Which Windows version (7, 8, 8.1) has the best privacy?

Discussion in 'other software & services' started by ChrisFerro3, Aug 31, 2016.

  1. ChrisFerro3

    ChrisFerro3 Registered Member

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    From Windows 7, 8 and 8.1, which is the operating system that has better privacy and the least to configure from telemetry items in the operating system. (I will not update the operating system.)

    P.S. I own Windows 8.1, but I'm getting more afraid to install it because of the telemetry problems, also I can't downgrade because a program I use needs Windows 7 and higher to use.)
     
  2. KittyUser

    KittyUser Registered Member

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    Well it's lucky you didn't mention 10.

    On topic, I think 8.1 is more private. 8 had a lot of flaws.
     
  3. Minimalist

    Minimalist Registered Member

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    If Windows 7 is in play, then I would say it's more private than later. Just don't install telemetry related updates.
     
  4. pegas

    pegas Registered Member

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    I'm not going to advocate Microsoft at all but one should realize that a huge amount of bugs has been discovered and eventually patched only thanks to telemetry.
     
  5. Minimalist

    Minimalist Registered Member

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    I agree that they need some data to remove bugs. OTOH I have a feeling that quality control of patches and new features has decreased significantly. Users have become some kind of beta testers and MS needs more data from users and their "beta testing". Personally I don't like this shift of responsibility for testing software from developers to users.
     
  6. pegas

    pegas Registered Member

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    Yeah, it could be a scientific discussion lasting forever. :) Anyway I don't think the problem lies in the telemetry itself. Keep in mind that only a fraction of users reports bugs. If they relied solely on these reports, Windows would be far more buggy than actually it is. The problem is how the telemetry is further used (apart to help resolve bugs), imho. That's the question of Microsoft's conscience.
    True, everything should be in balance. A deviation to one or another side creates an issue.
    I fully concur.
     
  7. emmjay

    emmjay Registered Member

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    What we do know is that MS calls home a lot over a myriad of ever changing IP addresses. A steady stream of data is being transmitted from both W7 and 8. Users of Pro and Enterprise can turn some telemetry off (Group policy and individual KBs). In October 2016, the monthly rollups will make W7 and 8 a lot less private for a lot of users. Neither will have an advantage over the other. Users can get the security-only bundle outside of windows update but MS has been caught smuggling telemetry code in a security KB before.
     
  8. ArchiveX

    ArchiveX Registered Member

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    :D :argh:
     
  9. Kirk Reynolds

    Kirk Reynolds Registered Member

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    My understanding is that the telemetry updates to Win 7 only come into play if you opt in to WEI. Those rollups were worth it to me doing a clean install.
     
  10. Brummelchen

    Brummelchen Registered Member

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  11. safeguy

    safeguy Registered Member

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  12. TheWindBringeth

    TheWindBringeth Registered Member

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    First of all, we don't know what updates will be released in the future. There might be some that fix critical security issues and/or other serious problems that affect us. We should remain leery of Windows Update as well as rollup type updates. However, is there a way to manage the risk of telemetry and/or other unwanted changes? Through configuration changes/monitoring, selectively installing updates via alternate delivery mechanisms, and/or something else? I think there are other better threads to discuss this specific issue, but I wanted to mention it here.

    It is unclear whether you mean telemetry in the narrow sense (what the developer labels as telemetry) or the broad sense (all the things that involve data collection, whether or not they are called telemetry). Since you express an interest in privacy I would expect you to be interested in all the things. Windows 8 and 8.1 are cloudier than Windows 7 so there are more things to be concerned about.

    IMO, all users should locate and study the full privacy statements for the different operating systems and features and services they are thinking about using. Before making decisions and creating exposures. It helps to know what to watch out for. Here is rough generic list off the top of my head (I may have forgotten some things)...
    • Advertising
    • Beta versions, other pre-release-quality builds, field testing masquerading as a phased rollout
    • Experiments, A/B testing, other scenarios where different people get different functionality
    • Generic telemetry, analytics, usage statistics, "improvement program", "customer feedback", etc.
    • Crash and error reporting
    • Activation/licensing checks
    • Software update checks
    • Software compatibility checks
    • System diagnostics/performance checks
    • Help tools that involve remote lookups
    • Troubleshooting tools that involve remote lookups
    • Remote access features
    • Creating/using an online account that is associated with your OS/device/application
    • Single sign-on systems in general
    • A central store or other software repository that involves an account/ID
    • Cloud AV software and cloud checking features in browsers and/or other apps
    • Geolocation services and features
    • Sync features in OS and/or applications
    • Online storage/backup
    • Encryption key escrow
    • Search features that include remote results
    • Find my device & remote disable features
    • Communications, messaging, sharing, social, collaboration, account linking, etc features and apps
    • Online services used to process other types of sensitive data (passwords, documents, medical records, financial/tax records, ...)
    • Features which process biometric and/or other external data
      • Microphone, voice activation features
      • Camera, image recognition features
      • Fingerprint, other biometric sensors
      • Other sensors
    • Things that impede one's ability to see and/or fix privacy problems
      • Mandatory signing and/or distribution by those other than the developer of the software you want to install.
      • Other forms of lock-down/dumb-down that make it more difficult to inspect traffic, that limit what third-party tools can do, that restrict what the user can control, etc.
      • Software update policies that don't provide enough information about updates, that don't provide sufficient granularity of choice, that involve changing important settings/behavior without explicit user approval, etc.
     
  13. Reality

    Reality Registered Member

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    @TheWindBringeth, if that's off the top of your head, what on earth is inside it? Seriously the more I read about this stuff the less I want to move off XP.
     
  14. ChrisFerro3

    ChrisFerro3 Registered Member

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    Thank you TheWindBringeth, I will use that to find a better operating system.
     
  15. Brummelchen

    Brummelchen Registered Member

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    to mention that not only windows has telemetrie, also Linux and MacOS ;)
    fallback to XP is no good idea as this OS is simply more than dead.

    i stuck with 8.1 now and have win7 as fall back and win10 for testing purpose and look forward.
    my win10 ltsb got more stable and win10 pro (th1) runs fine same way - i did not upgrade to the latest 1607 which seems a bit buggy at this moment although it has lots of fixes.

    if you cant get lose windows comfort and special windows programs you are bound to it, no way whatever some say.
    i read lot of rants about windows and upcoming versions - and how did it end up? those people are still using windows.

    ofc there exists some few alternative OS but too minor usage, not sure if those are discussed here at wilders.
     
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