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posted by takyon on Wednesday September 02 2015, @11:36AM   Printer-friendly
from the trickle-down dept.

If you have been refusing Microsoft's offer to upgrade your Windows 7 or 8* operating system to Windows 10 due to the oft-reported data and telemetry slurping it seems inclined to do, then it is time to be on your toes as to which updates you allow to be installed on your earlier version of the operating system.

El Reg reports that Microsoft are busy pushing similar functionality to those older operating systems by way of Windows Update. The updates in question can apparently be rolled back if required.

They are however very determined in their function if allowed to be installed, going so far as to ignore such venerable solutions as additions to the HOSTS file, which has historically been a way to knobble phone-home behaviour:

Now Microsoft is revamping the user-tracking tools in Windows 7 and 8 to harvest more data, via some new patches.

All the updates can be removed post-installation – but all ensure the OS reports data to Microsoft even when asked not to, bypassing the hosts file and (hence) third-party privacy tools. This data can include how long you use apps, and which features you use the most, snapshots of memory to investigate crashes, and so on.

The updates are KB3068708 ("Update for customer experience and diagnostic telemetry" and mandatory) KB3075249 ("Update that adds telemetry points to consent.exe in Windows 8.1 and Windows 7") and KB3080149 (also an "Update for customer experience and diagnostic telemetry", both optional).


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  • (Score: 5, Insightful) by SDRefugee on Wednesday September 02 2015, @12:35PM

    by SDRefugee (4477) on Wednesday September 02 2015, @12:35PM (#231224)

    The trouble with a lot of the "kill it" tips, is that if enough people *do* kill it and MS thinks its not getting its daily dose of OUR DATA, they just send out another "update" to UN-kill it.... I suspect those who value their privacy *and* still use Windows (????) will be playing whack-a-mole with Microsoft from now on.. Soooo glad I moved to Linux completely in 2011....

    --
    America should be proud of Edward Snowden, the hero, whether they know it or not..
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  • (Score: 2, Informative) by SDRefugee on Wednesday September 02 2015, @12:37PM

    by SDRefugee (4477) on Wednesday September 02 2015, @12:37PM (#231228)

    They are however very determined in their function if allowed to be installed, going so far as to ignore such venerable solutions as additions to the HOSTS file, which has historically been a way to knobble phone-home behaviour:

    They *won't* be ignoring the DROP rules I put into my firewall to protect the one Windows 7 VM I still have.. (moved to Linux in 2011... and could'nt be happier)

    --
    America should be proud of Edward Snowden, the hero, whether they know it or not..
  • (Score: 1) by sce7mjm on Wednesday September 02 2015, @02:34PM

    by sce7mjm (809) on Wednesday September 02 2015, @02:34PM (#231270)

    Well I've been a linux user (desktop and servers since 2000) and never paid for windows on any of my own personal devices. I still have to support software that runs on windows and support my users so I have accepted a laptop as a trade in and am using that for that purpose.

    I've purged a lot of the crap off windows users and am quite used to turning off the unused services that seem to clog up all of windows these days. These are just others to add to the list.

    It is possible to make windows 7 useable on those old netbooks if you turn off enough crud.

    Microsoft will listen eventually when this harvesting is leaked or it is proven that some form of hack uses the harvesting as an attack vector or discovery leading on to another attack.

    Although the fix will no doubt be in the inevitable subscription only upgrade to windows 10.

    • (Score: 2) by c0lo on Wednesday September 02 2015, @07:44PM

      by c0lo (156) Subscriber Badge on Wednesday September 02 2015, @07:44PM (#231418) Journal

      the inevitable subscription only upgrade to windows 10.

      You, incredible optimistic you!
      You want to say: monthly subscription to security updates or for simply using Windows. But wait, there's more... We'll throw in a free mobile basic plan1,2,3
      --
      1 Subject to terms and conditions: use Windows devices only
      2 limited to calls to Windows devices only
      3 free data quota capped to 200 MB, Skype traffic included.

      --
      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aoFiw2jMy-0
      • (Score: 2) by Magic Oddball on Thursday September 03 2015, @02:23AM

        by Magic Oddball (3847) on Thursday September 03 2015, @02:23AM (#231527) Journal

        4 Applicable only between the hours of 10pm and 3am GMT.
        5 MS reserves the right to revoke or change terms at any time without warning or explanation.
        6 Offer void in Nebraska [orain.org].

    • (Score: 1) by Osamabobama on Wednesday September 02 2015, @08:33PM

      by Osamabobama (5842) on Wednesday September 02 2015, @08:33PM (#231438)

      It is possible to make windows 7 useable on those old netbooks if you turn off enough crud.

      I am using a mid-level, four year old laptop that is in dire need of what you mention. Can you point me in the right direction? (I am the kind of person who is aware of registry edits, but has never done one, if that helps set the level of discussion required.)

      --
      Appended to the end of comments you post. Max: 120 chars.
  • (Score: 2) by davester666 on Thursday September 03 2015, @05:07AM

    by davester666 (155) on Thursday September 03 2015, @05:07AM (#231575)

    who value their privacy *and* still use Windows

    are mentally challenged from eating too much paste.

    Using Woindows means you don't value your privacy. It's been this way for a long time.

    The only thing new is that now it's Microsoft who is taking your data.

  • (Score: 2) by Teckla on Thursday September 03 2015, @03:16PM

    by Teckla (3812) on Thursday September 03 2015, @03:16PM (#231789)

    The trouble with a lot of the "kill it" tips, is that if enough people *do* kill it and MS thinks its not getting its daily dose of OUR DATA, they just send out another "update" to UN-kill it.... I suspect those who value their privacy *and* still use Windows (????) will be playing whack-a-mole with Microsoft from now on.. Soooo glad I moved to Linux completely in 2011....

    For every 1 chest thumping alpha geek that disables Windows spying, 99 normal people are running Windows without making a single change to the default privacy settings in Windows.

    Microsoft can and will probably just ignore us geeks.