose to use Windows because it was pre-installed on the laptop we bought, or because we want to play some stupid game or use some program we think is better than its Linux equivalent. I used to complain a lot, but after trying Linux three times, and three times going back to Windows for the above stated reasons, it felt stupid to keep complaining. I'm not going to make a fool out of myself any more, by whining about something I know is bad for me and yet I use it for some silly reasons.

    1. Timmy B Silver badge

      Re: Ditch your Windows or shut up

      I have tried, and still do try, various Linux distributions every now and then. I have spent some time getting to know it. But will I use it day to day? No. Why? It still feels incomplete and awkward. As though it was put together by semi-professionals. I'm not saying Windows doesn't sometimes. But I've not seen a Linux distro that doesn't in many ways. Feel free to make suggestions and I may try something new. The same goes for development environments. I don't really see anything like Visual Studio or my favorite; Delphi. I've tried several but they all seem lacking - some in almost intangible ways - perhaps it's that I'm so familiar with windows versions. Again - feel free to make suggestions.

      Could I move to Linux - totally - and perhaps one day I will. Could I move to Apple - no - too costly (ok I could if I had the money). Would I swap from Windows? No. I prefer it. That's it - simply preference. The same reason I drive the type of car I do or wear the shoes I do. Comfort and preference.

      1. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Ditch your Windows or shut up

        "Delphi"

        Lazarus.

        1. Timmy B Silver badge

          Re: Ditch your Windows or shut up

          I tried Lazarus a long time ago. Looks very promising now. Will try again. Thanks.

      2. Kiwi Silver badge

        Re: Ditch your Windows or shut up

        It still feels incomplete and awkward.

        Funny, I think that each time MS copies, er sorry, invents some feature that's been in Linux for 10 years or more.

        And there's still a ton of usability things they've yet to manage - examples are I use multiple task bars (one per monitor), other bars which Cinamon, Mate, Gnome and KDE (at least) let you add easily (so my most used programs are along a bar on the top NOT cluttering up my taskbar space - which sometimes gets pretty valuable!). Even things as simple as being able to scroll a background window by putting the mouse over it and using the scroll wheel.. that's very useful (you're editing text in one window and referring to something in a browser but not wanting to copy/paste - rather than switch to browser, move browser text. switch back to editor you take mouse cursor to browser, scrollwheel to get browser to where you want, and carry on typing without having to click back and forth - old technology for Linux but likely decades away for MS!)

        Win 7 I must say is pretty good. 8, 8.1 and 10 are garbage and getting worse. Win10 is hell for people who have visual impairments, and even I (with well above average eyesight for someone on the wrong side of 40) find it hard to look at. And I only have to suffer it for minutes at a time, I'd hate to try and actually work with it.

        Reminds me of a kids drawing of boxes really. When they only have one crayon available. And advanced Parkinsons...

        MS products simply do not have the usability of most Linux ones - at least those I've tried.. (not considering 3rd party products here - for my purposes Linux ones work better with a couple of game exceptions)

        And I have to echo Dr Syntax on Lazarus. Use it for pretty much all my non-web programming now.

  67. Daniel Hall

    Tinfoil hats

    I would make a fortune from you lot if I just sold tinfoil hats.

    You're all over this with extremely little proof or anything solid to back up your concerns.

    And whats more, is that the data the OS collects is because it requires it for services to work as has been stated my many others and not just in this forum.

    If you dont like it then stop using it. Move onto something else, just stop flippin moaning.

    You're like a bunch of CHRILDREN that are whining their poor arses off.

    What would you do if your car started reporting back to its manufacturer its location every 5 minutes?

    You would go mad!

    BUT... What if it did this for a new service to send you an ambulance if it noticed you had been in a crash (detected by g sensors) but it had to go through your car manufacturer and not direct to the emergency service to ensure it wasnt being spoofed or for verification of the alert before wasting the ambulances time.

    Think outside the box a bit more, there is such a thing as outside away from your pit.

    1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge
      Coffee/keyboard

      Re: Tinfoil hats

      I understand you are making an argument that Microsoft ... is ... spying ... on users ... drum roll ... for their own good!

      1. Timmy B Silver badge

        Re: Tinfoil hats

        I would say that unless you know exactly the data and all of it you can't know that some of it isn't for the good of the user. Crash logs and dumps certainly are in some ways.

    2. Timmy B Silver badge

      Re: Tinfoil hats

      Daniel - a bit ott but exactly my thoughts - have one of the very few upvotes you'll get.

    3. Daniel B.

      Re: Tinfoil hats

      BUT... What if it did this for a new service to send you an ambulance if it noticed you had been in a crash (detected by g sensors) but it had to go through your car manufacturer and not direct to the emergency service to ensure it wasnt being spoofed or for verification of the alert before wasting the ambulances time.

      It's called OnStar, and not only is it opt-in only, it's a paid service.

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Tinfoil hats

      If you dont like it then stop using it. Move onto something else, just stop flippin moaning.

      No, I'm sorry but you can't say things like that. People have the built-in ability to form an opinion, and most have the right to express it. If nobody complains about the way they're being treated, then nothing will be done about it... especially so for abuse of privacy.

      Most people (especially on this forum) have NO CHOICE but to use Windows. So should they shut up and put up, or can't they bitch and moan and spread the word in the hope that someone from above might hear them.

    5. Two Lips
      WTF?

      Re: Tinfoil hats - @Daniel Hall

      "You're all over this with extremely little proof or anything solid to back up your concerns"

      Excuse me?! The telemetry has been explicitly documented if you had even half a clue about what you spout about.

      Over on inforworld every W7 update that tries to install telemetry is analysed. Contributors watching network packets going out using Wireshark. W8 onwards is worse, and W10 is worse again.

      Just because a fool cannot (or will not) uncover what's going on, doesn't make the fool into a wise man. In your case. QED.

    6. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Tinfoil hats

      "And whats more, is that the data the OS collects is because it requires it for services to work as has been stated my many others and not just in this forum."

      Sigh.

      Some people simply don't seem to realise that what's documented by omission is as important as what's documented explicitly. Consequently quite amazing stuff can be hidden in plain view.

      Go back and read those T&Cs again.

      It looks friendly and reasonable. It adopts the tone of voice that the nice policeman uses when he's trying to talk the loony off the bridge. It seems persuasive. When it talks about collecting login IDs and details of transactions that seems reasonable. And so it is if you start off assuming that they're talking about login IDs for Microsoft services and transactions with Microsoft. But nowhere does it say that such a limitation applies. Do you really believe that there isn't as much as a space, let alone a comma or full stop in those documents that hasn't been carefully considered for its legal implications. Learning to read specs & contracts & notice what's missing really should be a skill everyone in IT learns.

      And, of course, once they've got you persuaded then they drop in all the other stuff they've absolutely no business in finding out. What is essential to providing Microsoft services about their knowing your gender, the sports you follow or all the other crap that gets listed there?

      Are they collecting this stuff now? Maybe, maybe not, but if the don't collect it now they've given themselves carte blanche in their T&Cs to turn on such collection any time they wish and through the unavaiodable updates have provided themselves the means to do so.

  68. brainout
    Pint

    GATES is in charge, he's to blame. Seriously.

    Took me forever to put all the facts together, but now it's clear. BLAME GATES. All his charity work has no value, considering the amount of SUFFERING he's imposed on us all for 15 years, ever since Vista. Or, post-XP.

    * Folks want to blame Ballmer, but he's just a fall guy. It was GATES who wants Windows on everything, just like his house.

    * The factions, intra-company politics, on-again-off-again flops which are famous now, well.. all that, to obey Daddy.

    * Daddy, doesn't care about the customer, he cares about foisting his vision in the name of the greater good. But the greater the push, ignoring the customer, the more EVIL has been done.

    * EVIL, as in BILLIONS of agonizing, lost man hours trying to adapt to the latest update or UI change or driver problem or update, or worse: the latest 'new' OS which borks all your programs and drives your life into the toilet. OVER AND OVER AND OVER FOR 15 YEARS!!!!

    * EVIL, in that manufacturers were DICTATED TO about how long they could sell a given OS, no matter what the market wanted. And still are.

    So Ballmer, now Nadella, and of course the heads that rolled and the ones still attached to the top brass, the Board, the fanboys -- they are all pawns.

    Proof is just the history, look at it. And I'm not even talking about all the anti-competition stuff everyone else mentions, because I don't know about it. What I do know, is that it's EVIL to have baked IE into the core of the OS just so you could outdo Netscape; EVIL to do it still for Bing and Cortana; EVIL to have CREATED this monstrosity of insecurity, then have the chutzpah to scream how you keep on needing a 'new' Windows to be 'safer'.

    I could kick myself for ever having believed in MiscreantSoft. I avoided Windows until Win95, and then only because I was forced to use it, in order to do tax returns online for my clients. But with XP, I became a fan. Ignorant fan. Mea maxima culpa!

    NEVER AGAIN. Finally Linux has just this past June gotten over its own geektard self-righteousness and produced something a small business owner can actually use and install. Just in time. For MSFT, is history.

    Wish I knew that earlier, but mas vale tarde que nunca.

    I don't know which is worse: a Win fanboy or one newly disgruntled, like me. Cheers.

    1. Timmy B Silver badge

      Re: GATES is in charge, he's to blame. Seriously.

      ". All his charity work has no value, considering the amount of SUFFERING he's imposed on us all for 15 years, ever since Vista."

      Good frikkin Lord! Are you seriously saying the all of the money he has put into trying to rid the world of diseases such as malaria THAT KILLS MILLIONS OF PEOPLE. You your slight inconvenience of a few lost man hours - even if billions of them. Are you really so self absorbed that doing a little bit more work THAT PEOPLE GET PAID FOR is worse for the planet than PEOPLE DYING A HORRIBLE DEATH!!!!!!

      I really do hope I've just taken the troll bait and the world isn't so sad that there are people in it that think like you. I just have one thing more to to say and that is that you, Sir, are a self absorbed myopic dimwit unless you're trolling and in that case well done for livening up my afternoon.

    2. RobHib
      Windows

      @brainout - Re: GATES is in charge, he's to blame. Seriously.

      Amen!

      1. Pompous Git Silver badge

        Re: @brainout - GATES is in charge, he's to blame. Seriously.

        I would have thought asleep at the wheel was a more apt description of BillG these days. But what the fuck would I know now I'm retired...

  69. David McCarthy

    What ever happened to privacy and data collection regulations?

    Apart from the 'Cookie' laws, what has the EU and our own Information Commissioner's Office actually done to stop our data being collected?

    Even the Cookie law was pointless - poorly conceived, shambolically implemented (in the UK), and largely ignored (especially by anyone collecting data).

    From the European Commission Justice pages:

    "In January 2012, the European Commission proposed a comprehensive reform of data protection rules in the EU. The completion of this reform is a policy priority for 2015. The objective of this new set of rules is to give citizens back control over of their personal data, and to simplify the regulatory environment for business."

    http://ec.europa.eu/justice/data-protection/

    It seems every OS, computer application, website or mobile app grabs whatever data they can ... regardless.

    And I'll bet they couldn't tell us why, or what they want it for (other than to sell to advertisers). "Let's just hoover it up, and see if anything interesting bubbles to the top."

    If anyone from ICO reads this stuff ... what are you actually doing that's ever going to make the slightest difference?

  70. Howard Hanek Bronze badge
    Coat

    Yes We Have Telemetry

    We don't have confidential data. We have telemetry and we're 'tethered' for our own safety lest we drift off to ........that vast Linux/Android void.

  71. Pompous Git Silver badge

    Trust MS?

    You would have to be batshit crazy to trust a company that pushes multiple redundant copies of W10 onto your systems using up all your monthly allocation of mobile data and half your monthly allocation of fixed wireless data. And then has the temerity to say it was for your "convenience". What's convenient about being shaped to 256 Kb/s for two weeks?

    The only thing I know I can trust MS to do is steal from me. Linux Mint seems an entirely reasonable way to prevent that happening again the future.

  72. Mpeler
    Mushroom

    Windows 10 - JUST SAY NO!

    Micro$haft, fix your own crapware before you start purging anyone else's code, which, if your rot worked correctly, wouldn't be needed.

    And, while your at it, stuff your telemetry and "customer experience" tralala, tie it in a ribbon, and make it walk the plank (pirate icon would go here...).

    Finally, my hardware is MINE! I bought it, I assembled most of it, and I've spent many a not-so-happy hour debugging what your crap OS's have done to it - especially "Twisted sister" and her ba$tard progeny.

    You've been describing shafts, spying, product reductions (e.g. killing media for MSDN and I think TechNet, all the while charging the same prices), as "enhancements" or "reactions to customer desires/requests".

    Well, how about you lot have a few years of 10 GOTO 10, and see how you like it, especially when you have work that needs to be done.

    And how about that cloud? And your borked updates? And "take your medicine, it's good for you - but we won't tell you what it is, what it's for, or how long you have to have it".

    M$, you have totally lost the plot. Now you're digging your own...

  73. TReko
    Unhappy

    System32 CompatTel folder also needs removing

    You'll also need to take ownership and remove the Windows\System32\CompatTel folder which contains diagtrackrunner.exe which reports back to MS

    1. Kiwi Silver badge
      Mushroom

      Re: System32 CompatTel folder also needs removing

      Fuck. Thought I was rid of all of this stuff from my w7 machine.

      Thank God for Linux - ignores MS "permissions" issues and happily lets you delete any MS spyware you want to (or move it somewhere safe in case killing it kills windoze and I can be bothered resurrecting/reinstalling it - probably not this time)

      Thanks TReko, I had missed that.

    2. Glenn Sammes

      Re: System32 CompatTel folder also needs removing

      Try running Spybot anti beacon!

  74. PhillW
    Coat

    The next update on telemetry

    After everyone realises that “Connected User Experiences and Telemetry Service” is a data slurp and removes it, they will issue "Connected User Non-invasive Telemetry Service"

  75. MachDiamond Silver badge

    MS needs a revenue stream.

    With the two false starts on a tablet that cost the company billions and yet another botched OS (win8), a massive fail in the mobile OS market, MS is playing follow the leader by emulating the social media and search services outfits by collecting and selling user data to make a buck. Be afraid, be very very afraid.

    1. Pompous Git Silver badge

      Re: MS needs a revenue stream.

      Be afraid, be very very afraid.

      Why? Sandboxing essential Win applications and using a completely different OS for Internet-connected stuff means there's no need. I feel liberated having discovered my dependency on Windows was far more illusory than I had thought...

  76. td97402

    I Used To Be A Microsoft Fan

    As a partner, I advocated Microsoft products from desktop to server. Not so much anymore. I no longer trust Microsoft at all. I can not believe how aggressively anti-consumer they've become.

  77. ChemEng

    I think I managed to keep the worst of the telemetry stuff off my Win 7 machine but, if I didn't, I have a smug feeling of satisfaction knowing that the last thing it reported home was burning a Mint ISO to a thumb drive. The Windows machine still exists of course, too much dedicated stuff on it, but it will never see the internet again.

    So, once more, a new MS OS has lead to another computer sale, but for the last time as far as I'm concerned.

    Posted from my Linux machine (and it's really rather good)

  78. W. Anderson

    The Windows (Stockholm) Syndrome.

    It is difficulty to admit, but I have no sympathy for those that "voluntarily" use Windows, but suggest antacid for those forced into the act, and complete bewilderment at the naivete and stupidity of all persons, organizations, business and governments that pride themselves and relishment pain in having Microsoft Wndows cost them significant $$dollars to operate with great loss of productivity.

  79. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Satya the cloud and data mining whore

    Who honestly didn't see this coming?

  80. Glenn Sammes
    Happy

    Try Spybot anti beacon

    I like windows but will not be going past 7.

    Spybot anti beacon seems to clean up the telemetry mess.

  81. fjones64

    Microsoft is a criminal enterprise!

    Let's call Microsoft what it is - a monopoly with no morals or qualms about pursuing whatever activity will turn a buck or destroy its competition.

    I worked for a company which made several deals to have our software bundled by several computer manufacturers in the 1990s. The contracts were ready to be signed when Microsoft called them up and threatened to jerk their license as a Windows distributor. No ability to put Windows on their computers, and they'd be out of business.

    I believe in legal terms, this is known as EXTORTION!!! And yes, all those contracts immediately fell through and MS did eventually put us out of business, eliminating their #1 competitor. Thank YOU Bush administration for calling off the monopoly investigation of Microsoft, which had gotten as far as having a judge rule that the office and OS divisions had to be split into separate companies. That would have prevented the sort of crime they committed against us! Make enough "campaign contributions" and you can buy any politician, and MS certainly bought the Bush administration.

    So I'm not surprised to see that MS has now moved from extortion to spying on its own users, data destruction, and robbery. (What else can you call it when they delete 3rd party software that you PAID for?) This is a company that was founded on deception, and nothing has changed since day one. IBM came to them thinking they had an OS that they might use for their upcoming PC, MS didn't but Bill Gates raced to somebody he knew who'd written a knockoff of C/PM and offered him $50,000 for it that he didn't have, and IBM was stupid enough to buy it, thus unleashing the monstrosity known as Microsoft on the world. How MS got away with creating Windows while working as a "partner" on OS/2 with IBM without getting sued into oblivion for contract violation and misuse of patents is beyond me! After all, MS lost their lawsuits against DrDOS, a better version of DOS which was MS's cash cow, and with competition in that sphere, they'd have gone bankrupt.

    If only...

  82. barcodezero
    Stop

    These are the updates that should be removed if one does not intend to "upgrade" windows 7 and 8.1 computers to windows 7, most of them are SPYWARE

    KB3075851"Windows Update Client for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2: August 2015"

    makes "improvements" to the windows update client (really just more Win10 garbage)

    NOTE: REMOVE THIS ONE FIRST BECAUSE IT MAKES WINDOWS UPDATE FORGET EVERYTHING

    including forgetting which updates you have told it to "hide" previously

    KB2952664"Compatibility update for upgrading Windows 7 "

    prepares system for upgrade to Windows 10 , sends a bunch of telemetry data to M$, , nagware patch that touts the Windows 10 upgrade, !reported to corrupt system files

    KB2922324 (reportedly pulled, uninstall it anyway if already installed)

    KB2977759

    "Compatibility update for Windows 7 RTM"

    prepares system for upgrade to Windows 10, installs telemetry (SPYWARE)

    KB2990214

    "Update that enables you to upgrade from Windows 7 to a later version of Windows"

    prepares system for upgrade to Windows 10/telemetry (SPYWARE)

    KB3015249

    "Update that adds telemetry points to consent.exe in Windows 8.1 and Windows 7"

    Telemetry, reports UAC prompt choices when making changes to the system (SPYWARE)

    KB3021917

    "Update to Windows 7 SP1 for performance improvements"

    prepares system for upgrade to Windows 10

    KB3022345

    "Update for customer experience and diagnostic telemetry"

    installs diagnostic/usage tracking service (SPYWARE) !reported to corrupt system files

    KB3035583

    "Update installs Get Windows 10 app in Windows 8.1 and Windows 7 SP1"

    Gives you the windows 10 invite pitch

    KB3050265

    "Windows Update Client for Windows 7: June 2015"

    supposedly fixes an issue with windows update, but also changes system files to support upgrade to Windows 10

    KB3065987

    "Windows Update Client for Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 R2: July 2015"

    makes "improvements" to the windows update client (really just more Win10 garbage)

    KB3068708

    "Update for customer experience and diagnostic telemetry"

    installs telemetry service (SPYWARE), prepares system for upgrade to Windows 10

    KB3075249

    "Update that adds telemetry points to consent.exe in Windows 8.1 and Windows 7"

    Telemetry, reports UAC prompts to Microsoft (SPYWARE)

    KB3080149

    "Update for customer experience and diagnostic telemetry"

    Update for customer experience and diagnostic telemetry, CEIP (SPYWARE)

    ****Windows 8.1, Windows RT 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 ONLY****

    KB2922324 (reportedly pulled, uninstall it anyway if already installed)

    KB2976978

    Compatibility update for Windows 8.1 and Windows 8"

    prepares system for upgrade to Windows 10

    KB3044374

    "Update that enables you to upgrade from Windows 8.1 to Windows 10"

    prepares system for upgrade to Windows 10

    KB3050267

    "Windows Update Client for Windows 8.1: June 2015"

    supposedly fixes an issue with windows update, but also changes system files to support upgrade to Windows 10

    After removing all the updates you want removed, reboot your computer

    then you will have to HIDE them to keep them from re installing themselves

    run windows update, and check for updates

    right click every update from this list you previously removed and select HIDE

    now windows wont re-install the updates

    ->Removing "get windows 10" nags / preventing windows10 re-infection

    Microsoft made sure this was quite difficult, and still is to do manually, however someone has finally made it easy to remove the upgrade nags and prevent the system from becoming re-infected with windows 10.

    NOTE: this does not remove ALL of the telemetry spying, and instability causing updates as noted above (only the get win10 notification updates and install files)

  83. ChemEng

    Can anyone advise me on this please:-

    If left in situ, how do the various telemetry systems react to long term isolation from the internet?

    Do they only report when they can? Do they cache information for transmission when possible?

    Is any cache time/volume limited and where is it?

    In other words what is the possibility of the machine eventually becoming mired in MS excrement? After 30 years exposure to (the outer fringes of) MS systems, one thing I have learned that they are not good at tidying up after themselves.

  84. anonymous boring coward Silver badge

    "And whats more, is that the data the OS collects is because it requires it for services to work as has been stated"

    Thanks for a good laugh!

    Naivety can be hilarious at times. What exact important "services" do you have in mind?

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