Is Windows 10 More Intrusive Than We Believe?


Windows-10-watchingIn light of recent news that the move to Windows 10 was slowing in some parts of the world, such as the U.S., someone at Microsoft decided to do a little bragging on Windows 10 usage facts. They are probably wishing, right about now, they hadn’t done that. The intent was probably just to illustrate how much users of Windows 10 like the new operating system. The result, however, was to expose some of the information Microsoft is collecting about the usage of Windows 10. It’s an eyeopener, to say the least.

A Senior Vice President at Microsoft stated in a blog post that over 200 million devices now have Windows 10 in use. That’s something we would expect them to know, although independent estimates put the figure at closer to 164 million.

What we might not expect them to know is how much time you are spending on Windows 10. But they do. In fact, they know exactly how much time every user spends on Windows 10. That suggests they may know precisely when you are online and when you’re not. Is it just me, or, does that seem a little creepy? But, it gets even more weird.

Microsoft knows how many billions of minutes were spent in Win 10’s new browser, MS Edge, by users last month, alone. They know that Cortana, the new Windows darling, received 2.5 billion questions since it’s launch. They know how many millions of hours of Xbox One games were streamed to Windows 10 PCs. They know how many billions of hours gamers were playing PC games on Windows 10. And, they know that over 82 billion photos were viewed from the Windows 10 Photo app. Just how much they know about those pictures you’ve been viewing is anyone’s guess.

These are the few things that Microsoft has revealed about the data they are tracking on Windows 10 usage, and the people using it. Experts have shown that Windows 10 telemetry data contains a random machine ID and is persistent across reboots. What we don’t know is, how fine-grained is the data?


spying2

Personally, I don’t think the extent of their intrusive spying is something to brag about. When journalists asked how they acquired all that data in the first place, Microsoft declined the request, stating they could not comment any further. Oops!

Microsoft has admitted that much of its automatic tracking cannot be turned off. Spyware is now a “feature” of Windows. So, the question is, what else do they know about about your computer time on Windows 10? What other data are they collecting? Is the data truly anonymous? Is it only used to help improve Microsoft services, or is it brokered to those with the money to buy it?

Some people will say, “I have nothing to hide.” Well, fine. Give me the passwords to all of your email accounts, open the curtains to your bedroom window, and tell me every Website you visit, the good, the bad and the ugly. I’ll start taking notes. 😉

win10-1 billion

In the most aggressive measure yet to get Window 10 on computers world-wide and meet its 1 billion user target… it will soon become a recommended upgrade in Windows Update. Which means that anyone who hasn’t taken measures to prevent automatic Windows updates will soon turn their computer on to find that Windows 10 has taken over.

Given the unprecedented, outrageous degree to which Microsoft is aggressively pushing Windows 10 on current Win 7 and Win 8 users, many think they should be more forthcoming about their data collection.


Do we deserve to know what data Windows 10 is collecting from us? Do you care? Will you move to Windows 10 in spite of the intrusive telemetry? Do you feel less exposed with Windows 7?

 

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About the Author

Daniel Banks

Daniel Banks is a computer enthusiast and part time tech. He began his computing career in the early '90s with a state-of-the-art 486 computer. Playing Kong when he should have been working, he quickly became a master at throwing exploding bananas. RAM was measured in kilobytes... computers only came in one color... getting online made lots of noise and AOL was the internet... or, so we thought. Daniel has been building custom computers for himself and others for over 25 years. His current box was built back in 2008, sporting a Gigabyte mainboard, over-clocked i7 Quad Core engine, 8GB RAM, and an antiquated, over-clocked video card that still gets the job done, running a carefully manicured Win7 OS. Don’t ask where he got the OS. Dan has always had a passion for computers and all things geek. We hope you enjoy his articles.

66 Comments

    • Linux is looking more attractive all the time, to some of us.
      Unfortunately, we live in a Windows world. According to NetMarketShare, as of June 2015 Windows was still operating on more than *90%* of the computers in the world.

      I don’t think we will ever see a mass movement to Linux. That might bring it’s own set of problems. But, those of us who can make the adjustment to Linux can certainly enjoy the benefits.

      When there’s a learning curve involved, anyone even slightly technophobic is going to resist a dramatic change. And, so, they give up their privacy to avoid the inconvenience of learning to use Linux. Some people just aren’t up to the challenge.

      This begs another question. Is privacy overrated?

      • That’s trash talk. What do you know about linux abd what do you know about Africans. You would do well learn and think before you talk

  1. That is why I have a headache, my brain is being overworked from learning how to connect to the internet using Linux, I suppose I could try and use that big Google Chrome Icon setting on my desktop?
    How long are you planning on using W7?

  2. I love Windows 10.Everyone has their reasons for why they like it or not like it. This is a great article well thought out. I agree with a lot of what you said. However, if you use a computer, expect that eventually things change. Software updates…I have to stay mainstream due to my job as an Educator. I have many people come to me for advice…to go to Linux might work for some but not for me.

  3. You don’t have to have W10 for them to be watching your every key stroke.
    At least every second day that bl00dy blue W10 ad is waiting for me on my desktop whether I have done a restart or not.
    It keep insisting I need to accept the licence key kindly set aside for me.

    Well I don’t want their bl00dy W10! W7 is fine with me.
    The more they poke W10 at me the less likely I am to accept their apparently generously donated licence key.

    Grrrrrr

    • here’s how to get rid of the win 10 update reminder. copy this into the command promt.

      WUSA /UNINSTALL /KB:3035583

      update kb3035583 is the one responsible for the persistent update reminder. get rid of it, never reinstall it, and your troubles in that respect will be gone for good.

      • The best way I have found is this program and STOPS Win 10 from downloading on you COMPUTOR.

        GWX Control Panel This is a free tool that can remove and disable the ‘Get Windows 10’ notification area icon on Windows 7 and Windows 8. Recent versions can also disable ‘Upgrade to Windows 10’ behavior in the Windows Update control panel and do much more. See the user guide at the Ultimate Outsider blog. You can still download GWX Control Panel as a standalone executable if you don’t like installers. Please see the “GWX CONTROL PANEL RELEASE NOTES” section at the user guide for MD5 and SHA-1 checksums of all official releases.

        (personal email removed by admin for the safety/security of the poster)

      • Oncoming Storm: Unfortunately, even though I hid kb3035583, Microsoft still downloaded and installed it TWICE, in their underhanded, over zealous way of trying to make everyone upgrade to Windows 10.

        So I installed GWX Control Panel and have not been bothered with Windows 10 pop ups since (so far at least – until MS finds a way of disabling that too!)

  4. Windows will soon stop supporting (updating) Windows 7 & 8. Some of us have already moved to Windows 10 for that reason. More will have to when support stops. Thanks for the heads up about the tracking elements of Windows 10. Please send more when available. Let’s object to Microsoft and see if we can’t get them to quit tracking us. In the meantime, let’s take steps to protect our privacy. I did not activate Cortana because it said it wanted to know more about me. I use Firefox instead of Edge. I do not have XBox, but I assume that Microsoft could track XBox usage with any operating system.

    • According to CNet, Microsoft are not stopping support for Windows 7 until January 14, 2020 and will support Windows 8.1 until January 10, 2023. So there really is no rush to move to Windows 10 – at least until the free upgrade offer stops in July this year 🙂 But as all new computers will probably have Windows 10 pre-installed by July this year, you will still get Windows 10 ‘free’ if you buy a new computer after that date – whether you want it or not!

      I for one will hold off on getting Windows 10 for as long as humanly possible because I tried it when it was first released and despite trying to tame it for about 3 weeks, I then threw in the towel and reverted back to Windows 8.1 :-/

  5. When you search, you are tracked. This is converted to selected ads which appear on lots of your software. So why is it surprising that Microsoft collects data on how often some software is used. Yes. It would be nice if Microsoft told us what information is being collected and how it is used. Do I think this info is going to be used for nefarious purposes? No, because I do not believe Microsoft is collecting a lot of very personal data. But in this digital age, you must expect that you will be monitored every time you log on to the Internet. Some of you will read all sorts of bad things into this monitoring without any evidence to back you up. You probably would not believe Microsoft (or any organization) even if they tell us what data is being collected. I chose to believe much of what we are told but, at the same time, continue to be vigilant. You can be trusting but not naive.

    • Well, that’s the problem. Microsoft is not being upfront about the data they’re collecting. I’m not inclined to just believe everything they say just because they want me to. If *you* don’t value your privacy, neither will anyone else. And, so, you’ll have none.

      The fact that Microsoft goes to such effort to collect your data, and the fact that they have not been direct and forthcoming about Windows 10 telemetry is very troubling. I, for one, will take every possible measure to “opt-out.”

  6. I am still somewhat perplexed that privacy is still the major issue being discussed about windows 10. The simple fact is that once you connect a computer on line you have to accept that you are trusting the policy statements made by companies. I do believe that Microsoft collect anonymised data which helps their marketing and other business strategies. I dont believe that they would waste the manpower and machine time to track in detail a persons life on the internet. The kind of information they collect is important not only to them but to you and I as well. Take for example the usage of edge – this is a new browser that some of us love and some hate – Microsoft’s problem is that it is the percentage who hate it that will make the most noise and in turn influence people who might have grown to love it. (look at what happened with windows 8/8.1 where the lack of take up had far more to do with negative comment than it did with real experience of the product. Anyone who made a serious attempt to get to grips with 8.1 knows that it was an improvement.) If MS are able to know that 80% of users are using edge most of the time then this will indicate that they may be on the right track, but if 80% are turning to IE or other browsers then clearly they need to do something to develop edge, or abandon it altogether as it is a waste of their time developing a product that nobody likes.
    The data Microsoft collect has little, if any impact, on your personal life – compare that to banking and insurance where the highly personalised data they collect is used to determine what services you may receive from other companies and how much you will have to pay for those services.
    I for one am loving the Windows 10 experience despite having installed it on a systemt that was already creaking! Now that they have been integrated in a more effective and user controllable way. I find myself turning to modern UI apps quite often in preference to the desktop versions. The apps have matured due in part to the kind of information that MS has gleaned from the data they have collected. (I dont imagine that windows 7 or 8 were devoid of data collection)
    I find myself wondering if the pundits lacking in much evidence of performance or functionality issues in Windows 10 have now focussed on security as the means to portray Microsoft as as an evil empire.

    • I am not a paranoid person or one subject to ‘conspiracy theories’. But I find the idea that data collected isn’t ultimately able to be shared with security entities some of which may not (or ever) be known to us is implausible. Anyone who carries out their internet lives thinking that they are anonymous or unnoticed is naive, IMO. That said, we carry on.

      The most recent update to Windows 10 on my computer is the first one that hasn’t created problems for me to sort out.

  7. gbswales: The “problem” is, if they can track “this” they can also track “that.” Where does it stop? “Privacy” is an American concept and is valued very highly by most. If you start giving up little pieces of your privacy here and there, pretty soon you will have NO privacy. The problem is most people can’t think far enough ahead to see what “can” happen as a result of this or that. The sad fact is, if it “can” happen, it probably “will.”

  8. I don’t like Microsoft’s outrageously aggressive tactics for pushing Win 10 to people’s computers and tricking them into an unwanted install, in many cases. If I download their browser, they can assume I’m using it. Otherwise, they don’t need to know how much I’m using it or what I’m using it for. That’s MY business, not theirs.

    Microsoft has apparently decided that Google/Android has been getting away with annihilating your privacy for years and, if you can’t beat ’em, you might as well join ’em.

  9. To those who say “Microsoft is not interested in you personal life, only on large masses of aggregated data”, ponder this : the NSA is not interested either on your personal life, it just gathers large masses of data. Until it begins to mine it, and it targets… you.

    Go read those EULAs which all say “we don’t collect your personal data” (not only Misrosoft’s, your anti-virus will do). Well, everything depends on what you mean by personal data. That’s just hypocritical.

    They don’t collect your personal data, inasmuch as they don’t know that Mr. Joe Blow, who lives on 2, Main Street in Helsinki, has been to porn.com yesterday at 1:15 AM. But they do know that some specific computer (which happens to reside in Mr. Joe Blow’s study) has been to porn.com yesterday at 1:15 AM.

    So all that stands between you and trouble is either cross-analysis of that data with some other data (and God knows how much you leave behind), or the government knocking on Microsoft’s door, and asking for your non-personal data, because the police can have some of your other “personal data” if they want to.

    If Microsoft wants me to believe that it’s not interested in my personal data, maybe it could begin by dropping its sneaky tactics of trying to force Windows 10 upon everybody, through techniques that are frankly reminiscent of malware or cyber-attack.

    Why would Microsoft try so hard to thrust a gift on people who don’t want it ? Remember the original Trojan Horse ? There’s a reason digital trojans are named after it.

    Trust is not written down in EULAs. Trust is earned.

  10. Here’s an example of what happens when a good thing turns into a bad thing.
    In my state, drivers licences now have a chip in them which was originally to contain your personal details because everything was going computerized & stored in massive data banks rather than a person behind a counter inputting your details via a keypad & storing it in a filing system. But now it has had a GPS component added without asking the people what they think so it can also be used for tracking individuals as well as holding personal info.
    So my state & federal gov’t & law enforcement agencies now knows exactly where I go & when. A bit like tracking people’s mobile phones from traffic light to traffic light via the wifi. Not only that but also when you pay your licence fee online that info is retained & your licence number is then attached to you computer IP. Add it to the tracking cameras installed along highways that match driver images to car licence plate numbers & drivers licence numbers because our photos are now digitized, means they now also have your computer details so they can seek it out individually.

    People say “well if you have nothing to hide why are you worried?” Well it does matter because what have I done to deserve to be tracked 24/7 by anyone including MS?
    So if you have nothing to hide then give me all your passwords, your bank details, etc & possibly even your wife if you don’t mind!

    Same, same regarding mining of personal information & data retention. Eventually it goes from being a good thing or at least something we are prepared to tolerate, to something completely invasive & turning us into defensive apparent criminals who have to prove their innocence.

      • I was about to ask the very same question DMVs are not equipped to store or access that type of information. Your driver and auto information are held by different computer systems. Auto and license information do not mix at any point,It is very common for people to drive a car they don’t own. Just look at your car registration your license info is no where to be found. Look at your DL there is no information about your car registration anywhere two different systems. You would be surprised only issue dates, types of license, moving violation,suspensions addresses and points are on your DL record from when you first get license no information is ever removed, even if your record is supposed to get wiped clean. The people at the DMV can see it we aren’t allowed to talk about “expired” or items the statute has run out like vehicular homicide. If you die while DL is suspended it stays suspended till the end of time. It can’t be changed.

  11. When James Taylor went “Unplugged” he suffered no loss of respect, admiration or money. When I hand my clients a hand written (form) invoice or estimate they know and I know that the world DOESN’T know our business. I can use my website for advertising and providing information. There is a phone number and a PO Box address provided for communication. I also post my physical location for legitimacy purposes and advise that identity theft is often a product of mailbox robberies. My phone is a hard wired desk phone which allows me to handle only one customer at a time and, as it happens, one customer at a time is all I can handle.
    I check my email and shop Amazon with my android tablet and disconnect from wi-fi when I’m done. Granted, my cell phone is exposed but I use a 3G Blackberry to phone and text only. The screen is too small to surf the web so I don’t. The gps is silly and I do not use social networks on the net. this limits my exposure to a lot of pain.
    It was a nice experiment, but the internet has turned into little more than a marketplace filled with fear mongers, snake oil salesmen, pickpockets and assassins: steeling my time and, if I’m not both careful and lucky, my life’s work.
    I did fine before the internet, I stumbled through the net for about 10 years thinking I needed to be there to be able to compete. I’ve since discovered what I knew all along. Personal service and discretion are valued above all and once again I’m on top with pen and paper and a grateful customer base. Your friendly local photographer, Frank

    By the way, I use a powerful custom win 7 PC for graphics, filing and I go online for maintenance of my finances.
    I do not use the cloud voluntarily. Like it or not the banks and every institution with your personal information use the cloud for storage and retrieval weather you have a computer or not. To my mind, accepting Win 10 is akin to drilling another hole in the bottom of a sinking boat.

  12. as some have suggested above, concerning the lack of non-privacy and tracking, what is to stop Microsoft from putting ‘ads” on your desktop?

    I am having problems with IE11 with Netflix. Called the helpdesk and was told that my W7 and IE11 was too old for Netflix and to upgrade to W10. LOL, go figure.

  13. No. Windows 10 is not more intrusive than I believe. I believe it is a virus. Once installed, it owns everything on your computer and can do anything it wants to it. My questions is: Why do so few people care? Why do they just accept that the OS removes whatever it chooses and adds anything it likes, without asking, without any consideration whatsoever? They should have named it Hal.

    It’s been a long while since anything online was private. I find it odd and disturbing that so few people care and just accept whatever Microsoft and Google dish out. And how about the whole push to move everything to the cloud? Nobody seems to mind that, either. Google Docs and MS Office Online? Uh, WHY?

    No.I don’t particularly like being tracked, but being tracked online is one thing. Being spied on while I’m using my own computer, in my own private little office, minding my own business, is just plain slimy.

    Windows 10? No. I hate the idea of switching to another OS and won’t do it until my current computers die and I can’t get a usable copy of Win7.

    • “Why do they just accept that the OS removes whatever it chooses and adds anything it likes, without asking, without any consideration whatsoever ?”

      Exactly. There are known cases where Windows 10 has removed C-Cleaner from PCs. Microsoft’s comment amounted to : C-Cleaner shouldn’t be there anyway, because it interferes.

      Who’s Microsoft to decide what software has the right to reside on my computer ? Let them spread information and advice on what they think should or should not be there, certainly. But the decision is for the owner of the PC to take.

      Aren’t people interested any more in their property rights ? Freedom depends on them.

      It seems that all people want nowadays is to be kept entertained. Give them a few flashy tiles in their Start Menu, and they’re are ready to forfeit their liberty.

      • The Windows 10 upgrade removes any incompatible software for obvious reasons. I would confidently hazard a guess that the “known cases where Windows 10 has removed CCleaner from PCs” is because they were old versions which the user hadn’t bothered updating.

        • Is that a fact, Jim ? Does W 10 really remove incompatible software ? Wouldn’t that be a first, as far as Windows versions are concerned ? And why would it do it ?

          If my software does not work on my computer for compatibility reasons, surely it’s my responsibility to remove it ? Maybe, just maybe, if Windows 10 is incompatible with C-Cleaner, I’d chose to ditch Windows 10 and keep C-Cleaner ?

          Furthermore, incompatibility is a murky concept, not a black-and-white affair. I have a very useful little software on my rig, called Tera Copy, which is theoretically incompatible with my setting, because it hasn’t kept up with high-resolution screens, and it’s UI is therefore tiny to the point of being almost impossible to read.

          However, I chose to keep it, because I haven’t found a proper replacement.

        • I have software that is being ran with XP because of the compatibility issues with W10. I do know the recent version of CCleaner will run under W10 on this same PC, so keep your software updated.

        • If my software does not work on my computer for compatibility reasons, surely it’s my responsibility to remove it

          And how would the user know if the software was compatible or not?

          You appear to be working on the assumption that “incompatible” means the software simply won’t run. While that may be true in some cases, software incompatibilities can also lead to serious system issues. Let’s say MS leaves any incompatible software in place and it causes serious issues. Now we have a user with a broken system and no idea why or how to fix it. Would that be a better outcome?

          Nobody said Ccleaner is incompatible with Win10, of course it is. However, it’s not MS’s fault if users do not keep their software up to date.

  14. I installed the new version of OneNote for my wife’s benefit. A couple of days later I set about printing a document on my WiFi printer, it didn’t print. I went through the usual, simple checks first and looked at printer properties, My Printer, no tick in the box as preferred printer……sitting next to it was OneNote, with a big green tick in it’s box.

    My computer, Windows 7 Pro, my printer, internet server in my name, all paid for, Microsoft, back the hell off.

    Experience by clients noted, email from friends and relatives, noted, techie web blogs, noted, result, not too many people are happy with the current way in which Microsoft are operating, and less pleased with Windows 10, and clients, family and friends are rolling back to Windows 7.

  15. It gnaws the hell out of me that I am forced to yield to MS (& Google for that matter) but what else can we do? We have to sleep with the enemy.
    They have won the race to provide the user with exactly what the user wants in a software.
    The payment required for this completely useful resource is an arm & half a right leg (oh & not forgetting your wife too & your passwords)!

      • WE can do more than that. We can keep our windows 7 and reject win 10. Go to the store and ask for a win 7 machine. You don’t NEED win 10. OK, some are hot for active x 12 but exercise a little restraint. If you continue doing what you’ve always done (just buy whatever they tell you to buy), then you’ll always get what you always got. Just reject Win 10. The only way anything gets done in this country is by vote. I’m talking about voting with your dollar. Don’t buy it and they will turn it into what you will buy. The seller is not in control. The buyer is. If your willing to keep win 7 and dance a little bit to keep it safe (like shutting off windows update) Then the bully will back off. Do not be timid about it. For gosh sakes, the majority of ATM’s in this country are still running on XP.
        Microsoft must not be allowed watch me while I undress, record it and sell the information to the Chinese evaluation. No one must know what books I read when MS decides the world would be a better place if they eliminate those who read the books I read. It’s time to stop this blind adoration of technology. You went in blind to the dot com bubble and got your but kicked. Then you went through the housing bubble and got your but kicked. And all because you didn’t see it coming. Well, look over your shoulder. MS is coming. You wont be able to urinate at home without it being a p*ss test. Can you see it coming? Can you see it?

  16. Yes we have a lot of constitutional violations here. Not only by the NSA, Google and others. But I feel that no matter what language they use in the acceptance documentation of the OS. They are violating the privacy of the user. I think they will eventually pay for this.

  17. I have KNOWN all along that Win 10 is or will SPY on us!
    I have NOT downloaded it and never WILL!
    It is a way for HOMELAND SECURITY to SPY on all of us.
    It is in the name of TERRORISM!
    But WE are ALL treated as a TERRORIST for OUR security!
    Good old USA safeguarding us in the name of SECURITY while spying on us.
    Not me !! I will change to OTHER OPERATING SYSTEMS when I am told THEY DO NOT SPY! Until the I run Win 7 and avoid Win 10!

    • sad thing is, you’re right. every democracy in history has morphed into socialism. one day, the usa WILL become the ussa and the monitoring protocols that win 10 uses will be applied to everything you use, just to keep tabs on and prevent any uprisings. mark my words.

  18. i will never use this abomination and any computer i get will have the memory wiped and get win 7 installed in its place.

  19. Hated Vista, upgraded to W7. Laptop broke. New laptop came with W8.1. Hated that more than Vista so took W10. I spend so long waiting for it to configure update on boot and dealing with its habitual changes to my default programmes etc. I have put Ubuntu on an old XP laptop and finding my way round that. So far I found it OK for web browsing. I rather think I am close to being done with Windows ans MS.

  20. I’ve been using MS products since their beginning, but this W10 has done it for me. Ironic that MS pushes Windows Defender. I suppose they didn’t care that the kettle was calling them. For those who still want to use their products, that’s entirely your right and decision. For myself however, I’m done and the conversion of all systems over to Linux is forthcoming. I myself do development work and at this point I don’t trust MS not be snooping at our product development.

    • Yes, Linux is good and free Glenn. But no matter how many times all its devotees say it’s the best thing since sliced bread, in my experience it is NOT as intuitive or easy to use as Windows. Don’t get me wrong, I would love to be able to master the Terminal and all the sudo commands – but I couldn’t. Hope you have better luck :-/

  21. Ok…I’ve read most of the comments listed. Here is my input. I began using computers January 1986, basically 30 years ago this month., and the operating system was DOS, so I have attempted to stay informed about each Windows upgrade, in order to know if it would be better. In most cases I didn’t upgrade because of actual people’s comments. I have been using Windows 10 since September. It is very interesting that nothing was posted anywhere about MS collecting more info than ever before on previous versions. There are a lot of things I like about it, and now with the information in this article, plus comments, it is bothering me. I recently got a “failed to download Windows update” message, so I decided to find info for manually getting the update related to security issues that seemed to be essential in what I kept reading. Well, I got the update installed, and it eliminated my spy wear program (Spybot 1.4). I had to download it again, as it took the install as well. I decided to get a newer version (1.5.2) as it was faster, and no popups to purchase as the newer versions do. I don’t use the Windows Defender because it doesn’t fully protect you against all malwear, etc. I’ve been using Avast for many years and it interacts well with Spybot on Windows 10. I’ve never fully trusted what MS says about their operating systems…they want to make money. I’m going to look at getting Lenin or buy a Mac computer to avoid security issues. Oh and Mozzilla Firefox now has a stelth mode when browsing that I’m now using. Feeling more secure. So then for those of you that have privacy issues, here are some choices if you continue to go on the internet…buy a McIntosh, or use Linux OS. Also, until you decide if you want to continue using Windows, or not, you might want to try Firefox browser’s stelth mode.not sure if that is the only way that MS tracks you. Windows earlier OS versons my not need Spybot. One last thing…some of you may or may not be aware that hackers hate Microsoft; both the company as their customers and most viruses are geared to Windows users. That’s all for now.

  22. I’ve heard some conspiracy theories in my day, but that’s a doozie. I certainly believe Microsoft, Facebook, Google, and others test the limits of the law at every opportunity. Our government should do more to protect our right to privacy. But, then, that could potentially weak the government’s ability to defend the country against terrorism. It’s a “Catch 22.” Damned if they do, damned if they don’t. The masses are oblivious, because ignorance is bliss and most people prefer to live their meager lives in blissful ignorance. They are utterly clueless to pain and death of the hundreds of thousands who fought, died and lived tortured lives to provide and protect the liberties of our democracy. The question is, does the loss of privacy help protect our freedom, or does it hinder it? I think there are good arguments on both sides of the question.

  23. Wow, it sure seems quite a stretch between the intrusiveness of Windows 10 and the pain and death of the hundreds of thousands who fought, died and lived tortured lives to provide and protect the liberties of our democracy!

    • BTW, I couldn’t find pcbugfixer’s original comment but I have read it in the email notification! And you’re right Daniel, that really is a doozie of a conspiracy theory!!! LOL

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