Windows 7 and 8 Also Spy On you Like Windows 10 Do – Here’s a Way to Stop Them

As if Windows 10 users count was not enough for Microsoft running it’s secret programs for spying users activities and data mining, and no matter even if you try to stop those, Windows 10 will find another way to intrude your privacy. And now, Windows 7 and Windows 8 users, be known that recent updates by Microsoft has installed new Ninjas in your computer which shall help them collecting user behavior tracking data collection as same what we have seen in Windows 10 already.

Must Read: Ultimate Guide to Turn off Windows 10 Privacy Settings

Any operating System, say it’s Windows 7, 8 or 10 slurps data from you as if there is no tomorrow. If you chose express settings while installing Windows, be known that you have given Microsoft every right to collect your data and these new updates upload data directly to Microsoft’s servers and could be a cause to worry for privacy for many users. However there is a turn-around to fix data mining and snooping being done by your operating system.

Windows 7 and 8 Also Spy On you Like Windows 10 Do - Here's a Way to Stop Them

Let’s find out which recent updates installed data mining Ninjas in your computer:

  • KB3068708 (Last updated on 09/11/2015, Revision: 6.0) – With this update Microsoft installs you an update of Diagnostic and Telemetry services for Windows 7 and 8 users and is also applicable for the users subscribed to Visual Studio Application insights.
  • KB3022345 (replaced by KB3068708) (Last updated on 09/11/2015 Revision: 9.0) – This update package introduce back the Diagnostic and Telemetry service by replacing above update. That means, if you got rid of one, Microsoft has a backup prepared already.

The Diagnostic and Telemetry service collects diagnostics information about functional issues on Windows systems that participate in the Windows Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP). CEIP reports don’t contain contact information, such as your name, address, or telephone number. This means CEIP won’t ask you to participate in surveys or to read junk email, and you won’t be contacted in any other way. Windows users can make changes to their Windows CEIP participation in the Windows Customer Experience Improvement Program settings page by opening Control Panel and selecting Action Center > Change Action Center settings > Customer Experience Improvement Program settings.

  • KB3075249 (Last Updated – 08/18/2015, Revision: 1.0) – Update that adds telemetry points to consent.exe in Windows 8.1 and Windows 7. This update adds telemetry points to the User Account Control (UAC) feature to collect information on elevations that come from low integrity levels.
  • KB3080149 (Last Updated – 09/11/2015, Revision: 5.0) – Update for customer experience and diagnostic telemetry. This package updates the Diagnostics and Telemetry tracking service to existing devices. This service provides benefits from the latest version of Windows to systems that have not yet upgraded. The update also supports applications that are subscribed to Visual Studio Application Insights.

Now, since you’re aware which are the faulty updates who install Ninjas of Diagnostics and Telemetry tracking service in your computer are the most controversial things ever happened to Windows. And when these updates are installed and services are active, no matter which-soever privacy you may take care of, there was no option to stop them till now, until Microsoft has been kind enough to tell us that these updates exchange your data with following domains:

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

Windows 7 and 8 Also Spy On you Like Windows 10 Do – Here’s a Way to Stop Them

Although if you think that these hosts are hard coded in OS and blocking these via host file won’t do any good, you could be wrong. Each step helps in some way. Do both solutions as listed below:

Solution 1

  • Open Run command box by pressing Windows key + R and type in following path:

Hosts file path in Windows 7 and 8

  • Open hosts by doing right click > Open With > Notepad
  • Add in following lines anywhere in the file:

If OS don’t allow you to save the file, then take ownership of file before editing it. It can be done by Right click on hosts file > Properties > Security >  Edit > Select your current user by which you're logged in the computer now > Click "Full Control" > Apply > OK.

Now you can edit the file and save it. If you don’t like this method, you can block above said both urls via any firewall too.

Solution 2

This solution method says, let’s get rid of the updates which annoys you. Unlike Windows 10, these updates are not mandatory and you can choose if you want to keep the updates or not and avoid being installed automatically in future.

  • Open Control Panel > Windows Update > View Update History > Select above said updates and remove them.
  • You also need to hide them to avoid their automatic installation in future.
  • Open Windows Update > Show All Available Updates > Select those updates and Hide them.

Windows 7 and 8 Spy Updates

Another easy way to uninstall these updates:

  • Open Command Prompt with administrator access.
  • Type in following commands:

But you still have to hide updates from Windows Updates list when they reappear. So better avoid the command prompt way and do it directly from the control panel.

3 COMMENTS

  1. Great article. The only problem I have with uninstalling updates is MS has decided to go bulk now (after Oct first) and you are no longer able to individually uninstall patches. I discovered Spybot anti-beacon. I ran the free software and “immunized myself against the telemetry services Microsoft installed. Spybot is supposed to add this list into your local host file, but it didn’t do that on three systems I worked on, so I added them myself.

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