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Windows 10 can still connect to Microsoft's servers, even if users enable privacy features

Windows 10, in theory, allows its users to go into its settings to disable the operating system from sending information to Microsoft. However, a new look into Windows 10 shows that, even with this kind of effort by users, the OS is still connecting and communicating with Microsoft servers.

As Ars Technica reports, some of the information that is being sent seems to be harmless, with no machine identification being transmitted to Microsoft. However, there is other data that's being sent to Microsoft that is not as clear:

"Windows 10 will periodically send data to a Microsoft server named ssw.live.com. This server seems to be used for OneDrive and some other Microsoft services. Windows 10 seems to transmit information to the server even when OneDrive is disabled and logins are using a local account that isn't connected to a Microsoft Account. The exact nature of the information being sent isn't clear—it appears to be referencing telemetry settings—and again, it's not clear why any data is being sent at all."

In a statement, Microsoft said:

"As part of delivering Windows 10 as a service, updates may be delivered to provide ongoing new features to Bing search, such as new visual layouts, styles and search code. No query or search usage data is sent to Microsoft, in accordance with the customer's chosen privacy settings. This also applies to searching offline for items such as apps, files and settings on the device."

Source: Ars Technica

156 Comments
  • So this is silly!!!
  • So data is still being sent. Enterprise will love this, probably the reason business uptake on the w10 Enterprise sku hasn't been as prolific as Commercial upgrades - what gives? Especially if people party for the privilege? A simple option to opt out is needed and fast. This is plain daft.
  • Lmao, Windows 10 has been out for two weeks. Of course tens of millions of enterprise users aren't going to upgrade.
  • It was only made available on MVLS end of last week for enterprise.
  • That's kinda missing the point... they could've had it 3 months ago, but they're still not going to upgrade willy-nilly without a rigourous plan in place and a lot of testing to ensure it will be a smooth transition. Unless there's a compelling reason to do it, a lot of corporations are gonna bide their time for a couple of years.
  • Or maybe because Enterprise upgrades aren't free like consumer upgrades.
  • Software Assurance anytime upgrade.  Most large corporations have it.  If they don't, they're spending too much.
  • All large corporations have it, otherwise they wouldn't have the Enterprise version of Windows.  That said, 12 months after launch is the soonest you'll see any larger scale rollouts.  Sending telemetry data wouldn't matter to an enterprise and, if it did, they would just block it.  This is a consumer panic issue is all.  Because people are idiots and think... I don't really know what they think.
  • Depending on what is being sent, I would consider this a "really big deal."  I don't want MS to know anything about me because they don't need to.  I don't need "better advertisements" or "customized services" sent to me.  I've done just fine without them for many, many years. If MS is collecting information about how I use their product without my consent, then I expect to join the eventual class action lawsuit. 'Scroogle' is looking rather ironic, at this point, since W10 is basically a piece of spyware like Android.
  • Sorry you won't be collecting your class action check for a few pennys or a coupon good at the nearest Microsoft Store because if you really did install Windows 10, you agreed to arbitration as the method of dispute resolution and waived class action participation.
  • Human-cent-iPad anyone? ;)
  • Oh boo.  Should have read the fine print, I guess.
  • You seem pretty set on what data you want sent and what you don't. Why in that case did you not read the EUL agreement?
  • If data is "being sent" that isn't related to who you are or what you're doing, then what's the problem? Computers are constantly communicating back and forth with the internet to update and download any number of things. None of these things are security concerns. If Microsoft were analysing individual user's activity, or scanning email content (cough Gmail) or retaining your files for later business use, that would be different. But they're not. Many of the new services are cloud-based, but all your information is secure, so I really don't understand how this is even a discussion.
  • Yep, your ISP gets to see every DNS request of every site you visit and knows a lot more than Microsoft!
  • @Jeddic; Absolutely. They are trying hard to make Microsoft into Google but sorry it's not working. Since Windows 95 I have never been intruded upon by Microsoft with the hotmail of which I got later and I am willing to bet unless the violate the terms of agreement they assuming using Microsoft's products over a number of years never had any intrusion upon them as well by Microsoft. With Google your likely to see your stuff in a TV commercial or on a billboard someplace.
  • All modern operating systems communicate with the cloud.  This is the future.  If you think that's a problem then get windows 3.1.  No one rags on apple for doing it.  But it makes sense.  It can do so many things from checking if your apps are legitimate to finding out if you're up to date on versions.  Who cares.  People reveal so much more through texting and other apps and yet they cry about an operating system trying to create a better experience.  I don't care if it sends back data.  You think google hasn't been collecting all your data on searches and other usage of their products.  Everyone does it to become better at what they do.  A lot of these services run off neural networks and they depend on data to become better.  God i'm sick of people complaining about things like this.   It's not like Microsoft is collecting your nude photos or passwords to your bank. 
  • Ah, a sensible post admist all the muck.
  • I agree with you 100% Get a grip people. If you don't want to have data collected on you, completely disconnect from humanity and move to Antarctica or someplace equally as cut off from society. That's the only way you can truly protect your privacy.
  • Ah, another brain-dead, compliant lemming. The future looks grim, but you just can't see it.
  • Yeah because Enterprise always upgrades on Day 1 
  • You obviously don't know how enterprise customers do system refreshes and OS upgrades. It can take years before they upgrade.
  • Yea, pretty silly. Easily blocked at the router though, so no big thing for me. I control my PC, not MS. If MS want data from me they are free to email me and ask for it. Sneakiness is neither required nor impressive.
  • Block it at your router and you may block other services that you may want to use.  You think your ISP doesn't have all your data?  Those are the people that have everything on you.  And guess what in the United states government has access to this info too.  You're entering an age where you will be nothing but data.  You will be identifed through bioemetric information and when you walk on the street everything you do will be known.  Facial recognition cameras already exist.  In the UK they have some pretty savvy stuff.  Cash will eventually die off.  Even credit card companies and banks have data on you.  Here they use patterns and algorithms to detect if your card is being used by someone else based on your past usage.  It's only going to get worse so if you're scared now.... You better stock up on tinfoil.  
  • Aluminum foil actually. And in order for it to be a reasonable faraday cage, it has to be grounded properly. Otherwise it is a repeater.
  • Wouldn't this continuous server communication cause extra drain on devices with batteries?
  • Well depends, i'm sure it's part of the battery saving mechanism and may happen only when in use.  But it's not continous either.  And the amount that it would use up during use probably amounts to nothing.  And i'm sure it can decipher between a battery device and a pc.
  • Tinfoil, Aluminum foil, faraday cage... and here I was just thinking that they were needing some lead-lined underpants. 
  • Microsoft hungry for our data..Nom nom nom.
    ---
    I wonder if Google is behind this /s
  • No. MSFT looks at google and realises they're late to the party and want the ad money. Disappointing.
  • Ad revenue per user is going down, so that makes no sense. There doesn't seem to be logic to your comment.
  • MSFT has always done the same thing, just never to the degree that google does.
  • To be honest this is not new, Microsoft has been "stealing" our data for ages now, it's just not as well documented as Google's
  • No...
  • It's not about collecting data. It's about what they do with the data. Collecting data to improve the product or provide extra services, like cortana is fine. Selling it to third parties is not. One company makes 90% of their revenue from selling ads. The other makes so little money on ads that it doesn;t even register on their financial statement. Can you guess which compapanies this applies to?
  • Utter rubbish. It's clear you are referring to Google, and it's clear you don't understand what Google does, so let me educate you. Google DOES NOT sell your data. Nor does Google sell ads. Google DOES sell targeted advertising. Company X wants to market Product Y. They ask Google to target their ad to a particular demographic. Nothing more, nothing less. Sure, Google collects oodles of data about you, IF YOU LET IT. You can opt out.  
  • It's not fine to collect data to "improve services" if it is not optional. i.e. give u your data or you can't use Cortana or other features. It's even worse on WP where MS even wants your location with always on GPS
  • No, they have not. Microsoft monitors their application's functionality to a degree, to try to figure out how to make them work better. That has been going on for ages, yes. What Google does and Microsoft does not, is watch what user's are doing, where they go, and the contents of their files and emails to find out what kind of person they are so that ad revenue can be maximized. Microsoft provides an alternate, more private thing called an advertising ID (I think) which works with web services to provide an anonymous means for ad companies to track your tastes, other than IP address or computer info which they would normally use. TL;DR Microsoft isn't tracking your activity for ad revenue, they're not even an ad company. Google is an ad company, and does track your info for ads.
  • That's why they just sold their display ad business to AOL, because they are trying to rival google's ad business. That makes sense.
  • The difference is Microsoft don't sell your data to third party... But scroogle does
  • Right. They only advertise political campaigns to you. Lmao I'm just kidding. This is way outdated.
  • Whilst I don't really have anything to "hide" it's still my data and it shouldn't be on Microsoft's servers if I opted out of it.
  • It doesn't appear to be "your" data being sent.  It is checking for updates to services.
  • Is that right? It's not that clear cut on the original article. Hmmm ... Interesting...
  • It is the last quote from Microsoft: "As part of delivering Windows 10 as a service, updates may be delivered to provide ongoing new features to Bing search, such as new visual layouts, styles and search code. No query or search usage data is sent to Microsoft, in accordance with the customer's chosen privacy settings. This also applies to searching offline for items such as apps, files and settings on the device."
  • But why do they need YOUR data to be sent to them to deliver new features, isnt that what Windows update is for? Shouldnt they be delivering updates as they become available?
  • It is most likely telemitry data.  They collect data to determine which features are used and which are not so they know how to improve Windows in the future.  It isn't identifying the user at all so it isn't your data.  It could also be something simple like... "This is the version of X software I have... do you have an updates for me?"
  • Deliver updates to whom? Who has those apps? Who has the newest version? Does the newest version work? These are all things your device could be communicating in the background without sharing your private data.
  • What are you talking about?  This is apps on your computer communicating with Windows Update.  This isn't some random 3rd parties.  The communication is just to Microsoft's servers and DOES NOT CONTAIN private data.  Not sure how I can say that any clearer.   
  • Even checking for updates requires sending data...   This is a mountain out of a molehill.
  • If it's not his data they must be coming from your computer then.
  • If you agree to the License Terms then you are agreeing to send data.  If you don't like it then don't agree to the License Terms and use something else.  Data will be sent for activation/updates.  That is the way modern software works. From the Windows 10 License Agreement: 3.      Privacy; Consent to Use of Data. Your privacy is important to us. Some of the software features send or receive information when using those features. Many of these features can be switched off in the user interface, or you can choose not to use them. By accepting this agreement and using the software you agree that Microsoft may collect, use, and disclose the information as described in the Microsoft Privacy Statement (aka.ms/privacy), and as may be described in the user interface associated with the software features. 5.      Authorized Software and Activation. You are authorized to use this software only if you are properly licensed and the software has been properly activated with a genuine product key or by other authorized method. When you connect to the Internet while using the software, the software will automatically contact Microsoft or its affiliate to confirm the software is genuine and the license is associated with the licensed device. You can also activate the software manually by Internet or telephone. In either case, transmission of certain information will occur, and Internet, telephone and SMS service charges may apply. During activation (or reactivation that may be triggered by changes to your device’s components), the software may determine that the installed instance of the software is counterfeit, improperly licensed or includes unauthorized changes. If activation fails the software will attempt to repair itself by replacing any tampered Microsoft software with genuine Microsoft software. You may also receive reminders to obtain a proper license for the software. You may not bypass or circumvent activation. To help determine if your software is genuine and whether you are properly licensed, see (aka.ms/genuine). Certain updates, support, and other services might only be offered to users of genuine Microsoft software. 6.      Updates. The softwareperiodically checks for system and app updates, and downloads and installs them for you. You may obtain updates only from Microsoft or authorized sources, and Microsoft may need to update your system to provide you with those updates. By accepting this agreement, you agree to receive these types of automatic updates without any additional notice.
  • Everyone is digging so hard to find dirt on MS's strategy. I don't know about anyone else, but I'm tired of brand loyalty controlling the media.
  • Yeah, that's all this is. If Microsoft were to try ANYTHING similar Google has with their search engine and data sniffing, then the tech world would go ape. But people will WILLINGLY run into Google's arms for a free email account or some apps and don't bat an eye. It's a double standard.
  • Couldn't agree more! :)
  • THIS^^^ thank you!!
  • Not sure what you mean, Google gets plenty of backlash for their practices.
  • Except I've read other folks on other tech forums berating Microsoft about their privacy policies with Windows 10 and then espousing with enthusiasm that they will use Google instead, implying that Google doesn't collect data and sell it.
  • Because the majority of those folks are morons and have got no idea what they are talking about to begin with. Just screaming about something they heard on the news
  • They were Google loyalist anyway and may feel threatened by Windows 10 though I don't know why. Unless there is a violation of the terms of agreement few if any can say Microsoft intruded upon their privacy including business and corporations.
  • Lol.
  • Ditto!!!!
  • Works both ways. Those who deride google for doing this and look the other way when its Microsoft are also using a double standard.
  • MS compared to Google, that's funny lol
  • Yes... But we're talking the difference between completely anonymous telemetry data and extensive user profiling that Google does.  Comparing those shows serious ignorance on the subject.
  • Yeah, but Google really started this and made it hard for companies to make money selling software. No one does this on the same scale as Google. Can you name one software company that makes 90% of their revenue from ads? Look at microsoft's financials. You won't even see the ad revenue, it's so small. It's barely enough to make bing profitable.
  • Haha, I love your sarcastic dry humor.
  • Agree ppl were using google services, facebook giving away their privacy.. It was fine..but now its MS we need to badmouth about it.
  • Absolutely spot on and because theres no story, create FUD.
  • I think what Paul Thurrott said is correct. He said people are programmed to be distrusting. If a company is giving something away for free, we automatically think there must be a catch. They will give it away now and charge for it later or they will sell my data to make up for the lost revenue. They don't see that Microsoft is doing this to build up the user number to attract developers and make their platform stronger. A strong platform means they will make more money from OEMs later on. They also have a larger base to whom they can sell apps and service. The fact that Microsoft has such a large presence in enterprise means they really can't persue google's advertising model. Sure they will show ads on bing and some of their free apps, but it will never be on the same level as google.
  • Prepare for intense sweaty paranoia xD I can already see the comments saying how evil and sinister Microsoft is...
  • And fully deserved so. If there is a data transfer the customer cannot control, then we have a problem. Especially companies.
  • @McZosch Ditto
  • What about Google and Apple?
    It's not isolated to just Microsoft.
  • Except you're not forced to use Windows.  Which means you still have control.  Switch to another OS.  Perhaps Linux where you can verify the source code yourself because, you know, people do that... /s
  • They do it, just not on an end-user level. It's usually the development community that does, but priorities shift, hence the 30 year old SSH bug that was patched recently. Linux is fine, I run it on a laptop with Ubuntu Gnome 15.04, with a dark Arc theme, a few tweaks and a decent looking icon set (plus the Bing dialy image as my desktop). It looks a lot more pleasant / consistent and works a lot faster than my Windows 10 desktop. You can go Linux but you have to put a decent amount of work into making it your own. If you are proficient, however, you can get a fully installed, customized and updated system up and running with all commonly used applications in about 20 minutes. In contrast, the Windows installer can't even find its own d!ck in 20 minutes. There are many reasons to chose Linux over Windows and vica versa, depending on your workflow. There is no need to be blindly loyal to either of them.
  • I wasn't knocking Linux, I was making a sarcastic remark about the extreme paranoia.  I know Linux is good and, in all honesty, my workflow wouldn't change much with Linux.  But giving up Outlook and Visio are non-starters for work.  And since I don't use desktop Linux, all my work on Linux is typically at a CLI on a server somwhere over SSH, finding suitable replacement apps, getting everything customized, etc. would take far longer than 20 minutes.  Then when I went to do a common task that is no big deal in Windows and it works different in Linux, I have to learn how to track it down, etc.  I just don't have the time for it.  I bill a lot for my time so even an extra hour dealing with a shift to Linux isn't worth it financially.
  • Every modern piece of technology you own does 10x worse than this. Are you spending ten times the amount of time complaining about Google, facebook, youtube, Apple, or any other app or online service you use? The information that this article refers to being sent is neither personal, private, or invasive. Microsoft's OS communicates with Microsoft to make sure it's up-to-date and working. Compare this to other devices you use which send contents of your email, or ToS that say they own your data once they touch it, and this is what yu take the time to gripe about?
  • Exactly, thank you for saying what I was about to :D
  • Like it or not we are getting some service for free from Microsoft so that's like paying them back with our data, honestly we are in a contemporary time were there is no mote privacy. Cameras watching us, phone tracking our steps, when we use out credit and debit they know where we are so since I don't have nothing to hide they can see whatever they want. I believe those who are worry about privacy maybe are doing illegal stuff.
  • So, if you have a company with secrets, you HAVE something to hide.
  • And how would this share company data with Microsoft?  Telemetry data is the percentage of users who use the start button, the percentage of users who use calc, percentage of users who have run the MS Store app.  Nothing in that data identifies who or where it came from.  But that's fine, use another OS.  There OSX, but you have no choice but to login and use their app store.  So maybe that's a bad choice.  Android or Chrome OS?  We all know about the extensive privacy tools Google offers on their stuff.  So that leaves you with Linux.  Have fun with that.
  • Right on the head of the nail Tehhunter...
  • People who worry about their privacy are doing illegal stuff? I don't think so. Posted via the Windows Central App for Android
  • @tehhunter; I gave you an up vote for stating a somewhat conclusive of what I was thinking.
  • Options the "other guys" don't get and if I had to pick who I trust my data or telemetry with, MS is at the top of my list...
  • MS doesn't have any financial gain associated with user data.  So I'd agree with you.
  • i guess the computer hard drive isn't a save place to hide my porn now.
  • You can always use 7zip... LOL
  • But then he has to unzip everytime he unzips .. If you know what I mean... ;)
  • Haha
  • Microsoft isn't collecting your files. (Outside of Onedrive backup). Microsoft isn't reading your emails or downloads. Calm down on the conspiracies.
  • Really m worried to. Now anti MS ppl will get chance to binge upon. MS should clarify it.
  • They already did. At the end of the article.
  • They did and it won't matter. Anti MS people will still say they are lying. Anti Government people will of course say that this proves they are spying for the NSA. The thing with conspiracy theories is that there is no proof really needed and there is no way to disprove them because they will always say that any proof you provide is a lie.  
  • "The thing with conspiracy theories is that there is no proof really needed and there is no way to disprove them because they will always say that any proof you provide is a lie." That is so true and so important to know because the moment you realize that, you also realize that trying to argue with conspiracy theorists is a complete waste of time.
  • Mod the hosts file to block known servers that Windows 10 pings at MS HQ. But in all fairness, Microsoft can be safely trusted with user data unlike ahem . I think this is one of the tradeoffs in getting the OS for free. We'll have to see how corporations take to this.
  • The update is free temporarily, thats no excuse for anything.
  • It's not even a tradeoff with a free OS. It's a tradeoff with a connected world where people expect to have access to their data where ever they go. The old timers will point to XP and say we never had to deal with this. They seem to forget that the world wasn't as connected when xp was released. You were happy with a slow dsl connection back then. Many people didn't even have reliable connection. Now, fast internet is available for a low price and everyone has a portable computer with them at all times that also has a pretty fast connection.
  • Did anybody to check if this call was being made since Windows 8 and 8.1? There's a chance it's not even new
  • +920 I'm interested in that same question.
  • I think all tech companies are doing the same as of late... Doesn't Apple send UUID numbers on all of their app crash reports from their devices? Just saying...
  • IOS has an advertising ID. The option to turn it off is buried deep in the settings and most people don't know about it.
  • Always funny to hear people complain about "their data being stolen!" I often find that these are usually the people that turn on all privacy settings on their devices, then turn around and post every detail about themselves on Facebook and Instagram, while updating their business information on LinkedIn. People really need to stop bitching about these little things. If you are truly that worried or have something to hide then get a VPN, go through TOR, or don't connect at all.
  • Agreed
  • more BS going. feeding the stupid paranoid people. 2015 the year of retard people existing. if you don't like how computers software work, stop using computers, unplug the wire and go to a bunker or live undergrounds where no satellite can trace you, no phone can work. Do you think when you use facebook, google services, apple services, netflix and amazong, autodesk software, and any other Windows or videogame, you are not sending data that can be collected? unless you use those services offline, anything can get your information. You don't even need to do much, I remember family gettings calls from banks saying how credit cards are nice and such, sending them with not even really information provided. do you think that was done with magic? no, it's because this world works like that. Now about Windows as you can see it's a service now, it has to provide updates faster, do you want it to work fine? do you want it to be good? do you think apps you use on store, or desktop don't send any data? when you visit sites and they use cookies, do you think that is not information either? some people I "know" complain about Windows 10 but I am sure they use 3dsmax not deactivating the send anonymous data thing. Do people really understand what annonymous is or are they so stupid they complain about it? anything can be deactivated on Windows 10, whatever is send after that which might be the "basic" feedback, will obviously send anonymous data. if you don't understand that it's like it says "a computer with X and Y component crashed for doing Z thing on A.dll" it does't send any name or credit card number or how you are watching porn hidden in a corner. Same with voice or handwriting data, it doesn't send anything but samples, so it can improve. There is some poeple who complain how Defender works, I mean it's an antivirus sending samples that seem suspicious and people say it's evil becuase it's sending local files to Microsoft? how do antivirus work then? Again 2015 the year of dumb and stupid and retard people. people who think they are the center of the world and their information is that important to sell. You are nothing, you are just anonymous feedback to improve services.
     
  • I find it very funny how you were attacking google for this about a year ago. Such strong attacks. But now that it might be that MSFT is doing this thing that people hate, you are now defending it all. Just, too funny.
  • Google scans your emails, and everything else, and sells the info to 3rd parties, that's different!
  • Only if you let them, you can opt out from Google, exactly the same as you can opt out of most MS data collection.
  • Seriously, comparing Google to Microsoft is kind of ridiculous, different data, different intent. There's really no common ground on which to compare.
  • You're totally right. I didn't mean to compare in that way: False analogy and all. I'm just saying that.. Emi seems to excuse MSFT if it is true that MSFT wants to data mine.
  • Well, unless one thinks Microsoft is an abject liar, I don't see the problem.
  • Seeing as unless you have Enterprise you can't turn off the Diagnostic and usage data completely I'd say this is expected behavior that is fully documented and working as designed.  It's a lot of concern about nothing. I work at MS, but not in the OS Group, so I don't have any real insight to what's being collected.  If it's similar to the data we collect in the project I work on it's telemetry.  We use that telemetry with the insidious intent of finding bottlenecks or trends that indicate something could be improved from a UX or performance standpoint. I have no direct insight, but I'd bet this data is telemetry being collected from the Diagnostic and usage data setting.
  • Maybe that should be made clear to the user with the option of turning it off rather than having it buried in the OS with no way to disable it AND ignoring all their other settings disabling data sharing.
  • It is clear.  Options are Enhanced, Full or Basic.  In any scenario it is going to send data.  Where is that unclear?  Also, all other settings to disable data sharing work.  You don't want Maps to use your location?  You don't want to share any personal information?  You don't want to allow apps to use your picture?  You don't want Cortana to see your email?  Power to you.  None of those are affected, hence this is a separate setting. Whether or not there should be an option for Home/Pro users to completely disable it is a different matter.  If that's how you feel then that's cool.  I won't try and convince you otherwise.  I take it you don't use a smartphone if usage data is something you don't like sharing? To be honest, I am against most data sharing so I don't have Google+, Twitter, Facebook, etc.  I do have a LinkedIn account (that sits inactive).  In fact, privacy concerns and general creepiness are what led me to ditch Android and get a Windows phone, so I understand the concern.  That said, gathering non-identifiable usage information can do WONDERS for allowing developers and product owners to make things better. In this case if you set it to Basic I'm pretty sure there isn't anything scary happening.  Again, this is without direct knowledge other than what our official internal privacy policies are, but it would be wholly consistent with my experiences "from the inside" at Microsoft.  In fact, if it's anything more than that it would be in direct violation of our privacy policy standards.  So, unless there's a shadowy underworld mining creepy data from Windows 10 I'd say this is pretty benign.
  • That's what the ToS or Privacy Statement is for. In a modern OS, it sends information concerning how the OS is working back to the designers. That way they know if the OS isn't working as designed, instead of waiting for a post from a user on their forum with something general like "the store doesn't work, thanks". They didn't include an option to turn this off, because they're serious about making this OS work, and they're not going to add one more disadvantage for Window 10 versus every other OS.
  • Well, honestly I wouldn't say this is "fully documented" by any means. I have no issue with telemetry data being sent but it's not really very clear what the three settings do. What Microsoft needs to do is be upfront about what data they collect, how they collect it, what they collect it for and how they use it. Leaving room for interpretation harms everyone including themselves.
  • This won't be nothing if uncle Sam keeps his hand off those data. However everyone trust he will keeps his hand off them that's why the world is going to trust Microsoft with them.
    Microsoft initially faced the same issue with Xbox one and the Kinect always connected.
  • As long as they tell us what data they're transmitting, I'm fine.
  • Don't know if this has been mentioned here before or not. http://lifehacker.com/windows-10-uses-your-bandwidth-to-distribute-updat...
  • It has been mentioned before and it's very easy to turn off. They are using a torrent type system to ease up the loads and distribute updates faster. You can just go to settings an select to on use that system for computers on internal networks.
  • It's easy to turn off but it's admittedly hidden and not something most users are likely to know about. I feel sharing updates over the local network only would have been a more appropiate default.
  • Yes, figured it out after our companies bandwidth was being maxed out.
  • ok, having done a bit of web searching i could well be wrong on this being Application Insights, but i think this is important for poeple to understand, so posting the stuff below anyway. This is likely related to Application Insights, microsofts telemetary service, though it could be other things. Pretty much every major software house is using some sort of telemetary (I work at a company that produces software and we have our own system for this too). Tihis data is used to et developers know HOW users use their software, and not what user files are created with it and saved in my documents or other creepy stuff.  The data on how software is used can inform a company on what features to make more prominent, less prominent, bugs that occur in production, etc.  Regularly we will be in a meeting where i work and the discussion comes up "how many people actually use that?" or "how often do people do it that way?" As developers of apps for the store, we are encouraged to use things like Application Insights, BugSense/SplunkMint/ Telerik and other to track application usage data and you can bet this is in most apps by major companies. I'm going to be unig some in future versions of my own store app and yes, anyone monitoring IP traffic when using my app will see occasional data being sent to microsoft while they use it. (ON a related hot button issue, it may also be receiving data when from mcrosoft  when getting ads vis the Microsoft Advertising SDK, which will serve ads in the app that are relebvent to you based on your microsoft advertising ID - don't want to see the ads? Pay me a buck via In-App-Purchase and i'll get rid of them) Anyway, telemetry data like this is used everywhere. If i was in a web page (and beleive me, it's in plenty of them) it maybe a bit less obvious but all this is about is being able to improve applications so they better fit users needs with each update, by monitoritoring how users actually use them, rather than us developers assuming we know how users will use them. Yes, maybe there should be more cases where this stuff can be turned off, but i bet often, by both large companies and independent developers, it isn't the option for users to do that. http://azure.microsoft.com/en-us/services/application-insights/
  • Seems slurpier. Thanks Nandela!
  • Serious question here, why does everyone spell his name wrong? It's not Nandela It's Nadella, you know like Nutella only different...
  • Microsoft just keep shooting themselves in the foot with all these mixed messages ...they did it in the past; with Xbox one and blow back really hurt them..i guess they never learn. I don't know why they can't be upfront with these issues.
  • Yes, they need to be upfront about this, leaving room for interpretation is harming everyone and themselves above all. I expect they don't have anything to hide but then they also need to be able to prove that. Transparency makes it a better product and them a better company. There has been some uproar about privacy in Windows 10 and while you can argue that Google is no better, that's a bad argument. It'd be really stupid if Microsoft blew the launch because of all these unnecessary issues. I just hope they'll actually be listening to all the negative feedback about this and learn from it.
  • Microsoft is the nice dorky kid that no one likes. They have the best intentions, and execute as best they can, and people always find a way to put them down and lie about them. I've seen people posting Onedrive privacy statement excerpts and claiming windows 10 steals your files! Meanwhile Google and others going through all your stuff and selling it but they cute so who cares.
  • To be fair, that particular part is problematic because the privacy statement encompasses all of Microsoft's services and while that part obviously refers to OneDrive, it doesn't explicitly exclude Windows so the way I see it it could give Microsoft permission to browse your private files on your PC. I trust them enough to know that's most likely not their intention but that doesn't mean they shouldn't be more clear about it. Still, it's unfair to pull out that excerpt without context.
  • Lol they cute.
  • App backup sync.
  • Time to run a sniffer and look at what is getting sent.
  • Tell us what you find out.
  • Microscrouogle, do be 'live'...
  • Sigh, so sick of these articles and I can't believe Windows Central made a story about one.
    News flash - no one cares about your data, you're really not that important.
    As much as you'd like to think otherwise, you are about as uninteresting as an ant in a colony.
    In my own app, I collect a bunch of data based on app usage, as well as use Microsoft/Facebook/Twitter for authenticaiton.
    I'll get the odd review here and there that says "SUSPECT APP, TAKES ALL YOUR INFO, DO NOT DOWNLOAD".
    Like seriously... It's ridiculous and I'm so sick of this mentality spreading to the masses.
    Data is collected to gain a better understanding of how to improve the app.
    This sort of telemetry data is done by Microsoft at a much larger scale, with much deeper insights.
    They don't care who you are as individuals, but by law they must state that they collect data, and your data is stored on their servers.
    OF COURSE it's stored on their servers, where do you think all your emails are? In the sky?
    Where do you think your OneDrive files are stored? In a literal cloud?
    Wake up people, your skeptisicm is slowing innovation.
    How can people be this paranoid over their data?
    Unless you're a terrorist, stop thinking you're some sort of NSA target.
    Why wouldn't Microsoft want to keep a constant connection with THEIR software?
    It's not yours, you don't own it, they should be able to change it at will by releasing updates.
    Take your tinfoil hats and just go...
    /endrant
  • Just um.. Wanted to say that I actually find every ant in my colonies very interesting. I didn't read everything else, but I probably agree with you.
  • The analogy was that it's the colony as a whole that's interesting, just like the telemetry on a large amount of data. You don't know your individual ants by name.. Do you? Lol.
  • Fred works hard building the colony and protecting it from intrusion. But in his spare time, he downloads lots of ant porn.
  • Whatever, I must be in control of my device. It shakes my Confidence in Microsoft.
  • I might go back to Win 8 or 7
  • Go for it!  It does the exact same thing.  Maybe go to OS X... it also does the same thing. 
  • Or you could ditch your computer and get a Chromebook.... but it still does the same thing
  • Windows 10 must be an outstanding success if the only thing people are complaining about is some pretty anonymous background data for app and windows updates.
  • If your preferred headwear is made from aluminum, no modern operating system is for you.
  • I hate to be "that guy" but here goes. As written, this article is nothing but click bait.  It doesn't help me, as a potentially concerned human being, actually know what the risk may be?   Realistically, "data" is going to be sent to Microsoft all the time as part of normal, healthy, safe OS behavior. I guess it would be possible to download every patch Microsoft has and then install only the ones you need, but realistically you want to "tell Microsoft" what you have and then download only what you need.  As soon as you do anything other than download "everything", then you're "telling Microsoft" something - even if it's only that you need the latest Windows 10 or Office 2013 patch.   Similar things go for updates to things sold through the Windows Store-thingie-of-ever-changing-name, for how root certificates are managed/distributed and a handful of other OS features. I am the sort of person to try and defend my privacy and don't want any of my personal information being sent / analyzed / cloudified / whatver without my authorization but, as an industry, we need to be able to better communicate or there's no point in communicating at all.  
  • It's a link to the Ars Technica article so I doubt that Ars Technica minds at all.  Different audiences.  Ars serves more technically oriented users.  Windows Central is a general purpose, consumer user oriented site.  The average consumer doesn't know what the privacy concerns are and often doesn't care.
  • I agree with you MattAllison, and the problem with things like this is how people who aren't technically minded or really understand what is going on here are going to start all kinds of fearmongering and whatnot. I saw a post on social media just yesterday spreading false and inflated information about the privacy concerns with Windows 10, saying in a nutshell that Microsoft is a big bad corporation who wants all of your data, and throwing around malware oriented phrases like keylogger, and how it was so impossible to change privacy settings, and you had to dig through all these menus and it's so hard, and OMG they force you to use Internet Explorer! I politely piped up that the majority of what they were complaining about was nothing new, according to my recollection such privacy concerns had not changed one bit from Windows 8.1, and that users can very easily tweak their setting to their preference during the installation process if they simply select the custom prompt when setting up, instead of not actually reading things and just going clickty click out of impatience. Also they apparently ignore the fantastically obvious splash page that makes it clear that Edge isn't Explorer. I strongly opposed the name Edge, and the choice in logo, fearing that it's so similar to IE, that people will spread misinformation, and it appears I was right.
  • Gotta keep that heartbeat connection open just in case the NSA wants to check out your PC.
  • That MS statement is a bunch of corporate talk BS. Yet another reason why its best to stay away from Win10, wonder what other privacy issues pop up in the comming months as researchers dig into Win10.
  • Still remember that Microsoft used to send telemetry like error reports in the clear but that was with past versions of Windows.  We are now in the new Windows and new Microsoft era, right? So is Microsoft encrypting all the data being sent from Windows 10 to and from their cloud?  Or is it being sent in plain text?
  • In Privacy, under Feedback & Diagnostics you can't turn off Diagnostic and usage data.  You can only set it to Basic.
  • Good thing I'm never having a paranoia over this.
  • I've been seeing a lot of fearmongering in regards to Windows and the default privacy settings on social media, unfortunately this is only going to to add fuel to the fire.... :/
  • So, even though I said I don't want Bing in my search, it is still binging data back to Microsoft?  Welp, no Win 10 for me.  If this was for "search updates" wouldn't they just do it through Windows Update?  Further, why does it only seem to phone home when I'm searching?
  • It is not what they collect; it’s what they got on you, when you step out of the line that matters. Join opposition party before election, say something to followers on twitter about free Tibet, becomes journalist and shine light on government corruption, do not want to cooperate with cops to convict someone innocent, want to exercise constitutional rights in an inconvenient way? They will use new MS toys to get to you, if you get in a way! Are you obedient peasant? It still matters. Even stores are giving credit based on Facebook account inspection, to see who your friends are and how well they are paying they bills. Want cheep health insurance? Do not write about your party lifestyle and bar fights. Information is power and they collect it to be in power. So to sum this up, Win10 is just cheep Android rip-off, to get MS on Spyware bandwagon with Google & Co, people know this and MS is giving Win10 for free, because they know they will get they money back from information they collect, just like Google do.