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posted by CoolHand on Friday August 11, @01:57AM   Printer-friendly
from the happy-or-unaware dept.

Arthur T Knackerbracket has found the following story:

Microsoft claims seven out of ten Windows 10 users are happy with Redmond gulping loads of telemetry from their computers – which isn't that astounding when you realize it's a default option.

In other words, 30 per cent of people have found the switch to turn it off, and the rest haven't, don't realize it's there, or are genuinely OK with the data collection.

Ever since Windows 10 was released, folks have been complaining the operating system is far too grabby and that it allows Redmond to collect huge volumes of intelligence on its users. In April the software giant responded by simplifying the collection.

There's basically two levels in Windows 10 from the Creators Update onwards: basic and full – the full setting includes everything in the basic level plus a load more. Full is the default for Win 10 Home and Pro, otherwise there's basic. Windows 10 Enterprise and Education have full and basic, plus an extra level called security, which transmits a little less about your system than basic.

Essentially, if you're on Home or Pro, you can't tell your OS to not phone home. And, sure, this information – from lists of hardware and apps installed to pen gestures – is useful to Microsoft employees debugging code that's running in the field. But we're all adults here, and some folks would like the option to not have any information leaving their systems.

"... and we welcome your feedback in helping us make [Creators] the best Windows ever," [Marissa] Rogers concluded.


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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by Whoever on Friday August 11, @02:04AM (2 children)

    by Whoever (4524) on Friday August 11, @02:04AM (#552032)

    70% of Windows 10 Users Are Unaware Of Our Big Telemetry Slurp

    FTFY.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 11, @03:05AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 11, @03:05AM (#552077)

      70% or more computer users are total morons. Maybe one should have a computer-operator license, like a drivers' license. Only problem might come that the very Microsoft we're trying to prevent would be setting the curriculum (they already do in sponsoring so much 'education')...

      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 11, @03:33AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 11, @03:33AM (#552096)

        Sorry, your Windows operating license has been revoked. You must use Linux now.

  • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Friday August 11, @02:06AM (19 children)

    by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Friday August 11, @02:06AM (#552033)

    Microsoft claims seven out of ten Windows 10 users are happy with Redmond gulping loads of telemetry from their computers...
    ...
    "... and we welcome your feedback in helping us make [Creators] the best Windows ever,"

    And this really means MS can piss on the other 3 in 10 freely, right?

    • (Score: 3, Informative) by kaszz on Friday August 11, @02:13AM (9 children)

      by kaszz (4211) on Friday August 11, @02:13AM (#552036) Journal

      Reminds me of the Asch conformity experiments [wikipedia.org].

      • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Friday August 11, @02:22AM (8 children)

        by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Friday August 11, @02:22AM (#552041)

        Interestingly, the "conformists" vs "rebels" ratio in this case (30% rebels) is almost reversed in comparison to Asch's experiments (63.2% rebels)

        • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Friday August 11, @03:08AM

          by kaszz (4211) on Friday August 11, @03:08AM (#552080) Journal

          Another experiment along the same subject is the Milgram experiment [wikipedia.org]. Where circa 2/3 of people goes along and deliver a lethal shock because the instructor said so. Most people are simple followers.

          If Microsoft says Telemetry is good for you.. well they will follow.

        • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Friday August 11, @05:42AM (6 children)

          by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Friday August 11, @05:42AM (#552139) Journal

          We don't know the true "rebels" rate in the Windows case, as in order to even have the decision to rebel, you have to know about the telemetry stuff in order to even decide whether you want to switch it off, and you in addition have to know or at least consider it possible that you actually can switch it off.

          So for all we know, it might be that 50% of all users don't even know that Microsoft spies on them (they just bought their computer at WalMart and switched it on; as long as they get to open their browser and connect to their favourite sites, they don't see any reason to learn anything more about their computer). A further 20% might know about the telemetry, but have no idea that you could switch it off; they just shrug it off as unavoidable. The remaining 30% switch it off.

          --
          The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
          • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Friday August 11, @05:59AM (2 children)

            by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Friday August 11, @05:59AM (#552152)

            The remaining 30% switch it off.

            Does it mean it can actually be switched off?
            TFS led me to believe it can be only lowered dramatically but never actually switched of.

            (note: I do use Win10 at the office and I don't care how the IT dept. configured telemetry on this one. Not like I'd be using it for things I want to keep private.
            At home, I only use Linux).

            • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 11, @12:34PM

              by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 11, @12:34PM (#552247)

              It can be ripped out. They won't have numbers from that.

            • (Score: 2) by Hyper on Friday August 11, @02:48PM

              by Hyper (1525) on Friday August 11, @02:48PM (#552302)

              It probably has your real name on it, unlike your home pc

          • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 11, @05:32PM (2 children)

            by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 11, @05:32PM (#552451)

            You ignored the people who use other versions of Windows, use other operating systems, or don't use computers at all. Maybe they don't want the telemetry, or maybe they have other reasons.

            • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Friday August 11, @05:44PM (1 child)

              by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Friday August 11, @05:44PM (#552454) Journal

              Those are obviously not in the sample which the percentage is based on.

              --
              The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
              • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 12, @10:22PM

                by Anonymous Coward on Saturday August 12, @10:22PM (#552997)

                You had written "the Windows case" not "the Windows 10 case."

    • (Score: 1) by fustakrakich on Friday August 11, @02:25AM (1 child)

      by fustakrakich (6150) on Friday August 11, @02:25AM (#552045) Journal

      And this really means MS can piss on the other 3 in 10 freely, right?

      Technically, yes. Majority rule applies.

      • (Score: 2) by Immerman on Friday August 11, @09:13AM

        by Immerman (3985) on Friday August 11, @09:13AM (#552214)

        Nonsense.

        The only rule that applies is Microsoft's rule, your only vote is to switch to a different OS. And until people start doing so in significant numbers Microsoft is unlikely care. "Majority preference" is just convenient for their propaganda/marketing campaign.

    • (Score: 4, Interesting) by edIII on Friday August 11, @02:40AM (3 children)

      by edIII (791) Subscriber Badge on Friday August 11, @02:40AM (#552057)

      For how long?

      I've been unhappy with Microsoft since Vista. Always chained to the fucker because of my development tools, and keeping compatibility with documents.

      That's changed quite a bit. I have a new system finally, and it's Ubuntu. Wasn't able to get FreeBSD, TrueOS, OpenBSD, or basically any BSD to run on it. It's brand new so I imagine it will take awhile. Still, there is zero Microsoft, Apple, or Adobe anywhere in it. Even Oracle is kept at bay somewhat. On the server side? BWAHAHAHAHA! Microsoft hasn't been running my servers for quite some time. They've lost the server game on almost every level at this point.

      SystemD and it's bullshit is still SO much better than Windows 10, its telemetry, and piss poor security. I can live with Ubuntu for a year or two while learning how to install and run a BSD type operating system instead, or Devuan maybe. To Ubuntu's credit, they do at least work on the newest hardware. I'm sure everyday SystemD gets just *little* bit better. I mean, it's possible.

      My development tools are running excellently, and I'm not looking back. Even if Microsoft guaranteed me telemetry free, it still can't fix the complete total fuckup that is the Windows 10 *experience*. I'm still not over how much Windows 8 sucked. More problematic for Microsoft is people like myself making serious headway into getting away from them, while maintaining some compatibility with them. Office 365 helps me get them away from Windows 10 in a huge way, and WINE is performing beyond expectations for me at the moment. The people I used to help are interested in what I'm doing. Once I can demonstrate to them a stable system with a nice interface, and the core applications they need working in WINE or an alternative, they will switch. Especially since I can support them.

      Let's see just how long those 3 in 10 stick around. When Microsoft finally says 100% are okay with it, that isn't going to be a guaranteed good thing. For them at least.

      This may be the last post I write in Windows 7. I'm busy transferring data and settings right now to my new system :D

      • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Friday August 11, @04:06PM (1 child)

        by Grishnakh (2831) Subscriber Badge on Friday August 11, @04:06PM (#552388)

        Let's see just how long those 3 in 10 stick around.

        Don't worry, they'll stick around indefinitely. They'll bitch and complain, but they won't abandon Windows no matter what. This is why MS is right to ignore these whiny malcontents.

        • (Score: 2) by bzipitidoo on Friday August 11, @08:18PM

          by bzipitidoo (4388) on Friday August 11, @08:18PM (#552555) Journal

          I concur. It's sad how much crap people take. Price gouging, bad service, bullying, humiliation, and pollution and health messes to clean up. The public could have brought Big Media to heel decades ago, shut down their terrorism against downloading. But they won't even avoid theaters for raising prices and forbidding outside food.

      • (Score: 2) by julian on Friday August 11, @06:14PM

        by julian (6003) on Friday August 11, @06:14PM (#552474)

        They've lost the server game on almost every level at this point.

        I wish this were true. In the medical field, MS has a top to bottom lockdown on the entire industry. The backend server that runs your EMR/Practice Management system is Windows Server. All the workstations need Windows (usually Windows 7 today, but Win10 is creeping in) to run proprietary medical software and Office. Even the medical imaging machines from Zeiss, which you think would use an embedded OS, are running a full version of Windows--and need a network connection.

        MS owns the medical industry because they can pay the big bucks to have their software certified as being compliant, and they're a giant corporation that can be held accountable if something goes wrong. Red Hat might be the only alternative in the Linux world but they're not very interested in medical, although they do a lot of business with the DoD which offers similar challenges.

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 11, @06:24AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 11, @06:24AM (#552159)

      It means we live in the Age of Spying. Your privacy has been destroyed by greedy businesses and stupid consumers.

      • (Score: 2) by Grishnakh on Friday August 11, @04:07PM

        by Grishnakh (2831) Subscriber Badge on Friday August 11, @04:07PM (#552390)

        Mostly the latter in this case. If you value your privacy, don't use Windows. But most people would rather bitch and complain then do something that causes them some temporary inconvenience.

    • (Score: 2) by realDonaldTrump on Saturday August 12, @10:16PM

      by realDonaldTrump (6614) Subscriber Badge on Saturday August 12, @10:16PM (#552995) Homepage Journal

      Interesting. I'll have to ask Satya about that service.

  • (Score: 2) by kaszz on Friday August 11, @02:08AM (2 children)

    by kaszz (4211) on Friday August 11, @02:08AM (#552035) Journal

    A lot of people are happy to keep out of Microsoft ecosystems completely..
    Turning of "the switch" also doesn't really change anything. As most sane people know. So the people they forgot may actually be unhappily use the junk behind good a firewall and virtualization.

    • (Score: 2, Interesting) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 11, @03:07AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 11, @03:07AM (#552078)

      PSP/ME engines can't be triggered via undocumented CPU opcodes with the current generation chips.

      Given that Intel and AMD both have signed firmware and management engines across the CPU/Motherboard and GPU now means the entire 'normal' hardware stack could backdoor into the operating system/main memory, meaning even *IF* you're running the operating system virtualized, there is no reason to believe the operating system is in fact securely sandboxed, and there is no way to authenticate/log if there is a change of status in the system or if unusual activities are taking place (unlike with the old SMM, which at least caused a serious performance degradation across the system when backdoor code was running inside it.)

      • (Score: 2) by maxwell demon on Friday August 11, @05:45AM

        by maxwell demon (1608) Subscriber Badge on Friday August 11, @05:45AM (#552143) Journal

        You can always analyze the network traffic (just use a Raspberry Pi for it, then you'll be sure that Intel stuff won't be filtered out by the hardware).

        --
        The Tao of math: The numbers you can count are not the real numbers.
  • (Score: 2, Interesting) by fustakrakich on Friday August 11, @02:28AM (12 children)

    by fustakrakich (6150) on Friday August 11, @02:28AM (#552046) Journal

    Is there any product out there, free or commercial, that effectively blocks all MS telemetry? Can we grant exclusive access to the internet to the browser only?

    • (Score: 1) by tftp on Friday August 11, @03:14AM (4 children)

      by tftp (806) Subscriber Badge on Friday August 11, @03:14AM (#552083) Homepage

      Can we grant exclusive access to the internet to the browser only?

      1. At the router prohibit access to the Internet from your Win10 box.
      2. Set up a proxy (like Squid) on the LAN that can access Internet; it will require login and password and maybe a client certificate.
      3. Install a browser that has private settings of proxy auth - login, password, certificate.

      If you have to have system-wide access, route it through your proxy (auth optional) that only permits the whitelisted locations (SN and whatever else you frequent.) Other destinations will be blocked.

      • (Score: 2) by Pino P on Friday August 11, @06:06PM (3 children)

        by Pino P (4721) on Friday August 11, @06:06PM (#552469) Journal

        At the router prohibit access to the Internet from your Win10 box.

        That's effective at home but not at the restaurant where you have opened your laptop, associated to the AP named after the restaurant, and submitted your assent to the terms of service of the restaurant's complimentary Internet access.

        Set up a proxy (like Squid) on the LAN that can access Internet; it will require login and password and maybe a client certificate.

        And the installation of a root certificate in order to MITM the Windows 10 box's HTTPS connections, correct?

        • (Score: 1) by tftp on Friday August 11, @06:23PM (2 children)

          by tftp (806) Subscriber Badge on Friday August 11, @06:23PM (#552481) Homepage

          Anything complimentary is provided on someone else's terms. Carry a R-Pi firewall with you :-)

          And the installation of a root certificate in order to MITM the Windows 10 box's HTTPS connections, correct?

          No, Windows will not be able to connect even to the DNS, let alone to TCP ports of Microsoft servers. Only the browser that you installed, one that does not tell Windows what the proxy login is, will be able to talk to the proxy. The direct route to the gateway (destination 0.0.0.0) will be denied.

          • (Score: 2) by Pino P on Friday August 11, @07:54PM (1 child)

            by Pino P (4721) on Friday August 11, @07:54PM (#552539) Journal

            I am aware that only the browser will be able to reach the Internet. But won't the browser see the proxy's untrusted HTTPS certificate and complain about there even being a proxy?

            • (Score: 1) by tftp on Friday August 11, @08:17PM

              by tftp (806) Subscriber Badge on Friday August 11, @08:17PM (#552554) Homepage

              That behavior would break all the proxies in the world. Here are some explanations [squid-cache.org] - but the executive summary is that the proxy simply forwards encrypted packets back and forth without looking into them or understanding them. Filtering is achieved by access control directives that work on the IP address, for example, or some other criteria. In my example no filtering is needed, unless you want some (adblocking, trackers, etc.)

              The proposed "trusted" browser can be replaced with a VM-based solution that does, essentially, the same thing, just increasing the separation between Windows and the browser. Deployment of this architecture in a small company is pretty easy, as Windows boxes will be entirely cut off of the Internet and safe (as they ever can be) from viruses. The Internet comms will be done by a different, isolated component that may, for all practical purposes, be Linux-based, for example, or a VM that frequently gets reverted to a snapshot. With modern PCs this can be completely transparent to the user, and you get to brag about extra security as well :-)

    • (Score: 1, Informative) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 11, @03:36AM (1 child)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 11, @03:36AM (#552100)

      Yes... DBAN, then www.ubuntu.com

      • (Score: 2) by Pino P on Friday August 11, @06:03PM

        by Pino P (4721) on Friday August 11, @06:03PM (#552466) Journal

        That works for some people but not for everyone. Some laptop users who try switching from Windows report lack of audio, inability to adjust backlight brightness, inability to connect to the WLAN, and inability to come out of suspend. Is Ubuntu worth buying a new laptop?

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 11, @04:38AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 11, @04:38AM (#552116)

      https://www.safer-networking.org/spybot-anti-beacon/ [safer-networking.org]

      "Spybot Anti-Beacon is a standalone tool which was designed to block and stop the various tracking (telemetry) issues present in Windows 10. It has since been modified to block similar tracking functionality in Windows 7, Windows 8 and Windows 8.1 operating systems."

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 11, @04:55AM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 11, @04:55AM (#552123)

      http://www.getblackbird.net/ [getblackbird.net]

      "How Blackbird Works ... For instance, Blackbird does not edit the HOSTS file in any way, nor does it mess with your firewall settings. It does not run in the background, instead relying on persistent routes and resolving hostnames to IP addresses each time Blackbird is applied by the user."

    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 11, @12:36PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 11, @12:36PM (#552249)

      Ntlite

    • (Score: 1) by WillR on Friday August 11, @04:09PM

      by WillR (2012) on Friday August 11, @04:09PM (#552393)
      For that product to work, you would have to trust the OS to report all packets being sent and to truthfully report which process a given packet is associated with, and since we already don't trust the OS to actually turn off telemetry when we tell it to... that's problematic.
    • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 11, @06:48PM

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 11, @06:48PM (#552495)

      translation: "my operating system has proven time and time again to be my enemy, but is there any other enemy slaveware i can blindly fund so that i can still keep sucking up to my master?".

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 11, @02:33AM (3 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 11, @02:33AM (#552052)

    So this means there are 30% of Windows Enterprise users. These _have_ the switch to turn it off.
    The other 70% simply don't have it, so even after looking for it they can't find it.

    • (Score: 2) by MostCynical on Friday August 11, @02:55AM (1 child)

      by MostCynical (2589) on Friday August 11, @02:55AM (#552069)

      Doesn't look like 30%: (figures published in February)
      "Using telemetry data from those millions of agents running on PCs and Macs, Samanage says Windows 7 is still the top dog among its enterprise customers. Here are the top five operating systems in use on those corporate PCs:

      Windows 7 Professional 40.3 percent
      Windows 7 Enterprise 21.4 percent
      OS X (all versions) 8.1 percent
      Windows XP Professional 7.3 percent
      Windows 8.1 Enterprise 4.3 percent"
      http://www.zdnet.com/article/windows-10-usage-share-continues-to-grow-but-enterprise-stays-on-sidelines/ [zdnet.com]

      --
      (Score: tau, Irrational)
      • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 11, @05:42AM

        by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 11, @05:42AM (#552138)

        Not [torrentsdownload.co] all [webforpc.com] Windows [cracksfiles.com] Enterprise [onhax.me] users [katcr.website] are enterprise users.

    • (Score: 2) by nobu_the_bard on Friday August 11, @12:23PM

      by nobu_the_bard (6373) on Friday August 11, @12:23PM (#552243)

      Misleading...

      If 30% of all Windows users have telemetry turned off, that doesn't mean 30% know how. A sizable number of those are domain machines where the network administrator turned it off for them. The users may be totally ignorant of it.

  • (Score: 2) by bootsy on Friday August 11, @07:41AM

    by bootsy (3440) on Friday August 11, @07:41AM (#552186)

    Windows has never really been designed for the corporate environment. Office and Outlook sure, but Windows no. The whole Novell Networks thing and Trumpet Winsock tell a story of Microsoft never really getting networking, nevermind the Internet or mobile applications.
    You want lots of indentical base builds that are easily redeployable and locked down so that they cannot be changed too much and upgraded and patched in a regular and predictable manner. That just isn't Windows.

    Ironically Unix was so much better for this use case and Sun Solairs and HP-UX did this so much better.

    Now every work place seems to be on Windows 7 and are very, very reluctant to go to Windows 10. Does the version they target at business have all the telemetry switched off or are you just supposed to rely on a firewall blocking it all?

    I know in past versions of the Windows OS that Morgan Stanley (amusingly the owner of ms.com) had bits changed or custom parts added based on their usage of the Andrew File System so large corporates can have the OS altered, even the base build.

  • (Score: 0) by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 11, @09:02AM

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday August 11, @09:02AM (#552210)

    Microsoft user comments recent pool:

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rLy-AwdCOmI [youtube.com]

  • (Score: 2) by chewbacon on Sunday August 13, @04:16AM

    by chewbacon (1032) on Sunday August 13, @04:16AM (#553107)

    100% of them can't do anything about it.

    Unless they move to Mac OS or something.

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