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Microsoft renamed its data slurper

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Honorary Alumnus

Microsoft renamed its data slurper

Sneaky Microsoft renamed its data slurper before sticking it back in Windows 10How many coincidences does it take to be Scroogled?

“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 of the story, which gets murkier by the day.

We already knew Windows 10 Threshold deleted third-party data monitoring tools and cleanup tools, including stalwarts like Spybot and CCleaner. It even disabled Cisco’s VPN software. Just a bug, said Microsoft.

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

This year Microsoft introduced background tracking services called DiagTrack, or the Diagnostics Tracking Service. It was added to Windows 8.1 installations as well as betas of Windows 10. It arrived without much fanfare in May 14, in the shape of a patch, KB3022345.

It was just one of several slurping enhancements added via the back door.

The data that DiagTrack collected was typical of a spyware programme. The only way you knew you were being monitored was by eyeballing the list of running processes in Task Manager. As Microsoft explained:

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.

Users thought it had disappeared in recent Windows 10 builds – but it hadn’t. Microsoft had simply renamed it.

The sinister-sounding tracking app was now the beatific and caring “Connected User Experiences and Telemetry Service”. Once again, it needs to be disabled manually (this time through the Services control panel).

“It is this kind of overriding desire for control and a disregard for user choices which is harming Windows 10,” says Forbes journo Gordon Kelly, and he’s right.

Microsoft spent millions portraying Google as a greedy and amoral data marauder. Redmond doesn't need to read your email, it told everyone. The Scroogled campaign positioned Microsoft itself as the ethical alternative; the occupier of the moral high ground.

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.


Source:

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2015/11/26/microsoft_renamed_data_slurper_reinserted_windows_10/




8 REPLIES 8
Highlighted
Honorary Alumnus

Re: Microsoft renamed its data slurper

The issue even goes beyond privacy concerns for those of us on capped data plans.

This same behavior noted in Win10 has been backported to many Win7/8/8.1 users via some Windows updates.

Look at the number of complaints of missing data here in the Hughes Community.


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Associate Professor

Re: Microsoft renamed its data slurper

They actually released a patch the other day for god knows what, they refuse to list EVERYTHING it changed, but it was significant enough that it changed the actual Winver from 10586.11 to 10586.14 which isn't normal.
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Moderator

Re: Microsoft renamed its data slurper

So, you're saying some data crunching guy at MS knows how many cat videos I look at? Smiley Happy
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Assistant Professor

Re: Microsoft renamed its data slurper

No date tonight Amanda? You're going to be one of us old cronies if not careful. Is nice to see an OR here though.
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Moderator

Re: Microsoft renamed its data slurper

I've got a date with the community tonight
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Assistant Professor

Re: Microsoft renamed its data slurper

Is on the creepy side.  Smiley Happy
Highlighted
Moderator

Re: Microsoft renamed its data slurper

I think I'm delirious from all this girl scouts candy - time to check out the online sales!
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Associate Professor