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[–] roboticon 33 points 31 points (+64|-33) ago 

Fear-mongering doesn't contribute to the conversation.

"These services share your browsing history and keystrokes with Microsoft to help improve products and services."

All of these services can be disabled, but let's take a look at them:

1. Show search suggestions as I type

I hope it's not surprising that this feature requires sends keystrokes to Microsoft servers to search on those keystrokes and return suggestions. Like you type "cn" and it suggests "cnn.com" even if you haven't visited that site before. Hardly evil, but if you don't trust it, just turn it off (I don't know what the defaults are).

2. Use page prediction to speed up browsing and improve reading view

OK, so they send the page you're visiting and the page you came from ("browsing history") to Microsoft to consider which page you might visit next (e.g., if you visit Bing and search for "horses", maybe it prefetches the first result for "horses").

Reading view: think something like Readability. Send the URL to Microsoft, they send back a more readable formatted version.

3. Help protect me from malicious sites and downloads with SmartScreen Filter.

This one is simple: you send Microsoft the URL, and they check its hash against a database of sites known to contain malware.

4. Have Cortana assist me in Project Spartan.

I'm not sure exactly what this means, but basically in the Spartan browser Cortana can see what you're typing or what page you're visiting. IDK how they use that info but presumably they do stuff like anticipate tasks, handle requests, etc. Again, if you don't want it or trust it... turn it off.


If you still have doubts, that's fine. Do some research. Consider what Microsoft has to gain by stealing your keystrokes for nefarious purposes -- and what they have to lose (notice in particular how averse Microsoft is to being prosecuted these days).

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[–] null0 2 points 44 points (+46|-2) ago 

I think the image was a little overly paranoid and totally over the top (the WW2 and Half-Life 2 images were really unnecessary), but while you're right, the issue is more about what else happens with these features.

Once the data goes to Microsoft, you don't really think they process it, use it to improve your experience, and then simply throw it away, do you? Like everything else, this is a trade-off. You have to decide how much data you'd like circulating about you in exchange for these features. Microsoft is going to use the information to target you as a consumer. Ignoring the usual evil government boogeyman, the data is simply there. A criminal in microsoft's servers will be able to get all sorts of information about you.

The depressing part is that there are so many programs collecting data on you that the only viable way to truly opt out is not only to stop using the internet, but stop being friends with anyone who uses the internet, too.

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[–] roboticon 0 points 1 points (+1|-0) ago  (edited ago)

Thanks for the thoughtful response. I agree that this should be the number one concern: even if we assume Microsoft will abide by its policies, the more data they have, the worse a leak would be for consumers. (If this is a concern you should focus on what sharing you can't disable, and decide for yourself whether you're comfortable with that limited information potentially being stolen/shared.)

I'm kind of sad that even at Voat, posts that go against the hive mind get downvoted even when they're not acerbic, irrelevant, or abusive.... But at least some of these comments are keeping the conversation going and getting people to think for themselves.

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[–] kuuttis 2 points -1 points (+1|-2) ago  (edited ago)

Google has been doing pretty much the same sort of things with it android and play store apps for years and with billions of devices with gps and microphones and cameras. But now that microsoft does it suddenly is a WWIII and 1984?

I just laugh off these threads like the crackpot crazy person on the street corner yelling "end is nigh"

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[–] misterindie 8 points 6 points (+14|-8) ago 

Thank you for being the voice of reason. I'm not actually sure there are Windows users freaking out about anything. When I read the comments here and on Reddit, it seems like the Linux hoards have invaded telling everyone to switch their OS.

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[–] diodepain 1 points 5 points (+6|-1) ago 

Is Microsoft paying you or do you do it for free?

Anyway, the fact that it's opt-out instead of opt-in says a lot more about it than I ever could. And even then you don't actually know that it's turned off because of how Windows is proprietary and closed-source.

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[–] JimmyJimRyan 2 points 3 points (+5|-2) ago 

The option to turn off these things is a bullshit excuse, facebook keep saying the same thing then reset and change the settings. If they want to paying me my going rate to spend and hour or two per week to audit it then it might be an excuse but unlike even facebook these settings are not in the same place so how do you know you got them all.