• Report Observes Windows 10 Communicating with Remote Servers Despite Privacy Controls



    Even though most of the traffic from Windows 10 doesnít seem to be harmful, it appears that the new Microsoft operating system is communicating with Microsoft servers when even many data privacy settings are on. According to ArsTechnica, after disabling the operating systemís Cortana assistant performing Web searches from the Start menu, Windows 10 will still send requests to bing.com for a file with Cortana data.

    In situations where the live tiles aren't pinned to the start menu, it seems that the operating system will periodically download new tile data from Microsoft over an unencrypted HTTP connection. When using HTTP and HTTPS proxies, Windows 10 is said to bypass these connections to make requests from a content delivery network. In this particular scenario, when the operating system connects to a new network, Windows attempts to fetch two text files, one for IPv4 and another for IPv6 in an attempt to gauge whether that network is connected to the Internet. These requests are however stripped-down, donít even include a machine ID, and can completely shut off with some technical knowledge.

    The more pertinent issue is communication with what appears to be a server for OneDrive, which is Microsoftís cloud storage network. Windows ends up sending unknown data to the server even if the feature is disabled and a computer has a local-only login. The data may involve telemetry settings, which can again be disabled by users who have the technical knowledge.

    According to a Microsoft spokesperson, at least some of the controversial data involves updating Bing search, for instance to add new styles and search code. The person had the following to say regarding the matter:

    No query or search usage data is sent to Microsoft, in accordance with the customer's chosen privacy settings. This also applies to searching offline for items such as apps, files and settings on the device.
    Despite Windows 10 being well-received and garnering favorable reviews, critics continue to complain that by default, it ends up sharing more data than most operating systems including Windows 8.1 (its predecessor) and OS X Yosemite. Many of these features can be turned off but users have to make the decision to do so and weigh the pros and cons.

    Source: ArsTechnica via AppleInsider
    This article was originally published in forum thread: Report Observes Windows 10 Communicating with Remote Servers Despite Privacy Controls started by Akshay Masand View original post
    Comments 1 Comment
    1. CZroe's Avatar
      CZroe -
      "when the operating system connects to a new network, Windows attempts to fetch two text files, one for IPv4 and another for IPv6 in an attempt to gauge whether that network is connected to the Internet"

      This is exactly how iOS devices detect that the public WiFi you are connected to requires a log-in and presents you with a browser panel inside of your Internet-connected iOS apps. If I launch, say, Tapatalk while in range of a Starbucks public WiFi access point I have used before, a service in iOS will connect first and request something from Apple's own server (WiFi logo will not show yet). If it gets something else than what it was expecting, Apple assumes that it was hijacked by a loving page from a public WiFi hotspot and presents you with that login page. It uses a temporary Safari panel so that it never takes you away from the app or opens a new tab.

      That isn't to say that Apple's doesn't have plenty of problems in execution (I encounter them almost daily).
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