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Thread: Operating system advice please

  1. #17
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    Can someone explain to me the basis behind these problems with data collection? I.E from a personal level, a moral level, or a practical level, or some combination? I don't really get it. When it comes to something like facebook, it upsets me, as it's so very obvious, given we're getting it for free, that we're the product, we're basically the cow that's getting milked, but with windows 10 the data that's getting collected (that you can't turn off) isn't as much about targeted advertising etc and is (presumably) of a more telemetric nature. It's not like they're turning on our webcams and finding out what cereal we eat for breakfast so they can advertise shredded wheat or anything - privacy from intrusion is a nice idea but I don't see how what W10 does is intrusive.

    My experience with windows 10 has been overwhelmingly positive. If I ever had to do things like leave my PC on overnight or for a long stretch so that it could run a program that couldn't autosave and restart once updates had completed, I would probably get 10 pro if that has the ability to prevent autoupdates; my laptop has crashed recently but I've got W10 on both here and my HTPC and they both seem to run smooth and safe, especially given my closest point of comparison is my cars OS, which is a trainwreck, and my phones OS, which has me, let's say, a little irked at the moment and is WAY more intrusive.

    Having said that, I game on my PS4, so if I had the time and inclination, I would learn a version of linux.
    Last edited by peterb; 01-08-2017 at 01:15 PM. Reason: Merge consecutive posts

  2. #18
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    Re: Operating system advice please

    W10 logs your location, search requests, cortana chats (which might be based on emails that cortana has automatically read for content), browser histories. That is not telemetric.

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    Re: Operating system advice please

    You can turn cortana off, no? I use thunderbird for my e-mails - surely there's no way cortana can still be reading my e-mails, and even if it is, aren't they sufficiently anonymized such that even if i were planning a terrorist attack, that isn't how they'd get me? Why should it bother me if microsoft get anonymized data about where I use my laptop? I also don't use the windows search bar for anything. All the data for searching - and a hell of a lot more - is available to our internet browsers too. It feels like an unfair issue to be levelled at an OS for our PCs and laptops, where our phones and browsers take far more info from us.

  4. #20
    The late but legendary peterb - Onward and Upward peterb's Avatar
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    Re: Operating system advice please

    Putting on my devils advocate hat (with the paranoia decoration)...

    Quote Originally Posted by wazzickle View Post
    You can turn cortana off, no?
    But can you? Just because you aren't getting the audible feedback, how do you know that it still isn't working in the background? (and yes, thats true for other operating systems too - so short of doing a packet analysis - but then if the data is encrypted...)

    Quote Originally Posted by wazzickle View Post
    I use thunderbird for my e-mails - surely there's no way cortana can still be reading my e-mails, and even if it is, aren't they sufficiently anonymized such that even if i were planning a terrorist attack, that isn't how they'd get me?
    Metadata - not so much the content as who you are sending it to - and again, how do you know if Cortana (or some other agent) isn't scanning your e mails.

    Quote Originally Posted by wazzickle View Post
    Why should it bother me if microsoft get anonymized data about where I use my laptop?
    It might not - but that is a judgement call only you can make.

    None of this new though - way back (Win 95 or Win NT 4.0) it was known that it was sending back encrypted packets to a microsoft registered IP address, and Windows itself stored your Internet explorer browsing history in a hidden protected file.
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  5. #21
    Banhammer in peace PeterB kalniel's Avatar
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    Re: Operating system advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by wazzickle View Post
    All the data for searching - and a hell of a lot more - is available to our internet browsers too. It feels like an unfair issue to be levelled at an OS for our PCs and laptops, where our phones and browsers take far more info from us.
    It's not levelled solely at OS - it's also levelled at browsers and phone providers. I was just answering the Windows collects more telemetric data point.

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    Re: Operating system advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by peterb View Post
    It might not - but that is a judgement call only you can make.
    I think you're missing my point - my question is 'why would it bother you' rather than the statement 'it doesn't bother me'.

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    Re: Operating system advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by wazzickle View Post
    I think you're missing my point - my question is 'why would it bother you' rather than the statement 'it doesn't bother me'.
    What bothers me is the direction that MS seem to be taking, which seems to me to be towards a subscription model for their OS and the bi-directional telemetry may be a test bed for that - and going back some way. As for data collection itself, it depends on how securely it is stored, what it is used for and who it is shared with. Its not that I might mind, but I'd like to know. But as I have no need for Windows 10, that aspect of data collection isn't a problem for me.
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    Re: Operating system advice please

    Jon

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    Re: Operating system advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by Dashers View Post
    Yeah, Windows doesn't crash these days. Bad hardware or drivers crash.
    Yep, could be.

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    Re: Operating system advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by wazzickle View Post
    I think you're missing my point - my question is 'why would it bother you' rather than the statement 'it doesn't bother me'.
    Speaking personally it bothers me because the more data you have about someone, and more importantly a population, the more power you have over them, I'm not talking about overt power where it's know X is telling you to do Y, but covert power such as what was speculated to have happened with the Brexit vote and the US election, as the saying goes knowledge is power.

    Someones undoubtedly going to claim my tinfoil hat is cutting of the blood supply to my brain and they're more than welcome to do so, however IMHO if you think there's any such thing as anonymized data or that large organisation (governments and corporations) won't use any means necessary to get what they want then i suggest you need to learn the lessons of history.

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    Re: Operating system advice please

    I'm not quite sure what your point is. Of course those who play a large part in society will have a lot of influence. That happens regardless of any specific technology like data collection.

  12. #28
    I really don't care Dashers's Avatar
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    Re: Operating system advice please

    You can absolutely turn stuff in Windows. Microsoft aren't that bent on slurping all your data. Ultimately Cortana is a combination of technologies, the most obvious things is it is the UI used now to access Windows Indexing. They've just given it a silly name.

    Whilst the OS has carte blanche access to memory, it would still need an understanding of what is in memory. Don't want Windows linking into your email, use a non-MS mail client and deny access to Windows via the API.

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    Re: Operating system advice please

    Quote Originally Posted by EndlessWaves View Post
    I'm not quite sure what your point is. Of course those who play a large part in society will have a lot of influence. That happens regardless of any specific technology like data collection.
    Having influence because you play a large party in society is a very different thing than using technology to gather data on individuals so you can profile and influence them without their knowledge, one uses influence in the broadest of terms with very little knowledge of who their audience is, the others based on a deep understanding of the audience that allows them to target and tailor their message to each individual.



    FYI I'm not making a political point so ignore the political slant, I'm trying to show how "big data" can be used, as per your original question of what the basis is behind these problems with data collection? I.E from a personal level, a moral level, or a practical level, or some combination?

    It's me providing what i consider to be examples of why it bothers me when any company overtly attempts to collect vast amounts of personal data.
    Last edited by Corky34; 03-08-2017 at 12:18 PM.

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    Re: Operating system advice please

    I think facebook admitted that they'd done experiments with data collection and mass psychology with regards to shaping opinions via selective sharing, and given the nature of the data we share with facebook, I think they're most likely to be the ones to do stuff with that data; what data is it that microsoft have access to, especially amongst users like us who tend to use 3rd party browsers and e-mail clients etc, that would worry us about that sort of intrusion?

    I would say that the above worry is the most legitimate concern I could imagine about why it's preferable to avoid these big companies having access to our data.

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    Re: Operating system advice please

    Windows is not the problem. Long time ago could be windows but nowadays is fine and works well. it should be hardware, drivers or another thing.

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    Re: Operating system advice please

    Indeed, social media are the most likely but that doesn't exclude Microsoft going down the same route in the future, i would imagine the rewards from using "big data" can be highly attractive and presently there's no way to take your data back once its been gathered, and Microsoft gather lots more and in higher detail than any social media company, even on the lowest telemetry level (excluding Enterprise, Education, and Server) available it gathers a great deal of information.

    I'm not saying what they gather isn't helpful when it comes to fixing problems or that it's being used for anything but troubleshooting issues, however since Windows moved to SaS that could change at anytime, as it has with what social media companies allow themselves to collect, and the only choice you have is to either stop using or accept the new terms.

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