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Microsoft backports privacy invading Windows 10 features into Windows 7 and 8

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posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 09:38 PM

It's a week where Microsoft giveth and Microsoft taketh away. On the plus side, it has caved on the mandatory app updates for home users and will allow them to opt out. On the down side, it has back-rolled some of the privacy-intrusive parts of Windows 10 to its older operating systems.

The website discovered four KB updates for Windows 7 and 8. They share the same characteristics and approach to collecting your data that now come baked into Windows 10.

They are described below...

"Update for customer experience and diagnostic telemetry"

KB 3068708: This update introduces the Diagnostics and Telemetry tracking service to existing devices. By applying this service, you can add benefits from the latest version of Windows to systems that have not yet upgraded. The update also supports applications that are subscribed to Visual Studio Application Insights.

KB 3068708 is listed as collecting diagnostics about functional issues on systems that take part in the Customer Experience Improvement Program. Determining whether or not you are a member of the CEIP, however, is less than obvious. The KB also notes that “Most programs make CEIP options available on the Help menu, although for some products, you might have to check settings, options, or preferences menus.” This is a recommended Windows update.

KB 3022345: This update has been superseded by KB 3068708, but previously provided the same telemetry-tracking services. It’s not clear how the two updates differ, but if you want to remove all traces of telemetry tracking, you’ll want to remove this update as well.

KB 3075249: This update adds telemetry points to the User Account Control (UAC) feature to collect information on elevations that come from low integrity levels. What this appears to mean is that MS wants more information about the kinds of applications that trigger UAC in the first place, presumably because it wants to know what they do and why they need that access. This update is classified as Optional.

KB 3080149: This update is described in identical language to the first two. “This package updates the Diagnostics and Telemetry tracking service to existing devices. This service provides benefits from the latest version of Windows to systems that have not yet upgraded. The update also supports applications that are subscribed to Visual Studio Application Insights.” It is provided as an Optional update, even though the first was classified a “Recommended” update.


Many invasive "features" can be blocked by third party software, but with every update Microsoft quietly implements new ways to gather data. We must either wait for a solution, give up are privacy, or choose to try other means of using the internet. It almost seems futile at this point. After being on your knees for so long, its hard to stand up.

The updates listed above connect to and These addresses are hard-coded to bypass the hosts file and cannot be prevented from connecting. It’s been reported that software firewalls aren’t sufficient to block them, though this is unclear.

Two days ago, it was confirmed that you can in fact use Windows firewall to block traffic to the websites Microsoft uses to collect "telemetry", and private user data. I'm not sure if that includes all versions of Windows or specific to Windows 10, but you should be patient until new programs and patches are developed to combat the recent updates.

Microsoft lists two host names in KB3068708 that data is received from and sent to:

Here is a link from gHack's website,

Comparison of Windows 10 Privacy tools

The author compare tools and provides links to programs designed to increase your privacy. Just remember, tweaks that cannot be applied to the host file must be blocked through a capable router, Windows firewall (until patched), or third party software. My last thread contained similar software comparisons and some geeky advice. Check it out...

This thread was meant to inform those who wish to take action. To me, it goes beyond privacy. Our data fuels their greed and I don't like contributing to the improvement of anything I don't fully understand or agree with.

edit on 2-9-2015 by eisegesis because: (no reason given)

posted on Sep, 2 2015 @ 10:31 PM
a reply to: eisegesis

Star for you.

I am very tired of seeing people just complain about how MS are using new methods to do substantially the same thing they've done for a long time, like it's a new thing.

It's refreshing to see a thread that actually contributes something new to the conversation. Helpful too. Cheers.

posted on Sep, 3 2015 @ 12:46 AM
a reply to: eisegesis

Just as I was thinking on fixing my computer, you tell me this. I don't think I'll bother. Windows 7 user btw.

posted on Sep, 3 2015 @ 02:15 AM
Since it appears the Windows 10 update can't be undone, it prompted me to download and install on one of my partitions Linuxmint 17.2 latest, and its wonderful. I haven't gone into windows for days and days and days....

posted on Sep, 7 2015 @ 12:36 PM
I build my own pc's and have for some time now. I build, what in my opinion, are hot-rods. At least by my standards they are and since they don't have to please anyone but me, that works out fine.

Even my fastest pc was having problems lately. Log on/log off and start up/shut down lag causing time out errors, programs that would stutter or freeze, flickering screens, etc. Everything checked out right as far as virus protection and system status, with the exception of the error reports of course.

I followed the advice here, and on the site, regarding the removal of certain Microsoft updates relating to privacy issues mentioned in this thread and all my problems vanished on the first restart.

The only issue remaining at this time is my download speed seems to be a little slower than it should be, but I have Comcast, so everything is a little slower than it should be.

I recommend removing those updates if you recently started having any issues with previously stable computers. If it works for you as well as it did for me, you will see improvement immediately.

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