Microsoft Pretends to Stop Tracking Data, Sneakily Renames Tracking Service

Published: November 25, 2015 9:26 PM /


Windows 10 Logo

Windows 10 has taken heavy criticism since its release regarding privacy and the collection of user data. The situation was made worse when a top Microsoft employee admitted that some tracking could not be disabled, and the company did not consider it a privacy concern. However, with the Threshold 2 update released earlier this month, some people thought Microsoft had changed their ways and decided to stop some of their intrusive tracking. Some users who got the update reported that the DiagTrack service, which is responsible for some of the data collection, no longer appears in the list of services that are running.

However, it appears that Microsoft was just trying to pull fast one. The service still exists, the latest update merely changes the name. Now called Connected User Experiences and Telemetry Service, it performs all the same tracking as DiagTrack. As an additional offense, this update also resets some settings without warning. Some users managed to dig deep into the settings and disable DiagTrack, but after the update all the settings have been reset, and the service is once again collecting data under its new name.

Forbes provides the following steps to disable the Connected User Experiences and Telemetry Service, and warns against deleting it outright because it could cause problems with the OS.

  1. Hold down the Windows key and tap the R key
  2. In the box that opens type ‘services.msc’ and press the Enter key
  3. In the ‘Services (Local)’ section locate ‘Connected User Experiences and Telemetry’ and double-click it
  4. In the ‘Service status’ section click ‘Stop’
  5. Under the ‘Startup type’ drop down menu select ‘Disabled’ and then confirm this and close the window by clicking ‘OK’

Quick Take

It's hard to see this as anything but an underhanded move by Microsoft. Word got out that this service was being used by Microsoft to collect data, and people had figured out how to disable it. This whole thing seems to be an attempt to trick people into thinking the service was gone, and quietly reinstating the data collection which some people had disabled.


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