Author Topic: Windows 10 App Starts Showing Ads, Microsoft Says You Can’t Remove Them  (Read 4523 times)

Martin Iturbide

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Article: Windows 10 App Starts Showing Ads, Microsoft Says You Can’t Remove Them
Dec 15, 2019 06:39 GMT  ·  By Bogdan Popa

https://news.softpedia.com/news/windows-10-app-starts-showing-ads-microsoft-says-you-can-t-remove-them-528592.shtml
Martin Iturbide
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Mathias

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Re: Windows 10 App Starts Showing Ads, Microsoft Says You Can’t Remove Them
« Reply #1 on: December 16, 2019, 08:03:36 pm »
Windows forcing users to see ads. :o
Today it's only an e-mail application, but tomrrow there might be Amazon/Google ads.. and maybe not only at one place but on many, spread across the operating system.

Lucky there are alternative operating systems to Windows. : ) - Becoming more important by the day. - I do NOT want my operating system to recommend me stuff. I'd like to find and choose myself. >_<'
Windows has been worse enough with all these telemetry collection applications across all kinds of starters within their operating system.
Sure, nobody has things to hide, but people should have the opportunity to choose if they'd like to say YES or NO. Microsoft offering no alternative is yet another nail in their coffin. People might suspect they had no other choice, but who knows. There will never be trusty evidence.
Rather kick all this Windows stuff if one can and move away application by application..

Dave Yeo

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Re: Windows 10 App Starts Showing Ads, Microsoft Says You Can’t Remove Them
« Reply #2 on: December 16, 2019, 11:13:25 pm »
People do have stuff to hide. Banking info is an obvious one, passwords are another.

Mathias

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Re: Windows 10 App Starts Showing Ads, Microsoft Says You Can’t Remove Them
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2019, 10:50:14 am »
*g* true, but I rather meant the obvious stuff... what they always tell us to make us agree with all this observation stuff built in routers and operating systes these days: These are sold to us as mechanisms to earlier find out about terrorism, murder and the likes. - When saying "we have nothing to hide" I meant these things, most of us won't have in mind. ; )

Of course we DO have stuff to hide.. especially (as it always turns out late) such things, we do not expect to become dangerous one day. Best example still is this:
(Source: https://imgur.com/a/Q1WlY --> translated from DE)


Quote
Amsterdam is considered a prime example of urban planning.
As early as 1851, the city began to systematically collect data on the population in order to optimally distribute its resources.
For the population register, the inhabitants willingly indicated their relationship status, occupation and religious affiliation.
In 1936, the system even switched to data acquisition with a state-of-the-art punched card system.
In 1939 a census updated the city register again.
In May 1940, the invaded German occupiers seized the register and, using this treasure trove of data, determined almost all Jewish inhabitants within a few days.
The majority of the approximately 100,000 Amsterdam Jews were deported to the Auschwitz extermination camp. From one day to the next, a marker in the Big Data Pool decided on life and death.
For 90 years before that, nobody had had anything to hide - after all, the recording served the good of all.

Ben

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Re: Windows 10 App Starts Showing Ads, Microsoft Says You Can’t Remove Them
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2019, 02:51:32 pm »
Well, we all do have something to hide it's called privacy.

The last thing that the people need is large corporations, (predatory and unethical by definition), poking around in our private lives. History shows what will happen to our freedom once that gets fully installed. Microsoft is particularly bad for it and on the forefront of personal invasion. I mean just look at the name, 'Windows'. It immediately conjures up images of a Peeping Tom.

We can assume that we have options with respect to OS', but the reality of it is that we will be given no choice, it's just a matter of time.

Some people could see this coming decades ago. Anyone who doesn't see it today is deliberately looking the other way. But many people just have a hard time getting out of lifes induced illusions of warmth and innate protection.

Look at where electronic devices are heading on the whole. We are we being given less and less choice to "block" or to say "no"? And the whole concept of electronic signatures and constantly-updated agreements are thinly disguised orders and many cheques and credit cards no longer require a written signature.

Even new small and large appliances have, (and some now require), an Internet connection.
Now, you have to ask "why?". Well, all here reading this thread know why.

If you think that it's going to get better you are fooling yourself. As long as we continue to accept it and give our money to it, it will continue to get worse as non-invasive hardware becomes less and less available.

Kind of hard to deny isn't it.

Mathias

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Re: Windows 10 App Starts Showing Ads, Microsoft Says You Can’t Remove Them
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2019, 09:58:37 pm »
True.. like with police and the country.. gaining more and more rights to spy on people. - Always of course measures against all and ultra residend trerror everywhere. :> - And you cannot possibly be pro terror... so arguing against these spy measures usually means you`re postmarked being part of the tinfoil hat fraction.. and that it does not matter if you have nothing to hide.

Reading the well known IT news portals reveals the usual thing: Government agencies always say they only use the newly granted spy rights with court order only, and only in really hard cases.
In he end, the same IT news portals lateron bring reports about government agencies step by step lowering the requirements for themselves to make use of the spying on people, without deeper evidence beforehand. And in the very end the IT news portals first, and then mass media broadcasts, the country can now, because of reformed laws, spy on you completely legal and without court order! Yihaww. - What can one do? Nothing. Elect other parties? Wouldn`t work, as they all proved to be the same, once elected.

So.. politics appear to be just the pathfinder of ... of what.. the resident evil? ; )  -Naw.. people with enough money have influence and can buy politicans. Also there was in the news, lobby groups are helping politics with law writing... since "they have the best knowledge on that topic".. yeah sure. :D

It`s all a matter of interests and money. And since the government cannot roll out too drastic law changes, they do it like Merkel always says... Politic of small steps.. - Yes they even say it themselves! : ]

Okay.. the above is going on in Germany, no clue how things are in America. But the tendency with small steps is too successful to be an invention of Merkel alone.. so appears to be international. - Talking with other international friends shows, it`s the same in their countries..

Ben

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Re: Windows 10 App Starts Showing Ads, Microsoft Says You Can’t Remove Them
« Reply #6 on: December 21, 2019, 03:11:14 am »
One could write volumes on this, but there are volumes on it already.

Any serious student of history is familiar with what is going on on a global scale right now... for it has all be done before, many times.

People always look the other way so that when it's done, they can give validity to their very emotional, (fake), claims that "we just didn't know!"

Milton Mayer's 1955 book They Thought They Were Free interviewing Germans 1933-1945, (How and why "decent men" became Nazis - the life stories of ten law-abiding citizens), is a great place to start, but now as then, everyone looks the other way and pretend they can't / didn't see it.

This is always implemented when the few remaining real men have been reduced to ineffectiveness via the media polluting the minds of the public.
But, like I said, volumes have been written on it so that's where I will leave it.

Doug Bissett

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Re: Windows 10 App Starts Showing Ads, Microsoft Says You Can’t Remove Them
« Reply #7 on: December 21, 2019, 09:55:32 pm »
Quote
Article: Windows 10 App Starts Showing Ads, Microsoft Says You Can’t Remove Them

Microsoft may be surprised at how difficult it will be to force ads on people. There are already tools to block that. Try the HOSTS file, from https://github.com/StevenBlack/hosts. The one that I have, from 26 November 2019, has a problem. Near the top, it has the line: "0.0.0.0 0.0.0.0", which seems to block anything that follows (at least on OS/2). Put "#" (without the quotes) as the first character in that line, and the rest starts to work. This HOSTS file should be valid for any OS that uses a HOSTS file. See http://winhelp2002.mvps.org/hosts.htm for some good information. In windows, there is Spywareblaster (as well as the HOSTS file). You can also use Ad-Block (various versions, that seem to be not as effective as they were a few years ago), and many more.

Even if the ads do manage to get through, there is the last line of defense. Learn how to ignore them. If nobody ever responded to any of that stuff, it wouldn't last long. Unfortunately, it seems that some people live to read, and respond to, ads. Of course, if nobody responded, and the advertisers pulled their support, a lot of, so called, "free" software would go away (which probably wouldn't be a bad thing).

The "privacy" thing is a totally different bag of snakes. Of course, people don't want their bank accounts compromised, but I couldn't care less if somebody reads my e-mail. I always assume that somebody will do that, so it never contains anything that might be of interest. If somebody wants to analyze what I write, I don't care. They may eventually figure out that most, if not all, is trivial information, meanwhile, they are spending a lot of time, and effort, trying to figure out that I said "Hi". If there is a need for privacy in e-mail, there are ways to do that, but most of them only keep the honest people out.

The one thing, that does tick me off, is that scammers can get away with scamming people, for far too long, before they get caught. Then, they pay their fine (which usually doesn't even cover court costs), and are right back at it again. Obviously, it pays off. It shouldn't be all that difficult to nail them to the wall, and put them on some remote island for a few years, so they can contemplate their future, before they serve a couple of years in jail. Of course, the "privacy" laws won't let anybody look into the problem, so little, if anything, can be done about it. Unfortunately, a lot of that stuff works against the honest people, and for those who take advantage of the situation. Not all countries have a compulsion to protect the guilty, but their laws may not protect the innocent either. It is a delicate balance.

Dave Yeo

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Re: Windows 10 App Starts Showing Ads, Microsoft Says You Can’t Remove Them
« Reply #8 on: December 22, 2019, 02:14:09 am »
My understanding is that Windows itself ignores the hosts file, and perhaps even your DNS setting. And even browsers are moving to DNS over HTTPS which I understand will ignore the hosts file and other system settings though, at least on Firefox, it can be turned off.
As for the scammers, most of them are in countries that don't care, or worse encourage them or are themselves the scammers. N. Korea has to get money from somewhere.

Doug Bissett

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Re: Windows 10 App Starts Showing Ads, Microsoft Says You Can’t Remove Them
« Reply #9 on: December 22, 2019, 05:12:17 am »
Quote
My understanding is that Windows itself ignores the hosts file,

Apparently not, because it makes a HUGE difference in what I see when browsing. Microsoft programs could, possibly, ignore the HOSTS file, but I make  a point of not using Microsoft programs, as much as possible.

Quote
As for the scammers, most of them are in countries that don't care, or worse encourage them or are themselves the scammers. N. Korea has to get money from somewhere.

That may be true, but it wouldn't be difficult for other countries to simply block them. Of course, they would be accused of censorship, if they did. I don't think that N. Korea is much of a problem. India seems to be the main source of the problem, followed by Africa. Then, of course, the US, and Canada, are not far behind, but you don't hear much about that. The main defense is user common sense, which seems to be lacking in a lot of cases.

Not long ago, I ordered some WiFi devices, from Amazon (Smart Plugs). When I got them, the first thing that I noticed, was that they were probing port 6667, on all of my network connected devices. That, in itself, is not really a problem, but a couple of days later, I opened Firefox (which looks at port 6667  - one of the IRC ports), and a program started , repeatedly, abending. When I checked that out, it was a program called HELLO, which is one of those ransomware things. It had, obviously, followed the port 6667 reference to try to infect my system. Of course, it didn't run in OS/2. I don't know if that was planed by the manufacturer, or if they were a victim of the plot. Whatever, I returned the devices, and OS/2 saved my ass (of course, I also had a good backup). The "official" excuse was that the devices communicate with a central web site (probably Google), using port 6667, to do what they are supposed to do. This is obviously some sort of spy mechanism, but it was also a path for ransomware  to invade my system. These devices were from China, which doesn't need to scam people for financing. When I thought about it, there was no need to use port 6667, to do what they were supposed to do. They could have done it without any third party being involved, but that was necessary to spy on what my system was doing. The ransomeware thing was an added extra, and I can't attribute that to anyone. I returned the devices, and I am sure that they got sold to some other poor, unsuspecting, victim. Additionally, whatever it was, did manage to mess with my router, and a "factory reset" was required to correct that problem.

User beware.

Doug Clark

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Re: Windows 10 App Starts Showing Ads, Microsoft Says You Can’t Remove Them
« Reply #10 on: December 24, 2019, 08:39:02 am »
Doug B.

You may think that your emails contain nothing of interest, but your government disagrees.  Otherwise it would not be saving all of them.

As Mathias pointed out in his Amsterdam example, what you say and do and who you associate with may be innocent today, but may not be innocent next year, for reasons you have no control over and for reasons that may be completely unrelated to anything you have done.

As for advertising on desktops. The problem with ads appearing in a desktop operating system is, in my opinion, this: Once ads start appearing soon there will be an effort to better target the ads to the appropriate viewers. In order to do that information will have to be gleaned about the user. We all know how that has progressed in the smart phone world.

Going back to Amsterdam and privacy concerns verses commercial concerns, cities are already buying data gleaned from smart phones about peoples' travel habits and patterns for traffic planning. I know my city (population ~ 45,000) is doing so.  That data knows where people work, when they go to work and when they leave work, which routes they take home, whether they stop off at stores or other locations on the way home, etc.

The information collected commercially, and sold commercially, is available to government without warrants. I was concerned some years ago about privacy concerns when approving automatic license plate readers for the police department. Especially given the desire of the police to combine license plate location information from auto readers from other departments across the metro area in order to build a database of people's movements over time.  Which they have done. But with the information available from smart phones being sold commercially, license plate readers are now rather passe.

My opinion is concern about advertising showing up in Windows is, and should be, concern about privacy and civil liberty. They are very much related.



Remy

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Re: Windows 10 App Starts Showing Ads, Microsoft Says You Can’t Remove Them
« Reply #11 on: December 24, 2019, 12:41:47 pm »
"information got from a Microsoft Certified friend"

Microsoft added ads for its old messenger application because he no more would like support this appliation and push users to use outlook.

Cheers/2

Doug Bissett

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Re: Windows 10 App Starts Showing Ads, Microsoft Says You Can’t Remove Them
« Reply #12 on: December 24, 2019, 06:17:03 pm »
Quote
You may think that your emails contain nothing of interest, but your government disagrees.  Otherwise it would not be saving all of them.

"My" government (and I didn't vote for them) can't even manage to pay those who work for them. If they really are saving all of my e-mails (doubtful), they would never be able to find anything in them, if there was something of interest. ELECTED governments, generally, are so incompetent, that they are pretty well harmless. Those who think they can control the population can be dangerous. The hackers are of more concern, and governments don't seem to think that they are a problem, or they would do something about them.

Quote
As for advertising on desktops. The problem with ads appearing in a desktop operating system is, in my opinion, this: Once ads start appearing soon there will be an effort to better target the ads to the appropriate viewers. In order to do that information will have to be gleaned about the user. We all know how that has progressed in the smart phone world.

Microsoft, Google, Apple, and others, have been collecting data, for years. They do have opt out options, but anybody who believes that is naive, at best. About the only "target" is language customization, or, if they detect that you are in a certain store, and that store is one of the ones who pay them, you will get store ads. They have been doing that for years too. What is "new" here, is an admission that they are planning to "force" the user to see the ads. Whether they will succeed, or not, remains to be seen. If they become annoying, people will find a way to stop it. Loss of business (either the provider, or the advertiser) can be a powerful motivator.

Keep WiFi, and data, turned off, set every WiFi as a Metered network, turn off location sensing, don't use dictation,  or search engines, and you will get rid of a lot of it. If you do need one of those services, turn it on, use it, then turn it off again. In windows, I never connect to the cloud, or any other service that requires a password, unless there is a legitimate need for it (banks). I don't know if it is actually true, but Duck Duck Go (search engine) says they don't collect information. I do know that Google, Yahoo, and others, do collect information.

Quote
My opinion is concern about advertising showing up in Windows is, and should be, concern about privacy and civil liberty. They are very much related.

Privacy, and civil liberty, went out the window, years ago. It was necessary to prevent the "bad" people from exploiting the "good" people (of course, "good", and "bad" can have different  meanings, for different people). Forced advertising is simply one of the results. Most people couldn't care less if somebody watches what they are doing, when they are out in public (and even in their own homes). If they did, smart phones, Google,  Security cameras, etc. would not exist, because nobody would use them.

Advertising is a tool to get funding. If you wanted to pay for each service that you use, you could get rid of it, but that would end up costing more than you would think (and, it would be an administrative nightmare). It is the same as ads on radio, and TV. Without them, the service wouldn't exist, or you would need to pay for it. I don't know about most people, but I can watch, or listen to, ads, and they don't even register. Sometimes, I will remember an especially clever ad, but most of the time, I can't tell you what they are advertising. What is annoying, is having to wade through a bunch of them, to find what I am looking for. Blocking ads makes the internet much easier to use. The HOSTS file makes that much easier to do, and it blocks a lot of the data collection too, but the main advantage is that it cuts down on the garbage that you need to wade through.

If you are concerned about what governments find out about you, you need to change the government, or your life style (depending on which is easier).

Mathias

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Re: Windows 10 App Starts Showing Ads, Microsoft Says You Can’t Remove Them
« Reply #13 on: December 26, 2019, 12:11:43 am »
Agreed. :D - Governments are one of THE most incompetent bunch of people in business.
But.. since (atleast for Germany) many politicans are in regular businesses too, and can influence politics. Of course they always deny to do so. Also many politicans and business guys are members of lobby groups. And as said above, politics ask lobby groups to help writing new laws in DE. - Politicans (are they involved or not.. are they competent or not) are elected and therefore have the ability to make the wishes of businesses and lobby groups come true. That is what they are for. :D  - They are elected and accepted by the masses.. and so the masses will believe politicans have influenced and realised laws... but in truth their only (practical) reason to exist is to use their `elected` status to enforce laws, which businesses have wished for.

And of course data collection, logging and storing is key. Big data means potential knowledge, that could become valuable now or later. :D - The question is.. is it wise to try to give them NO data or some data, or manipulated wrong data..
Interesting also that users can be identified on their web footprint.. like for instance the whole bunh of user screen size, browser window size, browser language, operating system (including version), source IP, etcetc... all these lead to surprisingly good identification of single users.

I`d not say governments want this stuff, but rather create boundaries to legalise data collection.

Doug Clark

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Re: Windows 10 App Starts Showing Ads, Microsoft Says You Can’t Remove Them
« Reply #14 on: December 26, 2019, 10:52:04 pm »
Doug B.

Unfortunately there is no correlation between competence and harmlessness of elected officials. Example: in most U.S. states district attorneys are elected; district attorneys are NOT harmless. Some are them (and their offices) are very competent, some are not. A brief survey of the number of people who have been released because of DNA evidence after being convicted should convince everyone of the harmlessness - elected - competence issue. Colorado s case is Timothy Masters.
https://www.law.umich.edu/special/exoneration/Pages/casedetail.aspx?caseid=3412


As for whether the government needs a warrant to save your emails, and is saving your emails,
see https://www.propublica.org/article/nsa-data-collection-faq

Given the fact that NSA officials have lied to congress about its data collection activities 
(https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2013/sep/25/nsa-reform-fire-officials-lied) I think it is a safe bet to assume that all emails are being scooped up and stored in Nevada.

You are also correct that most people don t care about privacy. John Oliver on the show Last Week Tonight demonstrated that on his episode on Edward Snowden. (In that episode, available on Youtube, Oliver flew to Moscow to interview Snowden. Warning: the show is vulgar, very funny, and sad.) But they should.

It seems that most people view the scope of privacy as limited to dick pics and banking information, which is sad. Because the issue of privacy is much broader and much more important. The U.S. Supreme Court, for example, used the implied right to privacy in the U.S. Constitution to overturn a Connecticut law banning contraception (giswold v connecticut) and to set limits on when states can prohibit abortion (Roe v Wade).

I would agree that changing my life-style is easier than changing government. But changing government, and the practices of commercial enterprises on privacy, is more important for a free society. And in a democracy is everyone's responsibility. -end of sermon-

[edited for privacy]

« Last Edit: December 27, 2019, 12:53:50 am by Doug Clark »