The Complete Windows 10 Privacy Guide

The Complete Windows 10 Privacy Guide

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Fall Creators Update edition

By Martin Brinkmann

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Book Details
 319 p
 File Size 
 10,527 KB
 File Type
 PDF format
 2010 by Martin Brinkmann 

Privacy is a hot topic in today’s connected world. This is true especially when it
comes to user tracking on the Internet, but also tracking built-in to operating
systems such as Windows 10 or Android, or programs such as Google Chrome
or Mozilla Firefox.

Windows 10 has probably been the operating system that Microsoft has been
attacked the most for from privacy advocates and concerned users in regards to
privacy and data collection.

Probably the biggest factors for this are changes made to Telemetry collecting on
the operating system, a lack of transparency when it comes to the collecting of
data, and a lack of distinction between data that Microsoft collects, and data that
is required by services or applications for functionality.

Questions about which data is collected when Windows 10 is used, why it is
collected, where it is stored, and how it is used or shared, are not answered to the
satisfaction of privacy advocates or users who are concerned about privacy.
A significant issue is the telemetry data the company receives. While
Microsoft insists that it aggregates and anonymizes this data, it hasn’t
explained just how it does so. Microsoft also won’t say how long this
data is retained, instead providing only general timeframes.[1]
Microsoft made concessions to that with the release of the Windows 10 Creators
Update when it revealed what the Basic[2] and Full Telemetry[3] settings mean in
terms of data collecting.

It is clear that the data that is collected is important to Microsoft, as it uses it to
detect and resolve issues, and to find ways to optimize the operating system. The
new faster release scheme with two feature updates per year demands a closer
look on data as well, to prioritize development for instance or recognize issues
more quickly.

Data is required for some functionality as well. The digital assistant Cortana for
instance requires access to the device’s location, data from emails and text
messages, the call history, contacts you have and how often you interact with
those contacts, and the apps you use.

Windows 10 users can opt-out of most of the data collecting, but even if they
turn any preference off during setup or under the Privacy section of the Settings
application, data still gets collected and transferred to Microsoft.

The rise of privacy programs for Windows 10[4] is a response to Microsoft’s
inability to respond to concerns adequately, for instance by making it difficult to
control data collection and submission to Microsoft.
More than a dozen programs have been created that perform all kinds of proprivacy
operations on the operating system when executed.

All offer options to tweak privacy settings, and many to remove Windows apps,
block Microsoft servers, or disable Windows scheduled tasks or Services.
This guide
This privacy guide covers every aspect of Windows 10 privacy and data
collecting in detail. It includes information on all privacy settings that are
exposed to users in the Settings application and other system locations, and
explains in simple but detailed terms what each does.
The guide looks at Microsoft’s stance on privacy, provides you with resources to
do your own research on the topic, and comes with a 5-minute privacy
improvement guide to make the most important privacy related changes right
away so that you don’t have to read the entire book first before you make the
most important changes in regards to privacy.
It looks at differences between Windows 10 Editions, the installation process,
reviews privacy programs created for Windows 10, and at specific features of the
operating system and how data collecting plays a role for these features.

What Microsoft says about Privacy and Windows 10
Microsoft published a post with the title Privacy and Windows 10[5] back in
September 2015 on the official Windows Experience Blog to address rising
privacy concerns.

According to Terry Myerson, Executive Vice President, Windows and Devices
Group, Microsoft designed Windows 10 with two “straightforward privacy
principles” in mind.

Windows 10 collects information so the product will work better for you.
You are in control with the ability to determine what information is collected.

Myerson goes on to explain that Microsoft thinks of data that the company does
and does not collect in three different levels:
1. Safety and Reliability data – This data is collected to “provide a secure
and reliable experience”. It includes data such as an anonymous device ID,
device type, and application crash data which Microsoft and its developer
partners use to improve application reliability.
2. Personalization data – This data is used to provide users with a custom
experience, for instance by providing text completion suggestions, using
the digital assistant Cortana, or giving users updates on game scores when
their favorite teams play.
3. Advertising data that Microsoft does not collect – Microsoft won’t
collect content of emails or other communications, or files, to deliver targeted advertising.
In 2017, Myerson published two additional privacy focused articles on the
Windows 10 Experience blog.
The new Privacy Dashboard was announced in the first entitled Our continuing
commitment to your privacy with Windows 10[6]. The new online dashboard[7]
provides options to Windows users who sign in to Windows using a Microsoft
Account to control activity data that is collected by Microsoft products such as Windows 10.

Microsoft announced as well that it would improve the privacy part of the setup
experience, simplify diagnostic data levels, and reduce data collected at the
Basic level (of Telemetry).

First, we will introduce a new set up experience for you to choose the
settings that are right for you.
This experience, which replaces previous Express Settings, will look
slightly different depending on the version of Windows you are using.
If you are moving from Windows 7 or Windows 8, or doing a fresh
install of Windows 10, the new set up experience will clearly show you
simple but important settings and you will need to choose your settings
before you can move forward with setup.

If you are already using Windows 10, we will use notifications to
prompt you to choose your privacy settings.
Microsoft made the decision to reduce Telemetry levels from three to two
configurable levels in the Settings application of the Windows 10 Creators
Update version. The company removed the Enhanced level, leaving Basic and
Full as the two remaining options during Setup and in the Settings application.
Myerson confirmed that Microsoft reduced the data that is collected when the
Basic level is enabled.
We use this data to help keep Windows and apps secure, up-to-date,
and running properly when you let Microsoft know the capabilities of
your device, what is installed, and whether Windows is operating
correctly. This option also includes basic error reporting back to
Three months later, in April 2017, Myerson published Windows 10 privacy
journey continues: more transparency and controls for you[8] on the
Windows Experience blog.
In it he revealed three enhancements to privacy on Windows 10.
• In-product information improvements by adding short descriptions and
learn more links to privacy settings to help customers better understand each.
• An update to the Microsoft Privacy statement to include more
information about the privacy changes in the Creators Update.
• Publication of more information about the data that Microsoft collects.
Marisa Rogers, WDG Privacy Officer, revealed[9] in September 2017 on the
official Windows Experience blog that privacy enhancements were coming to
the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.
She listed three improvements in the article:
1. Direct access to the privacy statement during setup, and links next to the
available privacy settings during setup that lead to the privacy statement
paragraph that refers to it.
2. Permission prompts not only for location data but also other data that
Windows Store applications request such as camera, microphone, contacts,
or calendar.
3. A new Window Analytics setting for Enterprise customers.

Table of Contents
Table of Contents Foreword
This guide
What Microsoft says about Privacy and Windows 10
Privacy Options during Setup
5-Minute Privacy Configuration
Configuring Privacy Settings after Setup
Privacy → General
Privacy → Location
Privacy → Camera
Privacy → Microphone
Privacy → Notifications
Privacy -> Speech, inking and typing
Privacy -> Account Info
Privacy → Contacts
Privacy → Calendar
Privacy → Call History
Privacy → Email
Privacy → Tasks
Privacy → Messaging
Privacy → Radios
Privacy → Other devices
Privacy → Feedback & Diagnostics
Privacy → Background apps
Privacy → App diagnostics
Privacy -> Automatic file downloads
Quick Overview: Differences between Windows 10 Editions
Important information about tools used in this guide
What is Telemetry
Telemetry levels Overview
Endpoints for Telemetry Services
Configuring Windows 10 Telemetry settings
Business and Enterprise options
Manage Connections from Windows components to Microsoft
Settings for Windows 10
Certificate Trust Lists
Cortana and Search
Date & Time
Device Metadata Retrieval
Font Streaming
Insider Preview Builds
Microsoft Internet Explorer
Live Tiles
Mail Synchronization
Microsoft Account
Microsoft Edge
Network Connection Status Indicator
Offline Maps
Preinstalled Applications
Windows 10 Privacy Settings
Windows Features
Accounts (Local, Microsoft)
Customer Experience Program
Feedback and Help
Internet Explorer
Microsoft Edge
OneDrive / File Synchronization
Windows Error Reporting
Windows Media Player
Windows Update
Windows Services
Windows Tasks
Office Telemetry
Turn on Telemetry data collection
Remove Ads / Suggestions
Windows Experience Blog
General Pages of Interest
Microsoft Office
Telemetry and Privacy
Third-party Resources
Privacy Settings and Features
Whitepapers and Docs

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