[LINK] Vista - the data gatherer
rchirgwin at ozemail.com.au
Sun Jul 8 18:30:31 EST 2007
Antony Barry wrote:
> Begin forwarded message:
>> From: "Caspar Bowden \(private e-mail\)" <cb at qualia.co.uk>
>> Date: 4 July 2007 9:04:41 PM
>> To: "'Roger Clarke'" <Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au>, <link at anu.edu.au>
>> Subject: RE: [LINK] Vista - the data gatherer
>> I'd be interested in your detailed comments on
>> I think what these illustrate is that Microsoft has developed Vista
>> with a
>> systematic review of the privacy impact of data flows from the
>> machine, and
>> that considerable care has gone into making distinctions between
>> opt-ins and
>> opt-outs, and the degree of prominent notice given, which is more
>> often than
>> not coupled to first use of the specific feature.
I agree that it is comprehensive, if not overwhelming. There are close
to 60 individual privacy statements for the user to absorb; and likewise
nearly 60 features the user would have to manage if they wanted to
control the data flows back to Microsoft. For the ordinary end user
that's way too much: a capable and careful system administrator is
required to manage privacy for a consumer product. That's such a
disconnect that it's hard to see it as inadvertent.
>> The hard question, on
>> which I'd be very grateful for suggestions, is how to design a
>> usable interface to bring these under more informed and interactive
>> There are legitimate reasons for all of these flows documented - it's
>> not as
>> simple as saying "switch everything off".
Indeed not; the user has more choice than that:
1) Put up with it.
2) Don't buy Vista.
3) Manage nearly discrete operations.
4) Block all but the bare minimum of outbound communications at a firewall.
5) Turn everything off.
My answer is not to buy Vista. But even without Vista, I have a
long-standing set of firewall rules:
- DNS can talk to the Internet
- E-mail can talk to the ISP mail server only, and only Thunderbird has
permission to use e-mail ports
- Thunderbird can *only* use e-mail ports
- Only Firefox and a couple of plug-ins (like Acrobat) can use HTTP ports
- On Windows machines, Windows update can talk to the Internet
- A couple of Windows services like printing can open ports to the local
- No other applications (eg Word, Excel, etc) are allowed to open
It has never broken any application or stopped me from doing what I
wanted to do. So regardless of the legitimacy of the Vista phone-home,
my decisions are equally legitimate.
>> -----Original Message-----
>> From: Roger Clarke [mailto:Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au]
>> Sent: 03 July 2007 04:50
>> To: link at anu.edu.au
>> Subject: Re: [LINK] Vista - the data gatherer
>> At 10:21 +0800 3/7/07, Bernard Robertson-Dunn wrote:
>>> Isn't harvest a nice unchallenging word? - a bit like rendition.
>>> I have to use Microsoft products because my employer and clients use
>>> it, but this really puts me off Vista.
>>> Is this the same for all versions?
>>> What do the versions that corporates and governments run do?
>>> Is Microsoft starting to put bigger bullets into its foot?
>> Surely the outgoing data-streams are reliably recognisable.
>> And hence blockable.
>> And hence surely someone's already written a tool to block them?
>> Or do all of the world's rebels work under OS other than MS's, and
>> hence don't write such tools?
>>> Forget about the WGA! 20+ Windows Vista Features and Services
>>> Harvest User Data for Microsoft - From your machine!
>>> Marius Oiaga,
>>> Technology News Editor
>>> Are you using Windows Vista? Then you might as well know that the
>>> licensed operating system installed on your machine is harvesting a
>>> healthy volume of information for Microsoft. In this context, a
>>> program such as the Windows Genuine Advantage is the last of your
>>> concerns. In fact, in excess of 20 Windows Vista features and
>>> services are hard at work collecting and transmitting your personal
>>> data to the Redmond company.
>>> Microsoft makes no secret about the fact that Windows Vista is
>>> gathering information. End users have little to say, and no real
>>> choice in the matter. The company does provide both a Windows Vista
>>> Privacy Statement and references within the End User License
>>> Agreement for the operating system. Combined, the resources paint
>>> the big picture over the extent of Microsoft's end user data harvest
>>> via Vista.
>>> Bernard Robertson-Dunn
>>> Sydney Australia
>>> brd at iimetro.com.au
>>> Link mailing list
>>> Link at mailman.anu.edu.au
>> --Roger Clarke
>> Xamax Consultancy Pty Ltd 78 Sidaway St, Chapman ACT 2611 AUSTRALIA
>> Tel: +61 2 6288 1472, and 6288 6916
>> mailto:Roger.Clarke at xamax.com.au http://www.xamax.com.au/
>> Visiting Professor in Info Science & Eng Australian National University
>> Visiting Professor in the eCommerce Program University of Hong Kong
>> Visiting Professor in the Cyberspace Law & Policy Centre Uni of NSW
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