When it comes to mass spying, the best game in town is not CIA or any of the alphabet soup agencies. Private companies and data brokers have been doing data collection on a massive scale, and given their advanced statistical methods, this information can say a lot about a person. In fact, I’d say that what they have is better than what the alphabet soup has, and their data has a lot of implications.
This started when companies like Amazon realized that they can make a profit every step of the way: sell items to customers, sell customers’ data to data brokers. Data brokering has since become much bigger, and so the data collection methods have also become much more extensive. There are many ways to gather mass data, and these are just the ones I can think of off the top of my head: first, many websites straight up sell their data to brokers. This includes many online vendors, all kinds of popular sites (not all of them, but some of them), adult entertainment sites, you name it. If those sites do not sell data, dishonest brokers can and do embed tracking ads on sites that accept them, revealing a user’s entire browsing history. Then of course there are companies like Google, that sell user search histories.
Continue reading “Facebook gathers data for data mining operations used by data brokers”
This has been going around on the ‘Net the past few days. It has been found that Windows 10 uploads data to its servers even when every “feature” and app that normally might be expected to do that is disabled/uninstalled. For example, even if you don’t use the Cortana voice-command feature or Bing search, stuff is still being uploaded to Microsoft servers related to this. And even when users choose to not participate in any sort of customer improvement options and disable any kind of tracking, it is still tracking and uploading things.
Not only is this a big privacy issue, there is also a system performance issue, as extra CPU cycles must be run and disk and network activity must occur to process these telemetry-related tasks.
And it is also the case that Windows 8.1 and 7 also are now doing this. Microsoft has been adding all these telemetry and tracking aspects to them lately through Windows Update, making them closer to Windows 10.
The advice from many experts now is to not go near Windows 10. Do not install it. Retain your privacy and control over your systems.
Below are instructions for disabling the unwanted telemetry/tracking in Windows 7 and 8.1
Continue reading “Stop & uninstall Windows Telemetry/Tracking”