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Do you know Windows spys on you?

Discussion in 'Polling Station' started by ffreeloader, Apr 16, 2006.

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Do you know that Windows tracks every move you make on your computer?

  1. Yes

    12 vote(s)
    60.0%
  2. No

    8 vote(s)
    40.0%
  1. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    How many of you know that Windows, not some third party "spyware", but your OS, tracks every move you make and records time stamps as to when you did what you did? I'm not referring to the tracking of all your internet activity, but "all" activities which you perform on your computer...

    That will be the poll question. The other question I ask, and you can answer it in a post is: Do you care that your privacy is being invaded?
     
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  2. simongrahamuk
    Honorary Member

    simongrahamuk Hmmmmmmm?

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    Well, I didn't realise that it tracked EVERYTHING that I did, but I was aware that it tracked a lot of my actions.

    Do I care? Well, to be honest, I dont really think so. As long as it allows me to do what I need to do without interfering then I have no issue with it, I mean log file track things all of the time. The issue that I might have is if this information is passed onto third parties without my prior consent, only then does it become a problem to me.

    By prior consent I mean it actually asking me "do you want to send this information?", not through some EULA that I agreed to years ago.

    8)
     
  3. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    So the fact that MS does this without telling you it does, and makes this feature basically impossible, well, at least a practical impossibility, to remove--if you delete the registry keys they seem to be replaced at boot time--is just a non-issue to you?

    Why does an OS need to track every move ever made? To what purpose? Can you think of an innocent reason for this to exist?
     
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  4. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    I'd have to agree with Simon here.

    A lot of software 'remebers' your actions, it can be extremely useful in terms of rollback, undo or restore. Look at SQL Server, it's a bugger for tracking changes, and it's a good thing.
    In the workplace, I'm more than happy to be able to find out which of the network abusers has caused the latest catastrophe.

    Do I care that someone may be able to see that I wrote a letter to Debenhams last week or that I haven't updated my CV for two years?

    No.

    To be honest, it reminds me of this big hoo-ha about the new speed cameras. The idea is that they snap your registration at a certain point, then again later on. The interval tells them how fast you were going down a bit of road. You can't get round them by slamming your brakes on when you see one, because it measures an average speed.

    Now, this might seem like an ideal way to deal with speeding, but the privacy people have been up in arms about it. They object to their license plate being photographed. Because, then Big Brother would know that they had been on the M4 near Reading on Thursday.
    They honestly believe that Big Brother gives a f**k what the little people are doing on a daily basis.

    And don't get me started on identity cards. I'm sick of hearing about it. I really, really don't care if somebody can track what library books I have. I would quite happily walk round with a barcode tatooed on my forehead if it made my life any easier.

    Maybe that's why I like Microsoft...
    And I'm sure Microsoft likes people like me!

    :lovly
     
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  5. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    Well, that is certainly your right, Johnny. And I am quite sure MS loves people like you.... They have gotten fantastically wealthy off your kind.... :D

    I guess I'm just always amazed at how people have become so conditioned to being spied upon, every move they make being tracked, that they are basically uncomfortable if it isn't happening....

    I believe it was Nikita Krushchev who said that every day the western democracies were becoming more like Russia. He was absolutely correct. The sad part is, very few people care. They have been conditioned to think it the norm...
     
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  6. slyuen

    slyuen Byte Poster

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    Well...I guess there ain't much we can do, except that we can simply switch to another OS, or create and design our own.

    Like you said, even if u removed the reg keys they come back again....again again and again.....even if the law tells them to remove it, they removed it..........and then it comes back later......again again and again....

    So, if they can't change...I'm afraid we have to change (if you really have to).
     
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  7. The_Geek

    The_Geek Megabyte Poster

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    I take it Freddy that you've never worked in a call center where your every phonecall is not only recorded, but actively monitored, and if "big brother' hears something he doesn't like, he lets you know it as soon as your call is over. And not only that, but screen shots are taken of your computer while you're on the phone so they can make sure you are doing your job efficiently.

    Personally, if M$ wants to keep track of how many IT sites I visit or how many emails I send, or that I use VMware over Virtual PC, more power to them. I really do not think M$ can "police" me anymore than I already am at work.

    The only way around it is to never let your computer connect to the internet.

    If that's the case, then my computer is telling M$ on a daily basis how many times I say the phrase "Dam I really hate Bill Gates. M$ sucks".
     
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  8. hbroomhall

    hbroomhall Petabyte Poster Gold Member

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    Hm - care to give a reference for this? What do you mean by 'every move'? I know where the logs are for the sites I've visited, and similar stuff, but I don't believe the keystrokes I type, or the mouse gestures, are being recorded.

    Details?

    Harry.
     
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  9. JonnyMX

    JonnyMX Petabyte Poster

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    I know what you're saying Freddy, but I think we live in a spy culture. The surveys, the unwanted sales phonecalls, the registration agreements.
    Whenever I buy something on my credit card, somebody knows what it was and where I bought it.
    Wherever I enter my email address into a form, I am inviting spam.

    I'm not saying I agree with any of this, I just think it's part of the machine. I've got nothing to hide, so I don't care if someone knows where I bought my fridge.
    I do kind of resent the intrusion when someone phones me to ask if I want to extend the warranty on it.

    On the one hand they say 'knowledge is power' and whoever has the best market information has the advantage. On the other, they say 'who watches the watchers'. What can anyone possibly do with the constant stream of information from registrations and feedback forms.

    It's a lot of nonsense really. It would be nice to see the deluge of meaningless feedback swamp the source and choke it to death.

    I've got a mate who opens all his junk mail and stuffs it all back in the freepost 'priority response' envelope that comes with it. It only takes a second, but it makes you wonder what would happen to the system if everyone in the country did that all the time?

    8) 8) 8)
     
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  10. d-Faktor
    Honorary Member

    d-Faktor R.I.P - gone but never forgotten.

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  11. Mr.Cheeks

    Mr.Cheeks 1st ever Gold Member! Gold Member

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    The Matrix has got you!
     
  12. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    I think you're comparing apples and oranges, TG.

    At work a company has the right to monitor employee performance. An employee implicitly agrees to that by accepting a paycheck and agreeing to do the job given them by the rules the company has set up....

    It's a horse of another color though when you purchase a product to take home for personal, private use, and that product tracks everything you do....
     
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  13. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    Harry,

    Here are a few links. At least one of these is a rather long thread on a security forum. Microsoft even uses a weak encryption to make these files unreadable to anyone who doesn't play around with figuring out encrpytion algorithms.

    I'm not saying that mouse gestures and keystrokes are logged, but when every application opened is tracked, every url a person visits is tracked, it's not very difficult to extract a whole lot of information about the user.

    http://www.utdallas.edu/~jeremy.bryan.smith/articles/explorer_spy.txt

    http://www.wilderssecurity.com/showthread.php?t=5669

    http://www.mcse.ms/archive55-2005-3-1518802.html
     
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  14. Jakamoko
    Honorary Member

    Jakamoko On the move again ...

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    Another excuse for an anti-MS rant, Freddy ? It gets kind of repetitive after a while you know .........
     
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  15. ffreeloader

    ffreeloader Terabyte Poster

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    If that's what you think, well, I'm sure I won't be missed. But, don't you think people have a right to know what their computer is doing without their knowledge? You may know, or know and not care, or even not know and not care about it, but is that true for everyone? Do you have the right to make that choice for everyone? Don't people have a right to know?

    Is it really an anti-MS rant just to point out what it is they are doing with their OS's? :blink It's not like I'm pointing out something that hasn't been documented....
     
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  16. moominboy

    moominboy Gigabyte Poster

    i think it's a fair point freddy. if you bought a car, and either knowing or not that there was a camera and recorder installed inside, would you feel comfortable? or taking a shower, ground floor, with no curtains?

    fair enough you may not be doing anything wrong but doesn't it just sound a little weird? :tongue
     
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  17. Jakamoko
    Honorary Member

    Jakamoko On the move again ...

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    Most of us here can say we live in a level if civilisation that means we can not just simply "step out of view". Regardless of whether or not you even possess, never mind use a computer, every one of us lives in a society wherein practically every sh1t we do is documented. You may think that statement flippant (it may be, not intentional), but it serves to illustrate my point that observation of behaviour is part of the society we currently live in.

    We all subscribe to this ethos already, like it or not, so to then say that MS are doing something uniquely deplorable seems to me to be targetting one entity to satisfy one's own personal beliefs.
     
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  18. The_Geek

    The_Geek Megabyte Poster

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    I guess my point was that I'm so used to being "spied" on all day at work that it really doesn't suprise me if M$ is doing it too. And as long as I'm not doing anything I'm not suppose to be doing (using pirated software, watching kiddie porn, etc.) then they can even watch me take a shower if they want........as long as the sight of a bald fat man doesn't make them sick.

    (my apologizes to those with weak constitutions)
     
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  19. Baba O'Riley

    Baba O'Riley Gigabyte Poster

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    Hold up, from the quick perusal I've just had of the links Freddy posted, this just seems to be the information Windows uses for the Recent Documents/Programs list and the MRUs for Media Player etc. (These can be wiped with Adaware if you really want to). I don't know about anyone else, but I find these functions fairly useful from time to time, and if that's all the information is used for I see nothing sinister in it. Do any of these links suggest this data is sent back to MS? If it is, that's a different story...
     
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  20. Bluerinse
    Honorary Member

    Bluerinse Exabyte Poster

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    I am with Freddy on this issue. I really do believe that things have got worse over the years. Personally I do as much as I can to make my computers not track the users. If that means they have to remember where they stored a particular document instead of it being tracked in a MRU list, that is fine by me.

    I store private information on my computers and as far as I am concerned, I do not want that private information available to everyone that may site at my desk.

    Freddy, does Linux not track any usage at all?
     
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