How To Disable Windows 10 Spying

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If you are planning to upgrade to Windows 10 in the near future (or already have), you might want to watch this video on how to disable all of the spying features of Windows 10. Definitely worth the click to watch.
 

Ur_Mom

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I wonder how many people realize what other devices and/or software are collecting...

With Windows 10, I'm an open book. Insiders, Feedback Tool, etc.. I utilize all the features (Search, Cortana, weather, etc.), and rely on a lot of that information.

For others, I'm sure this is a very helpful thing, though. "Spying" has been pushed so far up people's asses lately, anything that does any kind of data collection (even if it's done it for years) leaves a sour taste in peoples mouths (probably not the best worded sentence... not ATM, of course!). Regardless of the reason. My only issue is that when the user turns it off via the OS options, it's not completely off. That irks some people, and rightly so. Some people want complete privacy.
 
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One would think that the necessity of doing this would be quite a telling point to consumers at large, but I just have to wonder if anyone is really paying attention. :(
 

JDon

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Expected "INSTALL XP" into a combination RickRoll/CenaBomb
 

CreepyUncleGoogle

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One would think that the necessity of doing this would be quite a telling point to consumers at large, but I just have to wonder if anyone is really paying attention. :(

Since Google/Alphabet's been doing it for years and really only got a strong response when they started to do the whole strapping spy cameras to peoples' heads under the name Glass, I'm pretty sure that no one cares. They're apathetic, clueless, or don't care what the cost is in data harvesting as long as something is free or inexpensive since they need that money to buy beer and make a down payment on the next major purchase that'll keep them nearly drowned in debt. :)
 

Uvaman

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I always wondered about window's indexing service.. can't imagine not being used to do a defacto search of PC harddrives. I mean something that scans and catalogs every file.. its too much to ignore I am sure.
 

heatlesssun

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For others, I'm sure this is a very helpful thing, though. "Spying" has been pushed so far up people's asses lately, anything that does any kind of data collection (even if it's done it for years) leaves a sour taste in peoples mouths (probably not the best worded sentence... not ATM, of course!). Regardless of the reason. My only issue is that when the user turns it off via the OS options, it's not completely off. That irks some people, and rightly so. Some people want complete privacy.

One thing that gets overlooked often in this discussion is the functionality that's attached to a lot of this stuff. I think the term spying doesn't make a lot of sense as once you use this stuff it beyond obvious that "spying" is going on. How would Cortana know exactly who I mean when I say "Hey Cortana, text my wife?" with no effort other than having defined that nickname in my Outlook contacts years before Windows 8 even came out? Or how would Windows change my wallpaper and color scheme automatically across all of my devices? Of reading lists, history, etc.?

Clearly this stuff one is leveraging a ton of personal information in order for certain features to work. And while I get that some hate all of that, this is common in consumer computing now. People expect settings and data to sync up with them wherever they go. While privacy is reduced it is a tremendous convenience and simplifies a lot of things for the average user.

We're going to see more of this, not less, as time passes. Right or wrong the market is accepting data sharing and leverage to drive and enhance features.
 

Quix

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If only it were so easy to get Google off your back.

If only the majority of the people realized that. Compared to iOS or Android, Windows Phone hardly sends anything to Microsoft. And Google, Yahoo and 100 other agencies track everything you do online.
 

Ordeith

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What a maroon.,
"I care about my privacy" /Uses Youtube (with Google account) /Installs and uses Chrome.

He's more than a little foolish.
 

Kongar

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I think people are getting so bent out of shape over privacy because it's really getting creepy. Example:

On my iPad, I googled "Rottweiler puppies" - went to ONE page and then a sub page from there on recommended dog food. I read the article and learned about a brand of dog food called "Wellness"

Now here's where it gets creepy. I TEXTED my wife from my iPhone "hey I read about this dog food "Wellness" that's available at petsmart. Maybe we should try that brand. She never googled it, I never sent a link, no email, no looking it up on amazon or petsmart webpage - NOTHING.

My wife opens up her Facebook app, on her iPhone - BOOM, front and center the exact brand of dogfood right down to the large breed chicken and rice whatever formula in an ad.

I'm still trying to figure out how it knows. The only thing I can think of is that Facebook app is reading her texts on her phone. But how did it know the exact brand? And that makes me suspicious of my Microsoft account linked to gmail on my iPhone etc. it's like are they all in cahoots passing data from Apple to Microsoft to Facebook to Amazon on and on?

Makes me (and probably a lot of others) say f it - pull the plug and turn it all off.
 

Ordeith

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Kongar, your answer is in your question. Google.
You "Googled" Rottweiler puppies, and they tracked you.
You visited one page, and they tracked you.
You visited a sub page and read an article, and they tracked you.
Google tracks page views, time spent on pages, scroll positions, mouse positions, what elements you interact with, what elements you ignore, all of it.
Then you have Gmail on your phone, so they have whatever permissions you gave them there as well. They know you communicated, Facebook knows your relationship. It took one lookup to Google's ad engine to put it all together.
There's a reason Google is the largest advertising company on the planet and is making billions from it.
 

Fun

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I think people are getting so bent out of shape over privacy because it's really getting creepy. Example:

On my iPad, I googled "Rottweiler puppies" - went to ONE page and then a sub page from there on recommended dog food. I read the article and learned about a brand of dog food called "Wellness"

Now here's where it gets creepy. I TEXTED my wife from my iPhone "hey I read about this dog food "Wellness" that's available at petsmart. Maybe we should try that brand. She never googled it, I never sent a link, no email, no looking it up on amazon or petsmart webpage - NOTHING.

My wife opens up her Facebook app, on her iPhone - BOOM, front and center the exact brand of dogfood right down to the large breed chicken and rice whatever formula in an ad.

I'm still trying to figure out how it knows. The only thing I can think of is that Facebook app is reading her texts on her phone. But how did it know the exact brand? And that makes me suspicious of my Microsoft account linked to gmail on my iPhone etc. it's like are they all in cahoots passing data from Apple to Microsoft to Facebook to Amazon on and on?

Makes me (and probably a lot of others) say f it - pull the plug and turn it all off.

Are you an ad or a real person? I can't tell anymore!
 

Ordeith

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This was mentioned in the video.

But not really. The guy really didn't understand much of what he was talking about.

Example: his contact access disable setting. He says he would rather choose what apps have access to contacts. But disabling contact access is not how you accomplish that choice.

If disabled, no apps will have access, period.
If enabled, you can then choose which apps can have access.

Disabling turns everything off, enabling gives you the granular control he was advocating.

And don't get me started on how he didn't even know what remote registry was, what it's used for, or that it has been in Windows since Windows 2000, and similar functionality has been in Windows since Windows 95.
 

SDplus

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I somewhat agree with Ordeith, but I think the video will do more good than harm, especially for average users. He explains things on the level that is needed for most people. For those who can see the problems in his descriptions there is no problem anyway as you probably already know all of this anyway. Sometimes the absolute correct understanding of things is not needed as long as the user does the right thing and has a general idea.

I will recommend the video to some of my friends. Most of which will not care and still have everything on. :) But we can always try to inform a little at a time. In the end something important will actually stick. :)
 

jnemesh

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First, download a Linux distribution of your choice. For those of you who have used nothing but Windows, I would suggest Mint.

Follow the instructions to repartition your hard drive, completely eliminating the malware from your hard drive and install.

When finished, you will have a familiar desktop, a start button, a start MENU, and full control over what patches are installed, what communication your PC has with the outside world, and NO corporate overlord dictating how YOUR PC operates!
 

pxc

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Turning off the data collection options isn't the same as disabling the spying. Several of the options do nothing, and remain in near constant contact with MS servers.
 

Dr. Righteous

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Have to agree that with him that Microsoft is moving away from being a software/OS company to a data miner, advertising company. Essentially what we computer professionals consider the scum of the earth.

So apparently the sole purpose Window10 is DATA MINING.

Good luck that.
 

Ordeith

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data miner, advertising company. Essentially what we computer professionals consider the scum of the earth.


If only that were so. then "you computer professionals" may not have helped Google become the largest data mining, advertising company the world has ever seen.

but you did, and they are vigorously attacking the "old ways". Microsoft has to adapt or die.

Good job.
 

Exavior

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I wonder how many people realize what other devices and/or software are collecting...

With Windows 10, I'm an open book. Insiders, Feedback Tool, etc.. I utilize all the features (Search, Cortana, weather, etc.), and rely on a lot of that information.

For others, I'm sure this is a very helpful thing, though. "Spying" has been pushed so far up people's asses lately, anything that does any kind of data collection (even if it's done it for years) leaves a sour taste in peoples mouths (probably not the best worded sentence... not ATM, of course!). Regardless of the reason. My only issue is that when the user turns it off via the OS options, it's not completely off. That irks some people, and rightly so. Some people want complete privacy.

I agree. I am at work so couldn't watch this video with sound but just kind of skipped through it some to see what he was doing. "spying" was allowing apps to use your location. something that every phone I have used now requires for 1/2 the apps no matter if they need that info or not. Same goes for a few of the other options, they are not things that I would truly consider spying. It is allowing data to be used for service to function. It isn't storing that data in a massive database.

One thing that gets overlooked often in this discussion is the functionality that's attached to a lot of this stuff. I think the term spying doesn't make a lot of sense as once you use this stuff it beyond obvious that "spying" is going on. How would Cortana know exactly who I mean when I say "Hey Cortana, text my wife?" with no effort other than having defined that nickname in my Outlook contacts years before Windows 8 even came out? Or how would Windows change my wallpaper and color scheme automatically across all of my devices? Of reading lists, history, etc.?

Clearly this stuff one is leveraging a ton of personal information in order for certain features to work. And while I get that some hate all of that, this is common in consumer computing now. People expect settings and data to sync up with them wherever they go. While privacy is reduced it is a tremendous convenience and simplifies a lot of things for the average user.

We're going to see more of this, not less, as time passes. Right or wrong the market is accepting data sharing and leverage to drive and enhance features.

iPhones require you have an apple account, actually think macs require that you have one to sign in. Everyone is fine with that. Microsoft does the same to be able to give you more functionality and like you said the functionality is ignore by those that don't like the change. Sure I don't want all my information being shared with the world, I don't want Microsoft (or anyone) keeping extremely detailed records of everything. Using Microsoft accounts and onedrive, I can allow my nephews to sign into either laptop or desktop in their house and have the same account on all of these machines, they can move files around and not have to worry about which device did I put that paper / project on, bookmarks on one computer are on all computers. This is no different than companies using roaming profiles. But now your roaming profile is for personal use and works on a more world wise scale. So yes, you do have to login with a Microsoft account and yes you do have to use some cloud services but it does open up a lot more functionality for the average person beyond what they can do themselves. Not everyone is going to setup a windows domain in their house and configure their own roaming profiles.

If only the majority of the people realized that. Compared to iOS or Android, Windows Phone hardly sends anything to Microsoft. And Google, Yahoo and 100 other agencies track everything you do online.

yup, these same people probably use chrome and log into that so that google can tract everything, probably use an ios or andtroid phone with all that stuff still turned on and more. probably uses some service to sync bookmarks between all devices. but then will complain because Microsoft does a fraction of what the others do.

The fact that allowing windows update was considered spying made me chuckle.
 

Ur_Mom

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With Windows 10, I'm an open book. Insiders, Feedback Tool, etc.. I utilize all the features (Search, Cortana, weather, etc.), and rely on a lot of that information.

One thing that gets overlooked often in this discussion is the functionality that's attached to a lot of this stuff. I think the term spying doesn't make a lot of sense as once you use this stuff it beyond obvious that "spying" is going on. How would Cortana know exactly who I mean when I say "Hey Cortana, text my wife?" with no effort other than having defined that nickname in my Outlook contacts years before Windows 8 even came out? Or how would Windows change my wallpaper and color scheme automatically across all of my devices? Of reading lists, history, etc.?

Yup. People want Siri, Google Now, Cortana. People want files on every device (people LOVE OneNote on multiple devices). People want to be connected. They want to look at a device, see the weather/stocks/email/text notifications. People like setting up a new PC and having their settings transfer to the new one. People like spell check. People like updates that fix crashing (although, some seem to cause them!).

That requires a bit of data transmission back and forth. Not really spying, either. If they don't want that, though, they should be able to disable it. Just with the caveat that it's just a simple OS that does none of those above features. If that's all that's wanted, though, Windows 7 is a nice alternative. Be a smart consumer. If you don't want all those new features, don't upgrade. Go Linux. That's the way technology is moving, though. A connected world. It's just going to keep getting more and more connected, too. You can only avoid it for so long.

But - there is that level of trust between the end user and the technology holder (be it Microsoft, Google, Apple, Verizon, etc.). Many people don't trust Microsoft with their data. They need to have some openness about how it's used, how it's not used, how it's protected from outside eyes, how they cleanse the PII out, etc.. They have done a little bit of that, but it didn't satisfy people (it came off as a marketing document rather than a technical one).

I can talk into my watch to dictate and send a text to my wife via Cortana. I get desktop alerts when I get a text back. I love this, and I hope it gets a lot better.
 

ccman

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But not really. The guy really didn't understand much of what he was talking about.

Example: his contact access disable setting. He says he would rather choose what apps have access to contacts. But disabling contact access is not how you accomplish that choice.

If disabled, no apps will have access, period.
If enabled, you can then choose which apps can have access.

Disabling turns everything off, enabling gives you the granular control he was advocating.

And don't get me started on how he didn't even know what remote registry was, what it's used for, or that it has been in Windows since Windows 2000, and similar functionality has been in Windows since Windows 95.
But he did though. He acknowledged that changing these settings will cause some things to not work. He specifically mentioned Cortana not working if you turn off "Personalize your speech, typing and inking input...".

Yes, he got it wrong in places and is guilt of hyperbole and exaggeration. He did mention that turning things off will cause Apps not to function. He said he was going to give information to disable all and suggested the viewer chose which they wanted/needed and which they didn't.

Whether or not we like the messenger or the way the message was phrased, the message was there.

When one is attacking the messenger and not addressing the message, the strength of the argument is in question.
 

Ordeith

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When one is attacking the messenger and not addressing the message, the strength of the argument is in question.

Oh come on. It's not like I called him out for being a hyperbolizing, dramatizing, attention seeking, hypocritical git.

If you are going to give advice by sitting atop a self built "expert" pedestal it isn't too much to ask that you actually know what you are talking about. It also isn't unreasonable to expect people to question your message when there are obvious flaws and knowledge gaps present within it.

Highlighting those flaws is attacking the message.
 

heatlesssun

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But he did though. He acknowledged that changing these settings will cause some things to not work. He specifically mentioned Cortana not working if you turn off "Personalize your speech, typing and inking input...".

Yes he did mention these things but the point of his video was to turn everything off, not actually examine the features here. If one has never used them then of course they wouldn't know from experience and would call it "spying" when it's clear that the data sharing does a lot of convenient things.

There's certainly a disconnect here. Clearly, for better or for worse, IT has been revolutionized by connectivity, mobility, services, data leverage, advertising and social networking. This stuff isn't going away and is only going to grow. The average user isn't going to stop using the GPS on their phones or move to desktop Linux to avoid the things that they clearly have had no problem with. And I think sometime people in forums like this underestimate people in general. It's clear that data is being collected and shared for this stuff to work. Indeed if one stores a file in DropBox or OneDrive of Google Drive or Amazon Cloud that someone else now has the data. And overall that's not scaring people off. Indeed remember the tizzy that was generated with Microsoft changed its OneDrive limits?

When one is attacking the messenger and not addressing the message, the strength of the argument is in question.

So what is the message? Do all of this on Windows 10 PC to protect your privacy. But the GPS on your phone is no problem?
 

LanceDiamond

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Windows 10 being the root of all privacy problems is overblown. Google, Facebook, etc, etc, etc went down this road a long time ago. Microsoft is trying to compete (and actually making progress - which is nice) with what has been going on for some time now.

At one time I was of the mind I'd just not participate in social media to avoid sharing all that information. Now I realize it's out there - 'they' have a lot of my information and can use it to whatever end 'they' want to. By not participating I just lose any benefits but still give up plenty of data I have zero control over (mass data breaches via corporations I may do business with, govt collection of data, etc.)

All that said - I did watch the entire video and I did grab Spybot Anti-Beacon, do an immunize and turn off all the telemetry collection. I'll see if that breaks anything and if so, I'll probably just undo it because if it breaks something I'm now using 'they' can go back to gathering the information from me.
 

ccman

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So what is the message? Do all of this on Windows 10 PC to protect your privacy. But the GPS on your phone is no problem?
Maybe I should have included the last part. No Edit in [H]ard|OCP Front Page News. I just reacted to what seemed like calling the guy an idiot. But welcome to the internet, I guess.

My message would be there exist some settings in Windows 10 that are enabled by default that exist in order to provide services (or a better experience). These settings send data to servers on the internet. An informed user who is concerned about these sorts of things should be aware of these settings. If the user is uncomfortable with any of these settings, they can turn them off, and fairly easily if they know where to go. There exist programs that exist to help you manage these settings, but be careful to only use third party software you trust.

What I just said was not what he was saying in the way he was saying it. I think it is easy to take exception to the exaggeration and hyperbole.

I think people need to know. We need to know about Microsoft, about Apple, about Google, about Facebook, about LinkedIn, about Yahoo, etc. Do you disagree? (We shouldn't scrutinize Microsoft and Windows 10 or anyone else for that matter? It's required for agile programming and services, so we should just blindly accept it all?)
 

natos

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Good lord....does this guy ever go outside, he's so pale and obese.....
 

Domingow

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The thing that is often overlooked is that windows10 is a paid for product. (sure free upgrade for a bit, but then its $100 or so next year) Chrome, Facebook, IOS ect are not. As a result of that I expect to have no data harvesting on the paid for product. If its free then the product is you and your expectation of privacy is null. Microsoft is attempting to make money on both ends from the consumer and from the data mined on the paid product. This is garbage. Although shutup10 and corporate windows 10 may help the more paranoid folks.
 

TechLarry

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Didn't someone release an app a few weeks ago that did all this from one screen?
 

Dr. Righteous

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Windows 10 being the root of all privacy problems is overblown. Google, Facebook, etc, etc, etc went down this road a long time ago. Microsoft is trying to compete (and actually making progress - which is nice) with what has been going on for some time now.

At one time I was of the mind I'd just not participate in social media to avoid sharing all that information. Now I realize it's out there - 'they' have a lot of my information and can use it to whatever end 'they' want to. By not participating I just lose any benefits but still give up plenty of data I have zero control over (mass data breaches via corporations I may do business with, govt collection of data, etc.)

All that said - I did watch the entire video and I did grab Spybot Anti-Beacon, do an immunize and turn off all the telemetry collection. I'll see if that breaks anything and if so, I'll probably just undo it because if it breaks something I'm now using 'they' can go back to gathering the information from me.


Sounds like the "everybodys doing it" argument for smoking pot.

Just because internet based services data mine it is quite a different thing when a new release of an operating system is built around the purpose of DATA MINING.

That is a deal breaker in my book.

Now that this truth has come to light Linux is looking better and better despite the fact that hardware vendors treat it like a red-headed step child.
 

weebling1

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Impeccable timing!

I was just installing win10 last night (my win7 was to clobbered to repair) and all I really knew to turn of was the 'cloud' junk.

TY
 

Ocellaris

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Tawnos made a really nice post on the forum about what MS actually collects for data if you simply opt out of everything. It isn't that bad, and certainly isn't a sign that MS's prime mission with Windows 10 is to spy on people:

http://hardforum.com/showpost.php?p=1042012527&postcount=32

What is it that people still have an issue with? That your crash dumps get sent to MS?
 

Tawnos

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Tawnos made a really nice post on the forum about what MS actually collects for data if you simply opt out of everything. It isn't that bad, and certainly isn't a sign that MS's prime mission with Windows 10 is to spy on people:

http://hardforum.com/showpost.php?p=1042012527&postcount=32

What is it that people still have an issue with? That your crash dumps get sent to MS?

Crash dumps are sent only at the enhanced level or higher. ;)

I made a much longer set of posts on reddit, going into more depth. Either way, haters gonna hate.
 
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