Saturday, October 24, 2015

Windows 10 is spying on you - opt out ads using privacy settings

Windows 10 has an unprecedented level of privacy controls. Unlike other companies, you can opt out of many of privacy settings. If you want to go the extra mile, check the last two URLs.

In Windows 10 - goto ‘Settings’ -> ‘Privacy’. It may seem like allot of options, but all 13 different sections you have a choice to control your privacy setting. 

Turning everything of your concern to ‘off’.

One last thing you can turn of adds in your browser by opt out of personalized ads from Microsoft here

What is Windows telemetry?

Windows telemetry is vital technical data from Windows devices about the device and how Windows and related software are performing. It's used in the following ways:

  • Keep Windows up to date
  • Keep Windows secure, reliable, and perform and Improve Windows  through the aggregate analysis of the use of Windows
  • Personalize Windows engagement surfaces

Here are some specific examples of Windows telemetry data:

  • Type of hardware being used
  • Applications installed and usage details
  • Reliability information on device drivers

What is NOT telemetry?

Telemetry can sometimes be confused with functional data. Some Windows components and apps connect to Microsoft services directly, but the data they exchange is not telemetry. For example, exchanging a users location for local weather or news is not an example of telemetry it is functional data that the app or service requires to satisfy the users request.

There are subtle differences between telemetry and functional data. Windows collects and sends telemetry in the background automatically. You can control how much information is gathered by setting the telemetry level. Microsoft tries to avoid collecting personal information wherever possible (for example, if a crash dump is collected and a document was in memory at the time of the crash). On the other hand, functional data can contain personal information. However, a user action, such as requesting news or asking Cortana a question, usually triggers collection and transmission of functional data.

Update Nov 3, 2016


but the article seems to contradict itself.

Microsoft struck a deal with security company FireEye recently according to a report on Australian news magazin Arn which gives FireEye access to all Windows 10 Telemetry data.

but the article seems to contradict itself.

Update: Microsoft told Betanews that it is not sharing Windows 10 Telemetry data with the company.
The nature of the deal between Microsoft and FireEye is to license threat intelligence content from FireEye iSIGHT Intelligence. This additional layer of intelligence includes indicators and reports of past attacks collected and edited by FireEye and enhances detection capabilities of Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (WDATP). The deal does not include the sharing of Microsoft telemetry.
The report states that FireEye in return will provide Microsoft with the company's iSIGHT Intelligence software for Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection on Windows 10 devices.
FireEye iSIGHT Intelligence is a proactive, forward-looking means of qualifying threats poised to disrupt business based on the intents, tools and tactics of the attacker.
Windows Defender is built-in to Windows 10 and enabled by default unless other security software is recognized by the operating system.
Pro and Enterprise customers may upgrade to Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection featuring endpoint behavioral sensors, cloud security analysis and threat intelligence.
The news article suggests that the partnership benefits Microsoft, and specifically the reputation and credibility of the commercial version of Windows Defender.
A press release by FireEye on November 3, 2016 provides additional details on the deal. The company's iSIGHT Intelligence software is available through Windows Defender Advanced Threat Protection (WDATP) but not the free version of Windows Defender.

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