Zit Seng's Blog

A Singaporean's technology and lifestyle blog

Builtin Spyware In Windows 10

I’ll admit I’m not much of a Windows fan. Among the many reasons, one of them would be the presumption that Windows is surreptitiously sending data about my computer to Microsoft servers, and perhaps the NSA, MI5/MI6, KGB, and others might have a dip at it too. Well we’re now getting to hear what Microsoft is admitting to collecting.

In what Microsoft calls “diagnostics data”, a variety of information in your Windows 10 PC is collected and transmitted to their servers. Users are offered options to configure how much diagnostic data gets sent to Microsoft, but they are unable to opt out of sending any diagnostic data at all.

With the release of Windows 10 Creators Update coming up next week, Microsoft has revealed more details on their TechNet site detailing the list of diagnostic data collected in both the Basic and Full levels of diagnostics.

From Microsoft:

The Basic level gathers a limited set of information that is critical for understanding the device and its configuration including: basic device information, quality-related information, app compatibility, and Windows Store. When the level is set to Basic, it also includes the Security level information.

More worrying is what the Full level entails:

  • Common Data (diagnostic header information)
  • Device, Connectivity, and Configuration data
  • Product and Service Usage data
  • Product and Service Performance data
  • Software Setup and Inventory data
  • Content Consumption data
  • Browsing, Search and Query data
  • Inking, Typing, and Speech Utterance data
  • Licensing and Purchase data

The TechNet articles are here:

Of course, I don’t know if macOS is any worse in sending private data under the guise of diagnostic data, but now do know officially what Microsoft is saying about their diagnostic data. I don’t see why one should ever have Full Level diagnostic data enabled.

When you upgrade to Windows 10 Creators Update, do yourself a favour and check out the diagnostic data setting.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

View Comment Policy