Windows 10: Cortana: The spy in Windows 10

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  1. Posts : 39
    W7 Dual Boot/Windows 10 Pro
       23 Aug 2016 #11

    It can be turned off but not easily/obviously. I did not have a particular issue with Cortanta pre SP1 but removing the obvious off switch is not conducive to privacy/transparency. A lot of people are probably unintentionally giving away their information, which I have a fundamental issue with.

    By all means counter the points made by the author in the article. However to try to belittle and mock people who care about their privacy and take an interest in exactly what data is being collected and what happens to data collected is of no use to anyone.
    It's a recurring theme on this forum.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  2. Posts : 3,361
    W10 Pro x64/W7 Ultimate x64 dual boot main - W10 Pro Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64 - remote pc
    Thread Starter
       23 Aug 2016 #12

    Whenever you fill out some form or sign up for something new on the web you are in a sense handing over at least some of your privacy as far as email addresses if not adding in personal information, location, etc. Some time later you then find new junk emails suddenly start coming in indicating your info was sold/passed along to marketing.

    The difference with Cortana however is that the information is gathered by a known source namely MS not 100 unknowns. The things you search for, browsing history to an extent along with a small amount of other data mostly system logs, etc.

    With a fast right click on the main taskbar the Cortana option there is to show or hide the icon which once hidden is never hit by accident. When going into the Universal App and intentionally clicking on the Cortana item there nothing happens showing that having previously disabling Cortana is still in effect. On any clean install of W10 at this time however you might need to refer to the guide for this on how to turn on or off if not disable entirely. Cortana - Enable or Disable in Windows 10 - Windows 10 Forums

    The first option refers to bringing up the Local Group Policy editor to go in and locate the Allow Cortana item there while the second is a fast reg mod to see the change of setting made in the registry itself. For a double layer of security or to simply insure nothing or no one can come along and trip it back to enabled again use both options!
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  3. Posts : 492
    Microsoft Windows 10 Pro 64-bit
       23 Aug 2016 #13

    RobNJ said: View Post
    Make sure you're properly attired
    The tinfoil hat was created by the NSA and directly aimed at Americans who thought they had common sense, When a very small percentage of the population that actually did have common sense pointed out that certain frequencies are in fact greatly amplified.

    These amplified frequencies coincide with radio bands reserved for government use according to the Federal Communication Commission (FCC).

    Fast forward to today when the NSA finds a man woman or child that actually posses common sense they are quickly removed from the general population.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  4.    23 Aug 2016 #14

    Culbrelai said: View Post
    It can be turned off but not easily/obviously. I did not have a particular issue with Cortanta pre SP1 but removing the obvious off switch is not conducive to privacy/transparency. A lot of people are probably unintentionally giving away their information, which I have a fundamental issue with.

    By all means counter the points made by the author in the article. However to try to belittle and mock people who care about their privacy and take an interest in exactly what data is being collected and what happens to data collected is of no use to anyone.
    It's a recurring theme on this forum.

    I think part of the problem is that over the last year or so, there have been articles published containing inaccuracies regarding Windows 10, which has lead to people getting fed up with them. I'm also included in those who sometimes get fed up with them, as it too winds me up when I see articles containing inaccurate information or poorly researched material, especially when they're written in a certain fashion in order to deliberately stir up an anti-Microsoft rhetoric.

    I'm all for criticizing articles, pointing out inaccuracies, countering an article's content and motivations, etc., but what I've also observed is a growing trend across the internet where whenever anyone tries to discuss privacy issues or questions what data is being collected, what it's being used for and how to disable it, they get jumped on, mocked and belittled for doing so. Usually something along the lines of the tin foil hat variety, blah blah.

    The reality is, quite often the people discussing privacy issues aren't trying to imply that there are some hidden processes secretly collecting data and covertly sending it back to the mothership without you knowing, but rather discuss what's done right in plain sight in front of everyone and documented in black and white in lengthy privacy policies.

    I'm not entirely sure people realise quite how predictable human behaviour is and how frighteningly accurate profiling people can be. Combine that with mission creep and the use of data brokers to link all that data together and it really is something that needs addressing seriously. There have been lots of articles and books written regarding this, but perhaps one of the most well known ones is a New York Times article from a few years ago giving an insight on how retailers operate behind the scenes and how a father inadvertently found out his daughter was pregnant when Target starting to send her coupons for baby clothes and cribs. He went into the store to complain about the coupons because in his view they could encourage her to get pregnant. Little did he know she was already pregnant and Targets computers knew before him due to their pregnancy-prediction model created by statistician Andrew Pole.

    All this data collection needs to be reigned in and control firmly in the end users control without deliberately designing interfaces in a way that makes it more difficult for users to disable certain 'features'.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  5. Posts : 2,207
    W10 Pro + W10 Preview
       24 Aug 2016 #15

    ARC1020 said: View Post
    I'm not entirely sure people realise quite how predictable human behaviour is and how frighteningly accurate profiling people can be. Combine that with mission creep and the use of data brokers to link all that data together and it really is something that needs addressing seriously. There have been lots of articles and books written regarding this, but perhaps one of the most well known ones is a New York Times article from a few years ago giving an insight on how retailers operate behind the scenes and how a father inadvertently found out his daughter was pregnant when Target starting to send her coupons for baby clothes and cribs. He went into the store to complain about the coupons because in his view they could encourage her to get pregnant. Little did he know she was already pregnant and Targets computers knew before him due to their pregnancy-prediction model created by statistician Andrew Pole.

    All this data collection needs to be reigned in and control firmly in the end users control without deliberately designing interfaces in a way that makes it more difficult for users to disable certain 'features'.
    What a strange tale the above quote is, to back up those suspicious that M$ is snooping or acting in a nefarious manner.
    Next thing you know M$ will be accused of making the daughter pregnant....of course no blame should be attached to either the father the daughter or even the boyfriend.
      My ComputersSystem Spec


  6. Posts : 1,614
    Windows 10 Pro x64 - XP/Vista/Win7/Win8.1 in VM for testing
       24 Aug 2016 #16

    That quote says more about the lack of interest of the father in the Daughter's well-being, that was acceptable at the time

    He (the father), should be more aware of what was going on in his daughters Life - Not for some sort of weird need to control. but to be better able to support his daughter if things to not always go to plan
      My ComputerSystem Spec


  7. Posts : 3,361
    W10 Pro x64/W7 Ultimate x64 dual boot main - W10 Pro Insider Preview/W7 Pro x64 - remote pc
    Thread Starter
       24 Aug 2016 #17

    Barman58 said: View Post
    That quote says more about the lack of interest of the father in the Daughter's well-being, that was acceptable at the time

    He (the father), should be more aware of what was going on in his daughters Life - Not for some sort of weird need to control. but to be better able to support his daughter if things to not always go to plan
    Now who said there weren't any with common sense around! Best post seen here so far! No NS.. who, UFO, or other gibberish!

    Data collection is far more common then most even realize mainly through retail and credit sources compared to spys hidden in Windows or other softwares even. In Windows we make a choice whether or not to share in most cases by how we chose to leave options set on various things including the initial setup. Things like sharing the updates by way of sharing our ISP bandwidth were pointed to a year ago shortly before 10 even launched.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  8.    24 Aug 2016 #18

    The issue isn't data collection. The issue is turning all data collection on by default and making it hard for an experienced user to turn off, due to the multiple options and locations you have to crawl through to do it. It also makes it pretty much impossible for Joe average user, the majority, who just want to press one button.
    It isn't the Microsoft is going to setup some odd profile of every user accessing pornhub, probably 90% of which is their staff. However, any data stored in the cloud is open to hacking. Look at the thousands of cases over the last 10 years, many of the sites most of us would think would be resonably safe. What happens when your personal information is leaked out? Additionally, your online data is a reflection of you. By turning on Cortana by default, and making it much harder to completely remove, Microsoft is essentially a virtual peeping Tom. Maybe there is nothing to see, but do they really need to be looking in your Windows? (Pun intended.)
    Finally, I agree all of us give up some privacy being on the internet. However, that's our choice. While FaceBook and even Gmail or not mandatory to survive in this world, unfortunately Windows is because they have a lock on the market. If you want a job today that pays above minimum wage, you better know how to use Windows.
    So given Microsoft's control, if they want to have Cortana that's fine. However, there should be a simple on-off button for all of Cortana's "features" and it should ask you when you first install windows/start if for the first time if you want Cortana on or off and give you a link showing what it accesses. Then if you decide you don't mind the intrustion fine. However, if you do, turn it off, that should be fine too.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  9.    24 Aug 2016 #19

    ARC1020 said: View Post
    I think part of the problem is that over the last year or so, there have been articles published containing inaccuracies regarding Windows 10, which has lead to people getting fed up with them. I'm also included in those who sometimes get fed up with them, as it too winds me up when I see articles containing inaccurate information or poorly researched material, especially when they're written in a certain fashion in order to deliberately stir up an anti-Microsoft rhetoric.

    I'm all for criticizing articles, pointing out inaccuracies, countering an article's content and motivations, etc., but what I've also observed is a growing trend across the internet where whenever anyone tries to discuss privacy issues or questions what data is being collected, what it's being used for and how to disable it, they get jumped on, mocked and belittled for doing so. Usually something along the lines of the tin foil hat variety, blah blah.

    The reality is, quite often the people discussing privacy issues aren't trying to imply that there are some hidden processes secretly collecting data and covertly sending it back to the mothership without you knowing, but rather discuss what's done right in plain sight in front of everyone and documented in black and white in lengthy privacy policies.

    I'm not entirely sure people realise quite how predictable human behaviour is and how frighteningly accurate profiling people can be. Combine that with mission creep and the use of data brokers to link all that data together and it really is something that needs addressing seriously. There have been lots of articles and books written regarding this, but perhaps one of the most well known ones is a New York Times article from a few years ago giving an insight on how retailers operate behind the scenes and how a father inadvertently found out his daughter was pregnant when Target starting to send her coupons for baby clothes and cribs. He went into the store to complain about the coupons because in his view they could encourage her to get pregnant. Little did he know she was already pregnant and Targets computers knew before him due to their pregnancy-prediction model created by statistician Andrew Pole.

    All this data collection needs to be reigned in and control firmly in the end users control without deliberately designing interfaces in a way that makes it more difficult for users to disable certain 'features'.
    Many Thanks

    It (they) should not equate privacy to wanting to live in a cave and just becoase they can track you one way or another does not make it right to do so.
      My ComputerSystem Spec

  10.    24 Aug 2016 #20

    I honestly don't care if they track every keystrokes that I do. I have backup emails that has all of the important info with it, I didn't use that when I linked my email to Windows 10.

    I don't like this "We'll force you to trust us" stuff, It's pissing me off. They should know better that people are not giving away the trust so easily today.
      My ComputerSystem Spec


 
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