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Telemetry and Data Collection are coming to Windows 7 and Windows 8 too

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In the recently released Windows 10, Microsoft introduced new Telemetry and Data Collection features which will not give you the option to opt out. These services are collecting various information about the software installed on your PC and even personal data stored on your computer. Microsoft claims they may not be used to personally identify you but no one is comfortable with this kind of shady data collection. This change has had a very negative impression on the Windows 10 OS. Now Microsoft has brought similar Telemetry and Data Collection features mainstream directly to Windows 7 and Windows 8 family of operating systems.
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If you have Windows Update enabled in your Windows 7 or Windows 8, you might have noticed that a bunch of new updates are available for your operating system which add more telemetry and data collection services to your OS besides the one already present which you can opt out of. This is a notable change for all users who consider Windows versions prior to Windows 10 as relatively private and safe.

Once these updates are installed, Windows 7 and Windows 8 will start sending collected data using the HTTPS protocol to the following Microsoft servers:

vortex-win.data.microsoft.com
settings-win.data.microsoft.com

Another thing that's out of your control is that the operating system ignores any lines you may have added to the HOSTS file, so you cannot block the IP addresses of those servers in the usual way. They are hardcoded into system files and cannot be turned off easily.

The following updates bring more thorough telemetry and data collecting features to your older operating systems:

If you don't wish to share any data whatsoever with Microsoft, you should not install these updates.

Due to such radical changes made by Microsoft in recent months, I think it's not a bad idea to consider an alternative operating system for daily use. Personally, I already switched to Linux a few years ago after Microsoft started eliminating user choices from Windows. I have stuck with Arch Linux for a while.

27 thoughts on “Telemetry and Data Collection are coming to Windows 7 and Windows 8 too

  1. MDJ

    Advanced users could definitely change their operating systems if game / program support isn‘t holding them. However, majority of Windows users are just regular people so Microsoft turns that to account.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 14 Thumb down 1

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  2. Filbert

    can i permanently hide all that updates?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    Reply
    1. lust4freedom

      Sure, close your eyes – that’s what our society does.

      Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 6

      Reply
      1. J

        He actually refers to the option to “hide” updates so that the windows update program won’t try to autoinstall them. Which, by the way, you access by right-clicking the update you want to hide and selecting “hide update” from the context menu that appears.

        Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 1

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  3. throkr

    One question : on Win 8.1.1 Pro, I have KB368708, KB3075249 and KB3080149 installed BUT disabled afterwoods the service “Diagnostics Tracking Service”. Is this enough or should I preferably uninstall the 3 a/m updates ?

    Thanks for your advice ! :-)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      better to uninstall those KBs

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 1

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      1. John

        Even better, uninstall Windows, while your at it.

        Try Elementary OS, Bodhi, Linux Mint, Easy Peasy, or Ubuntu.
        Eliminate the spying, & be free!

        Don’t complain. Hit em’ in the wallet. Spread the word! Spread the pain!
        If a small leak can sink a ship, a growing tide of Linux converts can sink MS!

        Don’t put up with corporate bullies. Don’t complain.
        Just switch, & help others to do so.

        Join the rebellion, be part of the revolution, let’s make the change happen!
        Better society, better the people.

        Break the bands of digital enslavement!

        Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 6

        Reply
        1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

          Ubuntu leaks your data to adversiters.
          Via Unity lenses.

          Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 3

          Reply
  4. throkr

    Alright; thank you, Sergey ! :-)

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 1

    Reply
  5. Finn

    Would blocking the 191.232.0.0/14 ip-range in Windows Firewall with Adv.Security help to prevent telemetry leak?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

    Reply
    1. user

      No, it won’t help at all. If you want to block them get a real firewall.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

      Reply
  6. Antoine

    Or just disabled the Customer Experience Improvement Program using this procedure
    https://technet.microsoft.com/en-us/library/ee126127(v=ws.10).aspx

    To view or change the Windows CEIP setting on a computer running Windows 7

    1.Click Start, select Control Panel, and click the Action Center.
    2.In the left pane, click Change Action Center settings.
    3.Under Related settings, click Customer Experience Improvement Program settings.
    4.If you want to turn off the Windows CEIP, select No, I don’t want to participate in the program, and then click Save Changes.

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 4

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  7. C.Noize

    OMG! Not this crap again.
    Do you even know what these updates actually do or do you just read the headlines and stop reading when the word telemetry pops up?

    Patches KB3022345, KB3068708 and KB3080149 are pretty much the same patch. The second one already replaces the first one and the third includes some bugfixes to the second. In the end all three patches essentially do the following:
    They extend Microsofts Customer Experience Improvement Program ( https://www.microsoft.com/products/ceip ), which is already build into Win 7 and even Win XP. It’s always optional and you’ll always be asked by the software if you want to use it. We all know this thing for years.
    http://tmgblog.richardhicks.com/2010/01/14/microsoft-customer-experience-improvement-program-ceip/
    They just patched it a little to change some bits of it.

    Now let’s get to patch KB3075249 (Update that adds telemetry points to consent.exe in Windows 8.1 and Windows 7)
    All this does is, adding one additional information to the error reporting tool. (http://blogs.msdn.com/b/wer/archive/2009/03/30/problem-steps-recorder-psr-exe-windows-error-reporting-another-tool-to-help-find-solutions-to-software-defects.aspx)
    From now on MS will know if a process with low level rights tried to access higher level rights causing the UAC to pop up, when crashing.
    Of course the error reporting tool will only send this information if you agree to do so. As always. Nothing changed.

    So please. Calm the F**K DOWN and don’t be so paranoid. Nobody is out to get you.

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 16 Thumb down 18

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    1. user

      Dear C.Noize,
      Please explain to me why is telemetry collected and send to MS servers (once I install thous updates) when I have OPTED OUT from CEIP when installing the OS and never opted in? Also Can you tell us why (according to you) some MS products have the telemetry on by default and don’t ask for user permission and disregard the OS CEIP settings?

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

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  8. C.Noize.Version2

    Sup C.Noize!

    You really need to drop some metas in that, it lacks style, and flow.

    Windows 10 is free right? Make it open source, so I can audit it. IF not
    download my thisisnotahack.exe file I promise it will make you rich.
    I really, really do. I mean really, really?

    Closed source= What are you hiding M$?

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 11 Thumb down 4

    Reply
    1. C.Noize

      Sorry. I’m not a native speaker, so I’m glad I even get my point across. :)

      So you don’t trust any close source software at all? What about open source software? Do you do your own code reviews before using it or do you trust the “system”?
      The one that worked so perfectly well, that the heartbleed bug in OpenSSL went undetected for years which enabled the NSA to break ssl encryptions without anybody noticing it. That’s safer?
      One could argue that it’s much easier for someone to inject malicious code into an open source project than into a closed source project like Windows.
      The NSA has some very clever people who can implement some very clever constructed backdoors which aren’t that obvious into any open source project. The best example is the backdoor they implemented in the Dual_EC_DRBG number generator. Even though everybody suspected that there was a backdoor inside this generator nobody could proof it for a long time.
      As it turned out, the generator wasn’t producing truly random numbers which enabled the NSA to reverse the encryption that was initiated with these faulty random numbers. Something like that is hard to proof and/or find and could be implemented in a lot of places in open source software, where nobody is looking for it.
      Don’t think just because it’s open, that nobody is spying on you.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 4

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  9. Anony Mouse

    When the cost is free – the product is YOU!

    Hot debate. What do you think? Thumb up 9 Thumb down 8

    Reply
    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      haha. nice
      Not in case of Linux actually.

      Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 8 Thumb down 4

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  10. Phil

    still waiting for the reply, can i permanently hide kb3068708, kb3022345, kb3075249 and kb3080149?

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

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    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Yep you can.
      You need a tool provided by MS.
      See here: http://winaero.com/blog/how-to-hide-or-block-windows-or-driver-updates-in-windows-10/

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

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      1. Phil

        thanks

        Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

        Reply
  11. RR

    Do you use an iphone or android phone? So why do you care about microsoft collecting thia data? You are already givig your personal data, location and much more using an iphone or android. Even Siri needs to read your emails, and reading means sending all that data to apple servers so it can work as advertised.

    You people didnt realise that and only now you are ranting about microsoft collecting data?

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 1

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  12. Gray Cat

    After I Uninstall those “KB” files, I’m told to “hide” then so they
    don’t get re-installed. How do I do that?
    Thanks in Advance

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

    Reply
    1. GenialityOfEvil

      When they reappear in Windows Update just right click on them and select ‘Hide update’. If you ever need to restore them just go to the main Update screen and click on Restore Hidden Updates on the left-side bar.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

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  13. sorade

    But why to switch operating system?
    You can/should use Windows without updates.

    Just reinstall Windows and completely turn off ALL automatic updates.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

    Reply
  14. Salafy

    All in teleme_try_delete.bat then run.

    echo Uninstalling KB3075249 (telemetry for Win7/8.1)
    start /w wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:3075249 /quiet /norestart
    echo Uninstalling KB3080149 (telemetry for Win7/8.1)
    start /w wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:3080149 /quiet /norestart
    echo Uninstalling KB3021917 (telemetry for Win7)
    start /w wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:3021917 /quiet /norestart
    echo Uninstalling KB3022345 (telemetry)
    start /w wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:3022345 /quiet /norestart
    echo Uninstalling KB3068708 (telemetry)
    start /w wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:3068708 /quiet /norestart
    echo Uninstalling KB3044374 (Get Windows 10 for Win8.1)
    start /w wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:3044374 /quiet /norestart
    echo Uninstalling KB3035583 (Get Windows 10 for Win7sp1/8.1)
    start /w wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:3035583 /quiet /norestart
    echo Uninstalling KB2990214 (Get Windows 10 for Win7 without sp1)
    start /w wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:2990214 /quiet /norestart
    echo Uninstalling KB2952664 (Get Windows 10 assistant)
    start /w wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:2952664 /quiet /norestart
    echo Uninstalling KB3075853 (update for “Windows Update” on Win8.1/Server 2012R2)
    start /w wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:3075853 /quiet /norestart
    echo Uninstalling KB3065987 (update for “Windows Update” on Win7/Server 2008R2)
    start /w wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:3065987 /quiet /norestart
    echo Uninstalling KB3050265 (update for “Windows Update” on Win7)
    start /w wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:3050265 /quiet /norestart
    echo Uninstalling KB971033 (license validation)
    start /w wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:971033 /quiet /norestart
    echo Uninstalling KB2902907 (description not available)
    start /w wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:2902907 /quiet /norestart

    echo Uninstalling KB2976987 (description not available)
    start /w wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:2976987 /quiet /norestart

    echo Uninstalling KB3114409 (description not available)
    start /w wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:3114409 /quiet /norestart

    echo Uninstalling KB2976987 (Get Windows 10 for Win7sp1/8.1)
    start /w wusa.exe /uninstall /kb:3150513 /quiet /norestart

    Well-loved. Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

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    1. Sergey Tkachenko Post author

      Thank you.

      Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

      Reply

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