Microsoft adds two new privacy options to Windows 10 setup - gHacks Tech News

Microsoft adds two new privacy options to Windows 10 setup

When you set up Windows 10 on a computer or in a virtual machine, a privacy settings screen is displayed during setup which lets you change some privacy-related settings before the first start of the operating system.

The page lists options to turn privacy-related settings off, as all are enabled by default. You may use it to switch from the collection of data from full to basic, disable tailored experiences (Edge uses less battery than your browser), and turn off location-based experiences or speech recognition.

The listed privacy preferences are just a few that Windows users can control in the Settings application, Group Policy, Windows Registry, or elsewhere.

Windows 10 users and admins may modify these privacy settings manually, for instance by following the advice of my privacy book, or by running one of the many privacy-related programs for Windows 10.

Microsoft announced recently that it plans to extend the privacy page in the next feature release version of Windows 10. While we still don't know whether the company will indeed call it the Windows 10 Spring Creators Update or something else, it seems clear that Microsoft is hard at work to improve the public's perception (and even more so the perception of regulatory authorities, companies and governments) of the operating system in regards to privacy.

We reviewed the option to browse and delete the collected Telemetry data already but it is not the only change in the upcoming version of Windows.

Microsoft will change the setup experience by adding two more privacy related options to setup, and by, what appears to be, A-B testing the privacy setup experience.

windows 10 setup privacy

Some users will get a single screen listing all privacy related options. This is how things were handled in previous versions of Windows, and the only change in this version is that two new privacy options are available.

Part of the userbase will get individual screens on the other hand; each privacy option, seven of them in total, is shown on its own screen.Yes and no options are provided, each with a description of how the choice impacts functionality.

Privacy-conscious users may notice that the "no" option is worded in a negative way. If you take the "improve inking & typing recognition" option as an example.

  • Yes states: "Send inking and typing data to Microsoft to improve the language recognition and suggestion capabilities of apps and services running on Windows".
  • No states: "Don't use my data to help improve the language recognition and suggestion capabilities of apps and services running on Windows".

Additionally, it is unclear what data is sent to Microsoft if the option is not turned off as it is not explained on the screen.

The setup of the upcoming version of Windows 10 includes "Find my device" and "Inking & Typing" as two new options.

Find my device may help users locate the device if it is misplaced, lost or stolen. Inking & typing may improve language recognition and suggestion capabilities of apps and services.

Closing Words

Microsoft reveals the data that Windows Telemetry collects, and it adds two new privacy options to the setup experience. The changes won't convince privacy-conscious users to give the operating system a try if they have not already, but it may very well please regulatory authorities who have been breathing down Microsoft's neck ever since the company released the first version of Windows 10.

Now You: How do you feel about the announced changes?

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Microsoft adds two new privacy options to Windows 10 setup
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Microsoft adds two new privacy options to Windows 10 setup
Description
Microsoft announced recently that it plans to extend the privacy options and page during setup in the next feature release version of Windows 10.
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Ghacks Technology News
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Comments

  1. Paul(us) said on March 8, 2018 at 11:21 am
    Reply

    Do I understand it correctly that “Send inking and typing data to Microsoft to improve the language recognition and suggestion capabilities of apps and services running on Windows” mostly means for Edge and when installing software?
    Does this mean as a no Edge user and somebody who always use his one installers where I myself predefine the language, that I could turn it off?

    And a second privacy-related question is that today after the update from Microsoft – KB4090913 – for Windows 10 fixes USB bug I noticed that main CPU frequency was fluctuating between 1100 MHz and 3200 Mhz (Core speed between 1100 Mhz and 3200Mhz).
    After research, i noticed that main private energy setting was changed.
    The extra power plan consumption from main processor was changed from maximum preformance into the balenced mode?
    Anybody else noticed changes after the last update?

    1. Martin Brinkmann said on March 8, 2018 at 11:29 am
      Reply

      It is mostly for apps and stuff like Cortana or Edge. I disabled this ever since it appeared and did not notice any issues; then again, I don’t use inking, Cortana or most of the apps.

  2. Tom Hawack said on March 8, 2018 at 12:02 pm
    Reply

    Quoting the article,
    “[…] it seems clear that Microsoft is hard at work to improve the public’s perception (and even more so the perception of regulatory authorities, companies and governments) of the operating system in regards to privacy.”
    Further such perception may lead to further respect of privacy. The wallet is the only thing such companies as Microsoft (and the vast majority of others) really deal with. The era is no longer that of blind, unaware users (and regulatory authorities), and not understanding it in the first place explains it all. Windows 10 is still a piece of craps in terms of privacy and whatever its technical enhancements and innovations, privacy issues remain a stain like as much as a dead body in a Beverly Hills villa : outrageous.

    1. Appster said on March 8, 2018 at 12:37 pm
      Reply

      @Tom Hawack:

      Microsoft will get away with it. They are a de facto monopoly, and the ignorant masses do not care. Remember, we are not representative. And hence…

      > The era is no longer that of blind, unaware users (and regulatory authorities), and not understanding it in the first place explains it all.

      …I disagree. Android for example has an Ad ID by default. Do you think anybody cared? Nope.

      Sadly, more privacy-respecting alternatives like Linux will probably never overtake Microsoft’s place – because of lacking third party support they just won’t grow. And since they are so small, there is no third party support. A typical chicken-egg problem.

      Guides that show how one can disable the telemetry in Windows 10 are more useful than any advice suggesting Linux, IMHO. If I can’t run the programs I need, of which use would Linux be to me?

      1. Ann said on March 8, 2018 at 1:35 pm
        Reply

        I hate it when people call me nobody, then again nobody is perfect, so thanks for the complement :)
        >Android for example has an Ad ID by default. Do you think anybody cared? Nope.
        I do, that is why I have a complete separate account for android, not linked to any other account.

      2. Appster said on March 8, 2018 at 1:44 pm
        Reply

        @Ann:

        > I hate it when people call me nobody, then again nobody is perfect, so thanks for the complement :)

        Yeah, “nobody” as in “an incredibly small minority”. ;-)

        > I do, that is why I have a complete separate account for android, not linked to any other account.

        https://i.ytimg.com/vi/F96ghXk8FXg/maxresdefault.jpg

      3. ULBoom said on March 8, 2018 at 3:23 pm
        Reply

        “Windows 10 Spring Creators Update or Something Else” is a good name for the next update!

        Windows is such a pain, disabling twice a year all the “great” features so it works is crazy. At least for the most part Win 10 Pro leaves user changes intact.

        Not once have I seen “experience” used in a grammatically correct manner; they must think people just skim over ambiguous nonsense and probably do. One can’t experience (v) a setting to a changed state. Although Windows can truly be an experience (n) at times, experiences exist in the past (at least t>0, not t=0) and can’t be changed. Interaction would be a much better word and was until experience beat it to a pulp.

        Easy way to tell what’s spyware: if improve, experience, suggestions, capability, apps, telemetry, location or services appear in the contrived gibberish explanations, turn it off. That’s almost everything, argh :)

    2. Sophie said on March 8, 2018 at 8:02 pm
      Reply

      @tom – I do love your style and prose!! “tick”….perfect.

      Anyway, I am back from long time away, and just catching up. :)

      1. Tom Hawack said on March 8, 2018 at 8:21 pm
        Reply

        @Sophie, nice to read you again. There is some catching up to do but maybe less than in other times ; the Web seems rather calm, no big news and no public turmoil for several weeks now. Seems like your 3 weeks’ breakaway occurred at a good time :=)

      2. Sophie said on March 9, 2018 at 3:48 pm
        Reply

        Thanks Tom! I’m all for quiet times….world can be full of ‘noise’. Thanks :)

  3. dark said on March 8, 2018 at 2:50 pm
    Reply

    Install Simplewall on Windows 10 and Enable Filtering in Whitelist Mode.

    https://github.com/henrypp/simplewall

    Done. All spying is blocked.

  4. jern said on March 8, 2018 at 4:37 pm
    Reply

    From MS’s FY 2018-Q2 Financial Report…
    Search advertising revenue excluding traffic acquisition costs increased 15% (up 15% in constant currency) driven by higher revenue per search and search volume.

    I’d bet all the telemetry Win10 serves up to MS feeds that income. Advertisers know whether their money will be well spent or not. I don’t see MS ever giving up that kind of golden goose. My opinion is that any privacy control MS allows its users is for “show” only.

    1. dark said on March 8, 2018 at 4:46 pm
      Reply

      Yep. You can confirm it with PeerBlock or Wireshark that even if you turn off everything in Privacy settings, it still connects to various Microsoft servers. Privacy settings are placebo.

      The only two ways to block all spying/telemetry is if you use Simplewall or jail Windows 10 to VirtualBox on Linux and keep Windows 10 virtual machine always disconnected from the internet.

      1. John Fenderson said on March 8, 2018 at 7:03 pm
        Reply

        Microsoft is actually pretty honest about the fact that there is no option to stop the spying. You can only select how much spying it will do.

        “The only two ways to block all spying/telemetry”

        You left out a third (and the best) option: use an external firewall to block access to Microsoft servers. That way, there is no possible way that software on your Windows box can disable it. The downside to using a firewall is that the list of addresses you need to block is quite lengthy, and many of them are not obvious.

      2. Tom Hawack said on March 8, 2018 at 7:30 pm
        Reply

        An external firewall or dedicated tools such as PeerBlock, such as a DNS proxy, i.e. DNSCrypt-Proxy which moreover encrypts requests and allows IP and domain filters.

        Concerning Microsoft (inquisitive already/even on Windows 7!) I rely essentially on IP intervals (forgot the right word, sorry) provided by the lists I use on PeerBlock. The problem is to find worthy lists, I have several but that’s not the topic here at this time. I notice calls to MS servers, blocked. And surprisingly or not, not all of these are sent by Windows, by the system as such. I noticed for instance an application I constantly use which sends a phone call to a MS sever each time I run on it a Web link (it’s a mempad application and opens the browser and phones to daddy meanwhile). This happens once in a while yet with few applications, but it does exist : are those developers financially encouraged by corporations is a question for which I have no certitude. I’d say, beware of your applications’ connections, some are legit and reuired, some others may not be.

      3. dark said on March 8, 2018 at 8:12 pm
        Reply

        External firewall completely slipped my mind but external firewalls rely on blocklist so it wont necessarily block everything and Microsoft can change their server addresses anytime, making blocklist not so reliable. Whitelist on the other hand doesn’t rely on any blocklist and blocks everything by default except for programs you allow access to the internet.

      4. John Fenderson said on March 8, 2018 at 9:44 pm
        Reply

        “external firewalls rely on blocklist”

        No more (or less) so than a firewall running on the Windows machine.

  5. BW said on March 8, 2018 at 6:19 pm
    Reply

    Can Simplewall block the “secret rules” MS have built into the Windows Firewall?

    1. dark said on March 8, 2018 at 6:31 pm
      Reply

      Simplewall is its own firewall, it doesn’t rely on Windows Firewall so it should block whatever secret rules.

      1. BW said on March 8, 2018 at 9:25 pm
        Reply

        So I can disable the Windows Defender Firewall service and Simplewall will still work?

      2. dark said on March 8, 2018 at 10:21 pm
        Reply

        Simplewall does give you option to disable Windows Firewall when you click Enable Filtering.

  6. Stefan said on March 9, 2018 at 4:57 am
    Reply

    Windows 10 was, is and will be the ultimate spyware….

  7. Tell me nobody said on March 9, 2018 at 1:09 pm
    Reply

    Can’t people see that “1984” is coming all the way? Surveillance siege is getting tighter. So, Linux is only the way to go. Some said Linux may not be perfect for casual users but does the job well with a little bit time for learning. Today all major distros provide efficient installers those are great for beginners.

    1. John Fenderson said on March 9, 2018 at 5:07 pm
      Reply

      “Some said Linux may not be perfect for casual users”

      The people who say that are either people who dislike Linux for emotional or political reasons, or are people who haven’t really used Linux in the last ten years or so. Linux is no more difficult to install, configure, and use than Windows is, and I know a number of non-techie people who made the switch without pain.

      The only catch is when people really want to continue using a particular piece of software that there isn’t a Linux version of. Often that software runs under Wine (which has also come a long way int he last decade), but sometimes — unless someone has premade a configuration bundle — configuring Wine for a particular program can be a bit of a project.

      1. Tom Hawack said on March 9, 2018 at 5:30 pm
        Reply

        Maybe. Nevertheless I often encounter Linux users dealing with problems that Windows users don’t encounter. For instance, on a GitHub page I often visit because I use the application there hosted, that of DNSCrypt-proxy, 90% (say) of problems are published by users running the app on Linux… when moreover that app has been thought, built by a Linuxian (who was kind enough to distribute a version for Windows 32/64 platforms.

        What I mean is that much of what has been built as so-to-say macro commands on Windows (with the implications we know verses ease of use) is, under Linux, a line after line user commitment to get the command effective. That’s what many Windows users are afraid of. Of course running a notepad won’t be an issue, whatever platform!

      2. John Fenderson said on March 9, 2018 at 11:38 pm
        Reply

        @Tom Hawack: “I often encounter Linux users dealing with problems that Windows users don’t encounter”

        Sure, but the obverse is also true — there are problems that Windows users encounter that Linux users never have to deal with. Different operating systems are different and, as Three Dead Troll in a Baggie accurately observed, every OS sucks.

        “DNSCrypt-proxy, 90% (say) of problems are published by users running the app on Linux”

        That one specific application doesn’t work well on one specific operating system is not an indictment of the operating system. It’s a compatibility issue. There is very likely some other application available that does the same thing and works well on Linux.

        “That’s what many Windows users are afraid of.”

        And that’s an irrational fear. I think that what many Windows users are afraid of is that Linux will not work exactly the same as Windows — and that is correct. But that doesn’t mean that Linux is harder to use or understand than Windows. It only means that it’s not a clone of Windows.

        I’m not about to tell people who are happy with Windows that they should switch to Linux. Your preference for an operating system is just that, a preference, and there’s no right or wrong about it. However, the criticisms I hear about Linux are overwhelmingly misguided and incorrect, and usually are things that were valid 20 years ago but have long since been fixed.

  8. Tenshi said on March 10, 2018 at 1:37 pm
    Reply

    Microsoft employee: Look boss, I got this guy credit card number and SSN!

  9. Sunnysewsit said on March 10, 2018 at 5:33 pm
    Reply

    Microsoft seems to be getting better at understanding users’ concerns about privacy, and I, too, just turn everything off that Big Brother could use to track us. But the one thing I hate, hate is how Windows 10 has screwed up networking on my LAN. Everything worked great with Windows 7 and even 8.1 but not with Windows 10. And MS replaced the Workgroup concept with Homegroup, and that stinks IMO.

    1. John Fenderson said on March 12, 2018 at 4:21 pm
      Reply

      @Sunnysewsit: “Microsoft seems to be getting better at understanding users’ concerns about privacy”

      I’m not seeing that. They understand it as well as they’ve always understood it: as a thing that gets in the way of what they want to do.

      “I, too, just turn everything off that Big Brother could use to track us”

      Microsoft does not allow you do disable their spying. You can’t turn it off. The best you can do is to get your (non-Microsoft) firewall to stop allowing traffic to Microsoft servers.

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