Proof that Windows 10 Enterprise ignores user privacy settings

By: Madeleine Dean
2 minute read

Recent user reports suggest that Windows 10 Enterprise ignores various privacy settings. According to Mark Burnett, an independent IT security analyst, the OS lets users enable their preferred privacy settings only to ignore them after the fact:

More specifically, here’s what Burnett found out:

  • Despite having Teredo and IPv6 disabled, the system still connects out to perform IPV6 Teredo tests
  • With SmartScreen disabled, the system is still connecting to SmartScreen.
  • Despite having telemetry and the tracking-related services disabled, the system still connects to these services. Adding a few extra reg hacks doesn’t help blocking telemetry services.
  • With every policy set to not sync settings and the sync-related services disabled, the system still syncs settings.
  • The system still sends error reports, although error reporting is disabled.
  • Online KMS validation disabled doesn’t yield the desired results.
  • With every possible setting to block connections to Microsoft disabled (except updates), a bunch of advertising-related connections are still visible.

Ultimately, Microsoft doesn’t honor it’s own Group Policy settings. For more details about this strange Windows 10 Enterprise behavior, you can check out Mark Burnett Twitter page. You’ll also find screenshots for all the privacy issues listed above as well.

Windows 10 users have been constantly worrying about Windows 10’s privacy settings and Burnett’s report only confirms their worst fears, suggesting that Microsoft is actively defying its users’ wishes.

I’m really glad that people do research like this. It’s possibly the only thing that pushes back against full abuse of large organizations selling a complex product. The average expert user doesn’t have resources to investigate not to mention non-expert users.

Burnett’s discoveries have also caused quite a stir on Reddit as well. Microsoft has yet to issue any comments on this situation.

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