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  1. I IN NO WAY TAKE ANY CREDIT FOR THIS IT WAS TAKEN FROM MDL FORUM AND SOME POSTS BY MEMBERS ON THIS FORUM! Manual: Tools: Microsoft Telemetry Tools Bundle v1.77 Windows 10 Lite v9 Private WinTen v0.75b Blackbird v6 v1.0.79.3 [Works with Win 7/8/8/1/10] O&O ShutUp10 v1.8.1410 WPD - Windows Privacy Dashboard v1.3.1532 WindowsSpyBlocker v4.29.0 Spybot Anti-Beacon v3.5 [Works with Win 7/8/8/1/10] W10Privacy v3.4.0.1 SharpApp v0.44.20 Debotnet v0.7.8 Disable Windows 10 Tracking v3.2.3 Destroy Windows Spying v1.0.1.0 [Works with Win 7/8/8/1/10] [NOT RECOMMENDED AS NOT UPDATED ANYMORE]
  2. Cumulative Update bugs spur Microsoft to call for help. Where’s the telemetry when we need it? The recent round of complaints about bugs in KB 4549951, this month’s Win10 version 1903 and 1909 cumulative update, have prompted a request from Microsoft to sound off. That’s great. But you have to wonder why we’re sending Microsoft all of this telemetry when it can’t pinpoint straightforward patterns. OpenClipArt-Vectors (CC0) Last Friday I wrote about problems reported with this month’s Win10 1903/1909 Cumulative Update, KB 4549951. Other than a recurring bug that triggers temporary profiles — a bug we’ve discussed for months that leads to wonky desktops and misplaced files — I couldn’t identify any patterns in the hue and cry. A few hours later, Microsoft officially acknowledged the complaints in a rather odd blanket statement, posted on both the Windows Release Information Status page and the Knowledge Base article: Social media reports related to issues with KB4549951 We have seen social media reports related to KB4549951 that mention Bluetooth, stop error with blue screen and other related issues. Affected platforms: Client: Windows 10, version 1909; Windows 10, version 1903 Server: None Next steps: To date, we have not seen these issues reflected in telemetry, support data or customer feedback channels. We continuously investigate all customer feedback and are closely monitoring this situation. Note If you experience any issues we'd like to know. Please provide feedback using the keyboard shortcut Windows + F or go to the Start menu and select Feedback Hub so that we can investigate. On first glance, that’s great: Microsoft’s actively asking for help nailing down these odd, seemingly random, problems. We rarely see that kind of proactive effort. But on second glance … wuh? There have been dozens of headline-grabbing articles on the problems with this month’s Cumulative Update — not just in social media, but in Windows Latest, BleepingComputer, MSPoweruser, WinCentral, TechRadar, OnMSFT, and in multiple blogs in many languages, all around the world. The reports draw on voluminous reports of bugs that I’ve seen, largely in social media, including those in Microsoft’s regular Windows 10 thread on Reddit, all over Microsoft’s Answers forum, and in the Microsoft Feedback Hub (search on KB4549951). Odd that Microsoft doesn’t consider those “customer feedback channels.” We used to see Microsoft engineers follow up on specific complaints, directly contacting and working with customers who report buggy signs. I rarely see that happen now. Most of the one-on-one I know about occurs with paying enterprise customers filing incident reports. I don’t know how many of those bug reports are legitimately attributed to the Cumulative Update, how many are simple coincidences, and how many emanate from the bowels of the massive Windows echo chamber. I’ve looked for patterns and, except for the temporary profile bug, haven’t found any. That isn’t what concerns me about Friday’s post. Here’s what caught my eye: “we have not seen these issues reflected in telemetry.” That’s a phenomenal statement. And a scary one. Tracking down many of the problems in the Windows-provided telemetry should be trivial. When the Windows Update installer puts in a new patch, a record gets sent back to Microsoft. When the system reboots, another record goes back. When Windows triggers a blue screen there’s another. When the installer doesn’t work and rolls back, there’s another one. And so on. How hard can it be to see if a specific Stop error (blue screen) immediately follows an update reboot? How hard can it be to see if a completely new profile appears immediately after an update reboot? How on earth could they not see “these issues” in the telemetry? Microsoft has spent an enormous amount of money on telemetry. Going all the way back to the time of Dr. Watson, we’ve been sending Microsoft enormous quantities of data. And now they can’t connect these straightforward dots? Meh. We’re following intently on the AskWoody blog. Source: Cumulative Update bugs spur Microsoft to call for help. Where’s the telemetry when we need it? (Computerworld - Woody Leonhard)
  3. Mozilla installs Scheduled Telemetry Task on Windows with Firefox 75 Observant Firefox users on Windows who have updated the web browser to Firefox 75 may have noticed that the upgrade brought along with it a new scheduled tasks. The scheduled task is also added if Firefox 75 is installed on a Windows device. The task's name is Firefox Default Browser Agent and it is set to run once per day. Mozilla published a blog post on the official blog of the organization that provides information on the task and why it has been created. According to Mozilla, the task has been created to help the organization "understand changes in default browser settings". At its core, it is a Telemetry task that collects information and sends the data to Mozilla. Here are the details: The Task is only created if Telemetry is enabled. If Telemetry is set to off (in the most recently used Firefox profile), it is not created and thus no data is sent. The same is true for Enterprise telemetry policies if they are configured. Update: Some users report that the task is created while Telemetry was set to off on their machine. Mozilla collects information "related to the system's current and previous default browser setting, as w2ell as the operating system locale and version". Mozilla notes that the data cannot be "associated with regular profile based telemetry data". The data is sent to Mozilla every 24 hours using the scheduled task. Mozilla added the file default-browser-agent.exe to the Firefox installation folder on Windows which defaults to C:\Program Files\Mozilla Firefox\. Firefox users have the following options if they don't want the data sent to Mozilla: Firefox users who opted-out of Telemetry are good, they don't need to make any change as the new Telemetry data is not sent to Mozilla; this applies to users who opted-out of Telemetry in Firefox or used Enterprise policies to do so. Firefox users who have Telemetry enabled can either opt-out of Telemetry or deal with the task/executable that is responsible. Disable the Firefox Default Browser Agent task Here is how you disable the task: Open Start on the Windows machine and type Task Scheduler. Open the Task Scheduler and go to Task Scheduler Library > Mozilla. There you should find listed the Firefox Default Browser Agent task. Right-click on the task and select Disable. Note: Nightly users may see the Firefox Nightly Default Browser Agent task there as well and may disable it. The task won't be executed anymore once it is disabled. Closing Words The new Telemetry task is only introduced on Windows and runs only if Telemetry is enabled (which it is by default). Mozilla is transparent about the introduction and while that is good, I'd preferred if the company would have informed users about it in the browser after the upgrade to Firefox 75 or installation of the browser and before the task is executed the first time. Source: Mozilla installs Scheduled Telemetry Task on Windows with Firefox 75 (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  4. Microsoft will change Diagnostic Data (Telemetry) Naming in Windows 10 Microsoft released a new build to the Windows 10 Insider channel recently which brings the build number to 19577. The accompanying blog post highlights the changes in that version and the very first entry reveals that Microsoft will change diagnostic data naming in future versions of Windows 10. Windows 10's Settings application lists two different diagnostic data levels currently. The levels, Basic and Full, determine how much data is collected and transferred to Microsoft. Generally known as Telemetry data, it has been at the center of controversy surrounding Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system. According to the announcement, both Basic and Full settings will be renamed in upcoming versions of Windows 10 starting with Insider versions this month (subject to change). Basic will be renamed to required, and full to optional. The company notes: As part of the Microsoft initiative to increase transparency and control over data, we’re making some changes to the Settings app and Group Policy settings that will start showing up in Windows Insider builds this month. Basic diagnostic data is now known as Required diagnostic data and Full diagnostic data is now Optional diagnostic data. A post on Microsoft's answers forum reveals plans to change the Enterprise-only Telemetry levels Security and Enhanced as well. According to it, Enhanced is going to be removed and Security renamed to Diagnostic Data Off. Security diagnostic data becomes Daignostic Data Off. Basic diagnostic data becomes Required diagnostic data. Enhanced diagnostic data is removed. Full diagnostic data becomes Optional diagnostic data. Microsoft will provide "more granular" Group Policy settings to commercial customers to better configure the data that is collected in the organization. Details about these improved Group Policy settings have not been published yet but will be made available "closer to the retail release". Organizations who have set diagnostic data collecting to Enhanced, one of the options only available in Enterprise editions of Windows 10, need to change the level on PCs running Insider builds as these won't be provided with future flights if diagnostic data collecting is set to Enhanced. To continue receiving Insider build updates, devices need to be set to Full diagnostic data (Optional diagnostic data). It appears that the planned changes only affect the names of the diagnostic data levels but not what is being collected. The only change to that comes in the form of new Group Policy options that organizations will have access to. Tip: check out our overview of privacy tools for Windows 10. Source: Microsoft will change Diagnostic Data (Telemetry) Naming in Windows 10 (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  5. European and particularly German Data Protection Regulators have been having a long-running issue with Microsoft regarding the data its operating system sends back to Microsoft. The concern is that the telemetry the OS sends back can include personal information, such as email addresses and text snippets being sent back in keyboard and auto-correct telemetry data. This has resulted in German data protection agencies announcing that Windows 10 is not GDPR-compliant and was not fit for use in schools and government work for example. Microsoft has made efforts to be compliant with the rules, for example moving their servers into the EU, and today Microsoft scored a significant win, after the Bayerischen Landesamts für Datenschutzaufsicht — Bavarian agency for data protection, announced that Windows 10 Enterprise version 1909 (and Education) does not send back any telemetry data to Microsoft when properly configured for this purpose. This testing was completed in December 2019 and was done in a laboratory environment with Microsoft staff in attendance. It included setting the telemetry settings to ‘security’ and using recommended Microsoft tools and settings to further adjust what data is collected. Monitoring the network the computers were placed on showed no data was being transmitted except for certificate requests (though even this could be deactivated), though the agency noted that this needed to be confirmed in a real-world setting. The agency was not able to configure Windows 10 Pro (and Home) in a similar fashion, but this should mean that where data privacy is essential telemetry collected by Windows 10 Enterprise should no longer be an issue, saying: Should this result in real use of Windows 10 at companies confirm then at least dealing with telemetry data in Windows 10 Enterprise (also in managed environments) does not constitute an obstacle to data protection law of this operating system. The information is contained in a report which can be seen here. MSpoweruser
  6. Browse the Telemetry that Firefox collects The Mozilla Firefox web browser, like the majority of browsers available today, collects Telemetry data which Mozilla introduced in Firefox 7 in 2011, Mozilla notes on its official Mozilla Wiki site that Telemetry is "helpful for Mozilla's engineers and decision-makers" as it is used to "measure how Firefox behaves in the real world". Telemetry provides Mozilla with "performance and usage info". Firefox collects only "non-personal information" such as "performance, hardware, usage, and customizations" according to Mozilla. Mozilla is more open about the Telemetry that it collects. Anyone may open the Telemetry portal to check out some of the data. The Firefox Public Data Report for example provides a weekly view of activity, behavior, and hardware configurations of Firefox users. Firefox users who want to know more about the Telemetry that Mozilla collects on their own devices can open about:telemetry to find out about that. The data that is presented to you on the page depends on a number of factors including the Firefox channel and the Telemetry settings in Firefox. Firefox Stable users should see a listing similar to the one on the screenshot above. The sidebar lists different data sections such as Environment Data, Session Information, or Raw JSON. Here is a quick overview of what that data: General Data -- Application specific data, e.g. Firefox version and architecture, and an ID. Environment Data -- Expands into different subsections such as Addons, Experiments, or Settings. Build -- Similar to General Data. Partner -- Partner information, e.g. distributor or partnerNames if available. System -- Detailed information about the system. Mostly hardware, e.g. available memory, CPU features, caches, graphics adapter and capabilities but also operating system and version. Settings -- Some settings including default search engine, some about:config preferences, languages. Profile -- Creation Date. Experiments -- Experiments, often staged rollouts and their value (state). Addons -- All addons, themes, and plugins and information about each (including system add-ons). Session Information -- Details about the active session including its length, ID, active add-ons. Scalars -- Important counters and settings (scalars track a single value), e.g. first paint timestamp, whether the startup is cold, or the startup profile selection reason. Keyed Scalars -- See scalars. Histograms -- Various histograms (numeric measurements), e.g. measurements for extension startups, caches, performance of various subsystems and more. Keyed Histograms -- See Histograms. Events -- Data provided in an event-oriented format (usually empty). Simple Measurements -- Performance related information, e..g how long it took to restore a session or until first paint. Raw JSON -- All data as a JSON file that can be exported and filtered. Currently in Nightly (additionally) Add-on Details -- Add-on IDs and details (where the add-on is installed and how it was installed). Late Writes -- unclear. Mozilla is very open about the Telemetry that it collects and that is a good thing (Microsoft made a u-Turn in regards to Telemetry on the company's Windows 10 operating system as well). Firefox users may furthermore disable Telemetry in the browser to prevent that Telemetry data is sent to Mozilla (read here why it may not be a good idea to do so under certain circumstances). Mozilla revealed this month that it will introduce a feature in Firefox that enables users of the browser to delete all stored Telemetry (instead of Telemetry being deleted automatically by Mozilla). Source: Browse the Telemetry that Firefox collects (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  7. While many fled from GitHub to GitLab following Microsoft acquiring the code hosting service, GitLab has come under a bit of fire of its own with plans they had been working on around telemetry support that would begin tracking its users and potentially sharing the data with third-party firms. After announcing planned changes to their terms of service, following customer outrage they quickly stepped down on those plans. Below is an email GitLab sent out to their customers that was also then shared with Phoronix. Dear GitLab users and customers, On October 23, we sent an email entitled "Important Updates to our Terms of Service and Telemetry Services" announcing upcoming changes. Based on considerable feedback from our customers, users, and the broader community, we reversed course the next day and removed those changes before they went into effect. Further, GitLab will commit to not implementing telemetry in our products that sends usage data to a third-party product analytics service. This clearly struck a nerve with our community and I apologize for this mistake. So, what happened? In an effort to improve our user experience, we decided to implement user behavior tracking with both first and third-party technology. Clearly, our evaluation and communication processes for rolling out a change like this were lacking and we need to improve those processes. But that's not the main thing we did wrong. Our main mistake was that we did not live up to our own core value of collaboration by including our users, contributors, and customers in the strategy discussion and, for that, I am truly sorry. It shouldn't have surprised us that you have strong feelings about opt-in/opt-out decisions, first versus third-party tracking, data protection, security, deployment flexibility and many other topics, and we should have listened first. So, where do we go from here? The first step is a retrospective that is happening on October 29 to document what went wrong. We are reaching out to customers who expressed concerns and collecting feedback from users and the wider community. We will put together a new proposal for improving the user experience and share it for feedback. We made a mistake by not collaborating, so now we will take as much time as needed to make sure we get this right. You can be part of the collaboration by posting comments in this issue: https://gitlab.com/gitlab-com/www-gitlab-com/issues/5672. If you are a customer, you may also reach out to your GitLab representative if you have additional feedback. I am glad you hold GitLab to a higher standard. If we are going to be transparent and collaborative, we need to do it consistently and learn from our mistakes. Sincerely, Sid Sijbrandij Co-Founder and CEO GitLab So all is well for now and they have no stated plans for user behavior tracking / telemetry in their popular collaboration software built around Git. Source
  8. Microsoft surreptitiously adds telemetry functionality to July 2019 Win7 Security-only patch Unannounced, Microsoft has added telemetry functionality to the July 2019 Security-only Update for Windows 7 KB4507456. Alerted on Patch Tuesday by an anonymous poster: Warning for group B Windows 7 users! The “July 9, 2019—KB4507456 (Security-only update)” is NOT “security-only” update. It replaces infamous KB2952664 and contains telemetry. Some details can be found in file information for update 4507456 (keywords: “telemetry”, “diagtrack” and “appraiser”) and under http://www.catalog.update.microsoft.com/ScopedViewInline.aspx?updateid=7cdee6a8-6f30-423e-b02c-3453e14e3a6e (in “Package details”->”This update replaces the following updates” and there is KB2952664 listed). It doesn’t apply for IA-64-based systems, but applies both x64 and x86-based systems. Microsoft included the KB2952664 functionality (known as the “Compatibility Appraiser”) in the Security Quality Monthly Rollups for Windows 7 back in September 2018. The move was announced by Microsoft ahead of time. With the July 2019-07 Security Only Quality Update KB4507456, Microsoft has slipped this functionality into a security-only patch without any warning, thus adding the “Compatibility Appraiser” and its scheduled tasks (telemetry) to the update. The package details for KB4507456 say it replaces KB2952664 (among other updates). Come on Microsoft. This is not a security-only update. How do you justify this sneaky behavior? Where is the transparency now. Susan, we need your Pinocchio with a loooooong nose. Source: Microsoft surreptitiously adds telemetry functionality to July 2019 Win7 Security-only patch (AskWoody)
  9. Mozilla to run a Firefox Origin Telemetry experiment in development versions of Firefox Mozilla announced a push to improving privacy for all users of the Firefox web browser recently. The organization began to enable Tracking Protection functionality for all new installations with the release of Firefox 67.0.1 Stable, and plans to flip the switch for existing installations as well if settings were not modified by users already. The new default level blocks "some" trackers in private and regular browsing windows, and known tracking cookies. The previous setting blocked some known trackers in private windows only. The companies and individuals that operate these trackers and sites may react to the change, and Mozilla wants to be prepared for that. The organization plans to run an experiment in development versions of the Firefox web browser to detect workarounds by these organizations and individuals. Mozilla is aware of the sensitive nature of the data and decided that it would need a better way to analyze the data that would not potentially reveal sensitive information. Firefox Origin Telemetry Mozilla developed Firefox Origin Telemetry for that specific use case. The component is built on top of Prio, a "privacy-preserving data collection system developed by Stanford Professor Dan Boneh and PhD candidate Henry Corrigan-Gibbs". Mozilla wants to collect blocklist totals only. We will use Firefox Origin Telemetry to collect counts of the number of sites on which each blocklist rule was active, as well as counts of the number of sites on which the rules were inactive due to one of our compatibility exemptions. By monitoring these statistics over time, we can determine how trackers react to our new protections and discover abuse. Firefox Origin Telemetry needs to be validated before it could land in release versions of Firefox. Mozilla plans to run a test starting with Firefox 69 Nightly. Prio requires that data is collected by two independent parties and Mozilla plans to meet the requirement in release versions. For this initial test, however, Mozilla will run both data collection servers. The collected data falls within the organization's "data collection policies" for pre-release versions of the Firefox web browser. The test runs on 1% of the Firefox Nightly population as that is all that is required to validate the API. Firefox Nightly users who don't want to participate in the experiment may disable Firefox's ability to install and run studies, and to send technical and interaction data to Mozilla. Both options can be configured on the about:preferences#privacy under Firefox Data Collection and Use. Additional information is provided on Mozilla's Security blog. Closing Words Mozilla is open when it comes to the collecting of Telemetry data while companies like Google don't reveal much at all when it comes to that and the experiments that they run. The openness puts Mozilla in a difficult spot as it may be criticized for the decisions it makes; Google is not criticized nearly as much as it is usually tight-lipped in all those regards. Source: Mozilla to run a Firefox Origin Telemetry experiment in development versions of Firefox (gHacks - Martin Brinkmann)
  10. ADN


    W10Privacy can display common Windows 10 security settings that can be activated as well as deactivated within the program. It also allows importing and exporting of your changes. While there are a lot of Windows 10 privacy tools out there, many of them lack the detail this program has. Of course, this means that it might take you a bit longer to go through your choices. For those who don’t want to go into detail you can choose from 3 predefined settings. While the design is very simple, there are also 3 colors so that you can easily spot the these 3 settings: Green - Recommended - this is a conservative mode. Yellow - Conditionally recommended - probably the best bet but look over the choices. Red - Restricted - think of this as geek mode. Better know what you're doing. Must run as administrator. Also, other similar apps don’t always have a back or set a restore point making them a bit scary. This program however does offer a save, save as and load options so you can backup and import or export your settings anytime. W10Privacy has a built in update checker and a handful of user settings as well. Homepage Changelog Download
  11. Canonical's Will Cooke revealed in an email to the Ubuntu development list that the company plans to collect more diagnostic data from desktop. Many programs and operating systems collect diagnostic data. While the degree varies from program to program, it is fair to say that diagnostic data may provide developers with insights into issues and feature popularity. Canonical wants to collect data such as the Ubuntu version, hardware information and selected location during installation to "focus our engineering efforts on the things that matter most to our users". Cooke revealed what the data that Canonical plans to collect would include: Ubuntu Flavour Ubuntu Version Network connectivity or not CPU family RAM Disk(s) size Screen(s) resolution GPU vendor and model OEM Manufacturer Location (based on the location selection made by the user at install). No IP information would be gathered Installation duration (time taken) Auto login enabled or not Disk layout selected Third party software selected or not Download updates during install or not LivePatch enabled or not The company won't collect or store user IP addresses but wants to use Popcon and Apport. Popcon collects data on package use and Apport will be configured to send anonymous crash reports. All data is sent over HTTPS and aggregate information is made available publicly so that anyone may look them up. This would reveal the number of Ubuntu users on AMD or Intel hardware, or how many users select Germany or China as the location. Cooke notes that the data collecting will be opt-out, but that users can uncheck a box during installation or in the Gnome privacy settings to turn the collecting off. Any user can simply opt out by unchecking the box, which triggers one simple POST stating, “diagnostics=false”. There will be a corresponding checkbox in the Privacy panel of GNOME Settings to toggle the state of this. Closing Words Canonical, at least at this stage, does not want to collect as much data as Microsoft does on Windows 10. That's a good thing, and it is even better that the company plans to display an opt-out choice to users during installation and in the privacy settings. While some privacy advocates might have liked an opt-in choice better, giving users an option at all is something that is not self-evident anymore in this day and age. Ghacks.net
  12. Beginning with the April 2018 feature update, Microsoft will release a tool that allows Windows 10 users to inspect diagnostic data collected and sent to Microsoft's telemetry servers. Windows Insider Program members can test the app starting today. Earlier this week I noted a pair of mysterious (and inactive) links in the Privacy settings of recent preview releases of Windows 10, apparently offering the ability to view and delete telemetry data. Today, Microsoft officially confirmed that the next public release of Windows 10 will include a Windows Diagnostic Data Viewer utility. The app will allow anyone with an administrator account to inspect the telemetry data being collected from a device and sent to Microsoft through the Connected User Experience and Telemetry component, also known as the Universal Telemetry Client. Microsoft's enterprise customers have had this capability for some time, using a bare-bones tool available to IT professionals. The new viewer is considerably more polished and intended for use by nontechnical Windows 10 users. Members of the Windows Insider Program will have access to the Windows Diagnostic Data Viewer app in a new build scheduled to be delivered later today. Although the app will be delivered through the Microsoft Store, users won't be required to sign in with a Microsoft account to download and install it. In a blog post published today, Marisa Rogers, Privacy Officer in Microsoft's Windows and Devices Group, positioned the new tool as a way to be "fully transparent" about what data is collected from a device. I haven't been able to use the tool yet, but a pair of screenshots Microsoft released confirm that most of this data is intended to give Microsoft details about the type of hardware and apps in use by the 600 million-plus Windows 10 devices. Article
  13. A tool created to use some of the known methods of disabling tracking in Windows 10. How to Use You can either: A. Run the binary uploaded to the Release tab as an Administrator and select which options you'd like B. Install Python and the dependencies listed below and run the script from an elevated command prompt and select which options you'd like Silent Either can be run with the -silent argument as of v3.1. This will perform all available options of the version you're using. You still need to run it as administrator. Homepage Download Changelog :
  14. WindowsSpyBlocker is an application written in Go and delivered as a single executable to block spying and tracking on Windows systems . The initial approach of this application is to capture and analyze network traffic based on a set of tools. It is open for everyone and if you want to contribute or need help, take a look at the Wiki To capture and analyze network traffic for the telemetry option, QEMU virtual machines are used on the server virtualization management platform Proxmox VE based on : Windows 10 Pro 64bits with automatic updates enabled. Windows 8.1 Pro 64bits with automatic updates enabled. Windows 7 SP1 Pro 64bits with automatic updates enabled. Homepage Download Changelog :
  15. The next feature update for Windows 10, Windows 10 version 1803, will feature new privacy settings and improvements that give users and administrators more control over data on the device. Windows 10 users and admins may change privacy-related settings in several ways on machines running Windows 10. They may change some privacy options under Settings > Privacy, make modifications using policies, or change Registry keys related to privacy. The privacy options in Settings controlled application access to data up until now almost exclusively. You could turn a feature, say access to the microphone or notifications, off completely, or allow access on an individual basis only. Microsoft started to improve the privacy settings in the Fall Creators Update. If you open the Location controls in that version of Windows 10, you will notice that disabling location will make it unavailable to apps, Windows, and services. The most recent Windows 10 Insider Build, version 17074, features three new entries under privacy in the Settings application. Windows 10 version 1803: privacy improvements You find the new entries Videos, Documents and Pictures there. All three allow you to block application access to the system folders but you may also notice that you may deny Windows access to these folders as well. The description reads: Allow access to the documents/videos/pictures library on this device. If you allow access, people using this device will be able to choose if their apps have documents/videos/pictures library access by using the settings on this page. Denying access blocks Windows and apps from accessing the documents/videos/pictures library. A click on the change button turns access on or off on the device. You may also turn off application access only by flipping the preferences switch under "allow apps" on the page. This prevents applications from accessing the library but not Windows. Last but not least, you may allow specific applications access but deny access to all other apps. What happens if you disable access for Windows? It is unclear at this point in time. I ran a quick test after disabling access to the pictures library but did not notice any issues. Using File Explorer, I could still browse the folder and apps. I fired up Paint 3D and could load images using drag and drop, and could also save files to the folder. Windows Defender scanned the folder as well. It is possible that the functionality is not fully implemented yet, or that the access restriction only applies to automated processes. Ghacks.net
  16. At Microsoft, we use Windows telemetry to inform our decisions and focus our efforts in providing the most robust, most valuable platform for your business and the people who count on Windows to enable them to be as productive as possible. Telemetry gives users a voice in the operating system’s development. This guide describes the importance of Windows telemetry and how we protect that data. Additionally, it differentiates between telemetry and functional data. It also describes the telemetry levels that Windows supports. Of course, you can choose how much telemetry is shared with Microsoft, and this guide demonstrates how. To frame a discussion about telemetry, it is important to understand Microsoft’s privacy principles. We earn customer trust every day by focusing on six key privacy principles as described at privacy.microsoft.com. These principles guided the implementation of the Windows telemetry system in the following ways: •Control. We offer customers control of the telemetry they share with us by providing easy-to-use management tools. •Transparency. We provide information about the telemetry that Windows and Windows Server collects so our customers can make informed decisions. •Security. We encrypt telemetry in transit from your device and protect that data at our secure data centers. •Strong legal protections. We respect customers’ local privacy laws and fight for legal protection of their privacy as a fundamental human right. •No content-based targeting. We take steps to avoid and minimize the collection of customer content, such as the content of files, chats, or emails, through the Windows telemetry system. Customer content inadvertently collected is kept confidential and not used for user targeting. •Benefits to you. We collect Windows telemetry to help provide you with an up-to-date, more secure, reliable and performant product, and to improve Windows for all of our customers. This article applies to Windows and Windows Server telemetry only. Other Microsoft or third-party apps, such as System Center Configuration Manager, System Center Endpoint Protection, or System Center Data Protection Manager, might send data to their cloud services in ways that are inconsistent with this guide. Their publishers are responsible for notifying users of their privacy policies, telemetry controls, and so on. This article describes the types of telemetry we may gather, the ways you might manage it in your organization, and some examples of how telemetry can provide you with valuable insights into your enterprise deployments. Microsoft uses the data to quickly identify and address issues affecting its customers. Use this article to make informed decisions about how you might configure telemetry in your organization. Telemetry is a term that means different things to different people and organizations. For the purpose of this article, we discuss telemetry as system data that is uploaded by the Connected User Experience and Telemetry component. The telemetry data is used to help keep Windows devices secure by identifying malware trends and other threats and to help Microsoft improve the quality of Windows and Microsoft services. We are always striving to improve our documentation and welcome your feedback. You can provide feedback by contacting [email protected] Overview In previous versions of Windows and Windows Server, Microsoft used telemetry to check for updated or new Windows Defender signatures, check whether Windows Update installations were successful, gather reliability information through the Reliability Analysis Component (RAC), and gather reliability information through the Windows Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP) on Windows. In Windows 10 and Windows Server 2016, you can control telemetry streams by using the Privacy option in Settings, Group Policy, or MDM. For Windows 10, we invite IT pros to join the Windows Insider Program to give us feedback on what we can do to make Windows work better for your organization. Understanding Windows telemetry Windows as a Service is a fundamental change in how Microsoft plans, builds, and delivers the operating system. Historically, we released a major Windows version every few years. The effort required to deploy large and infrequent Windows versions was substantial. That effort included updating the infrastructure to support the upgrade. Windows as a Service accelerates the cadence to provide rich updates more frequently, and these updates require substantially less effort to roll out than earlier versions of Windows. Since it provides more value to organizations in a shorter timeframe, delivering Windows as a Service is a top priority for us. The release cadence of Windows may be fast, so feedback is critical to its success. We rely on telemetry at each stage of the process to inform our decisions and prioritize our efforts. 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 performant •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 user’s 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 user’s 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. If you’re an IT pro that wants to manage Windows functional data sent from your organization to Microsoft, see Manage connections from Windows operating system components to Microsoft services. The following are specific examples of functional data: •Current location for weather •Bing searches •Wallpaper and desktop settings synced across multiple devices Much More Information Here - Too Long To Post All
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