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Apple, Microsoft Tout Their Privacy Policies To Get Positive PR 103

jfruh writes: Apple hasn't changed its privacy policy in more than a year — but that didn't stop the company from putting up a glossy website explaining it in layman's terms. Microsoft too has been touting its respect for its users's privacy. This doesn't represent any high-minded altruism on those companies' parts, of course; it's part of their battle against Google, their archrival that offers almost all of its services for free and makes its money mining user data.
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Apple, Microsoft Tout Their Privacy Policies To Get Positive PR

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  • Does that mean they're mining Bitcoins for me? Where do I sign up?
    • No, they aren't doing it for you. If anything, they would be using your CPU cycles to mine BC for them.

      Because you run an adblocker, you scum!

    • Apple, Microsoft Tout Their Piracy Policies To Get Positive PR. In today's date , commander Data would be so ashamed of the word "big data" ( if he had feelings)
    • by schnell ( 163007 ) <meNO@SPAMschnell.net> on Wednesday September 30, 2015 @03:13AM (#50625001) Homepage

      I know your post is funny, but let's not overlook the opportunity to critique what is possibly the worst Slashdot article ever.

      Apple, Microsoft Tout Their Privacy Policies To Get Positive PR

      As opposed to all those times when companies tout thing to get negative PR?

      Apple hasn't changed its privacy policy in more than a year

      Okay, looking for the news here.

      but that didn't stop the company from putting up a glossy website explaining it in layman's terms

      Well, this is bad because... you know, because, something?

      Microsoft too has been touting its respect for its users's privacy.

      Link? Article? Something?

      This doesn't represent any high-minded altruism on those companies' parts, of course

      Of course. Because, you know, [CITATION NEEDED]

      it's part of their battle against Google, their archrival that offers almost all of its services for free and makes its money mining user data.

      Dear Slashdot/Dice/whoever is actually running the show, can someone actually articulate where there is actually anything to talk about here? Maybe other than stoking a clickbait + flame bait war over who loves TEH GOOOGLES vs. the homosexuals who likes TEH APPLES and the obvious shills who are the only ones who claim to like TEH MICROSOFTS omg zerg rush?

      Seriously, Slashdot, WTF? What. The. Fuck? An article about how one company hasn't changed its privacy policy, and how another has... not done anything? What The. Fuck?

      Look, I haven't left this site yet because I haven't found a better alternative. But you're making it harder and harder every day to justify staying here with shit like this.

      • by arglebargle_xiv ( 2212710 ) on Wednesday September 30, 2015 @04:11AM (#50625215)

        I know your post is funny, but let's not overlook the opportunity to critique what is possibly the worst Slashdot article ever.

        They forgot to give us Bennet Haselton's thoughts on the subject. That would have been the finishing touch that made it the worst article ever.

      • Look, I haven't left this site yet because I haven't found a better alternative.

        The big tech news are usually found one day earlier at Hacker News, which also gets a threaded comment system.

        Political commentary and trolling are not allowed there, and downvotes actually hurt, so usually there are much less comments; but sometimes that's an advantage.

        The only reason why I still lurk around here is because open source software and "your rights online" news are typically analyzed more in depth here - there's st

  • by rossdee ( 243626 ) on Tuesday September 29, 2015 @10:26PM (#50624053)

    When are they rolling out the update(s) for Win 7 that makes it spy on you (like Win 10 does) and what updates should we uninstall to prevent this?

    • I'm pretty sure they already did. Try this. [windowsitpro.com]

      Speaking of, I don't think is Microsoft attacking Google per se, more damage control for the Windows spying fiasco.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      They must be fucking kidding
      with all the intrusive telemetry of Win 10, being pushed into 7 and 8!

      They want to become like google, making big money off of advertising or data mining.

      • by Anonymous Coward

        And yet, you all bend over for Google...

        • by Anonymous Coward

          So because someone hates Microsoft, they must love Google? What kind of idiotic logic is that?

    • I saved a link: https://www.reddit.com/r/pcmas... [reddit.com]

  • Listed under Popular Fiction. Eh, whatever closes the deal...

  • Scroogled! (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hsmith ( 818216 ) on Tuesday September 29, 2015 @10:47PM (#50624143)
    You have to appreciate how Microsofts pathetic attempt to position themselves agaIsnt Google - when they were intercepting and logging Skype conversations between people all along.
    • To be fair to Microsoft (yeah I know, unusual for me), Skype was logging all conversations long before they got bought out my Microsoft. There have been many complaints over the years as people couldn't expunge their Skype chat history as the ability to do this disappeared and reappeared through various versions. This become an even more common issue with iOS (due to iCloud syncing), Android (Google Sync) and Windows Phone as well.
  • Why can't Apple have motives that are altruistic, and then also point out how different those motives are from Google's?
    • by Anonymous Coward

      Because you're on slashdot and therefore you must hate Apple.

      And anyone who uses pro Apple facts is just a fanboy.

      Come on, how hard are these rules ?

    • Re:Why not both (Score:4, Insightful)

      by Noah Haders ( 3621429 ) on Wednesday September 30, 2015 @12:07AM (#50624435)

      I have two thoughts on this. First, Apple's business model is fundamentally different from google's, and it makes sense for apple to point out the benefits of their business model at every opportunity. Second, I suspect that Tim Cook is extraordinarily sensitive to privacy issues, and one could hypothesize that it may have to do with growing up gay in Alabama in the 60s.

      • Re:Why not both (Score:4, Interesting)

        by Zontar The Mindless ( 9002 ) <(moc.liamg) (ta) (ofni.hsifcitsalp)> on Wednesday September 30, 2015 @02:25AM (#50624811) Homepage

        I have two thoughts on this. First, Apple's business model is fundamentally different from google's, and it makes sense for apple to point out the benefits of their business model at every opportunity. Second, I suspect that Tim Cook is extraordinarily sensitive to privacy issues, and one could hypothesize that it may have to do with growing up gay in Alabama in the 60s.

        I recently caved in and bought my wife a Macbook Pro.

        I've been wanting for years to get her off Windows, and my chances of ever getting her on Linux are slim to none. I finally decided that, as little love as I have for Apple, I distrust Apple less than I distrust Microsoft. Once we get her data copied over from her old machine so I can nuke the drive, our home will be Windows-free*.

        *(Other than the Win7 instance I very occasionally run in a VM for testing stuff related to my job.)

        Thank you, Windows 10 and forced upgrades, for finally getting me off the fence!

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by theskipper ( 461997 )

          FWIW, I went through the exact same thing two months ago. Non-technical wife (accountant), never used anything but Windows on the desktop/laptop. I didn't want to go balls deep with a brand new MBP in case she hated it so I picked up a 2010 version for a few hundred off Ebay.

          Installed Yosemite and bought an old copy of Office for Mac 2008 for $25 so she can run Excel. Then set up Virtualbox with Windows XP just to run her ancient version of Quicken until she can transition to a native Mac version at the

    • Why can't Apple have motives that are altruistic, and then also point out how different those motives are from Google's?

      Because Apple are not altruistic. It is a public traded company and are not supposed to, or even allowed to be in some placed. and on top of that it has a long history of a sociopathic corporate culture.

      In this particular topic, they have even less respect for privacy than Microsoft does, the difference being that Microsoft users were user to more respect.

  • by gweihir ( 88907 ) on Tuesday September 29, 2015 @10:54PM (#50624165)

    Seriously, how dishonest can you get? It is still not clear how to disable MS snooping completely and permanently in Win10 and, as updated cannot be blocked permanently at the moment, there is a permanent risk of them stepping up the snooping at any time. And they have the gall to claim they respect their user's privacy? This is a direct and blatant insult to any of their private customers.

    • by no-body ( 127863 )

      All this "doublespeak" is done by people, not a "Company", so if one works in a company, one has to give up one's integrity and surrender to the - let's call it "company spirit".
      Why is this happening I don't know - is it fear driven (need to make a living some way, or some dream of "making it") and/or is the human mind so flexible that it just bends over and perceives this new program as reality?
      With a psycho/sociopath this is clearly a pathologic behavior pattern happening in that manner damaging him/her

      • by Anonymous Coward

        No, that's backwards. The entire point of a corporation is to diffuse responsibility. People do these amoral things while working for a corporation because they don't have to take full responsibility. It is so much easier to amoral things when you are only 5% responsible. After all no one is a saint, being just 5% responsible is well within the range that people can do it and still think of themselves as a good person.

    • by Solandri ( 704621 ) on Wednesday September 30, 2015 @01:00AM (#50624561)
      My primary email address is on a domain I own. Whenever I give my email address to a company, I create a new alias of the form company@mydomain.com. That makes it easy for me to drop an email alias if I start getting spam on it. To date I have just shy of 500 aliases. I've had to delete the email aliases for a few minor companies, but all the others have been spam-free - I've only received emails from the companies themselves. With two exceptions. microsoft@mydomain.com and adobe@mydomain.com have gotten unsolicited mail from third parties, indicating they sold my email address.
      • by KGIII ( 973947 )

        Or indicating that a spammer used those as generic addresses and you happened to have them enabled.

        • by Bert64 ( 520050 )

          I do something similar, but using wildcard subdomains... And i dont use the company name, but a code (where i keep a list of the codes related to what they were used for)... I have caught a few companies out this way, although i dont have anything registered with microsoft or adobe.

          • by KGIII ( 973947 )

            Might want to make sure (if you do this sort of thing) that you read the terms and ensure they're not telling you that they'll be sharing your information with third parties. Spam filters are good enough now that I don't even worry about it. Hell, I have an email address posted in this response. Let 'em email me. I've got broadband and a spam filter.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    MSFT lost all credibility when they put a keyboard logger into Win10, then pushed anti-privacy "patches" to Win8 and Win7 machines as "critical security updates".

    The unwanted, pre-download of Win10 to older releases was a dick move too.

    My largest lie recently - that was the dog's fart, not mine.

  • "Apple, Microsoft Tout Their Privacy Policies To Get Positive PR"

    Translation: Lie to get positive PR. ???

    When the day comes that companies and other customers don't need any more versions of operating systems, or a new cell phone, or new office software, Apple's and Microsoft's income will begin diminishing.

    Their answer? It seems they want to sell information about users to advertisers, as does Google. So, it appears that they are trying to imitate Google. To imitate Google, it will be necessary t
  • am hoping for help blowing the old whistle, on the firehose on this article:

    http://slashdot.org/submission... [slashdot.org]

    please, if you have the time - i am quite serious - this is not a hoax.

    however, the exploit would make one heck of a halloween trick or treat...

  • With MS providing free updates to Win 7 and 8 users, both licensed and pirated ones, makes one feel how does it affect the way we use windows. They might be trying to reciprocate their mistake which they committed with Win 8 but on the other hand they might also be able to collect data as to which users use pirated copies and which ones use licensed. I don't think anyone in the business is for the sole purpose of providing free services. There is always a hidden motive, sometimes as subtle as collecting use
  • by WaffleMonster ( 969671 ) on Wednesday September 30, 2015 @01:26AM (#50624617)

    Windows Phone:
    - No way to use GPS locally without sending location to Microsoft
    - No way to use WiFi locally without forced participation in location crowd sourcing
    - No way to practically use device / install software without a Microsoft account
    - No way to prevent windows phone with Microsoft account from transmitting location data to Microsoft
    - No way to maintain a local address book without having it all automatically sent to Microsoft
    - No way to prevent device specific identifiers from being sent (in the clear I might add) to Microsoft servers.

    Windows:
    - No way to prevent transmission of telemetry (Windows 10 non-enterprise SKUs)
    - No way to prevent connections to MS servers (vortext, data, settings) when everything CEIP, updates, everything has been completely disabled (Windows 7)
    - No way to disable automatic updates (Windows 10)
    - No way to prevent CRL queries when CRL checking has been disabled (Windows 7)
    - No user reachable knobs to disable mostly annoying and counterproductive NLA queries
    - Disrespectful defaults and intentional UX elements such as misleading appearance of MS account requirement to trick people into using a MS account to access their local systems (windows 10)

    Lies applicable to TFA:

    "In the past, Windows could be thought of as software existing only on your device. Now with Windows 10, important parts of Windows are based in the cloud, interacting with online services"

    This is non-specific BS to setup excuses for unacceptable privacy violations enumerated later in TFA.

    "When you communicate with your friends, family, and business associates, like text messaging (SMS, MMS, etc.) on a Windows device, we have to get the content of the message to deliver it to your inbox, display it to you, enable you to reply to it, and store it for you until you delete it."

    I'll leave this nonsense speak for itself.

    "For real-time communications, a phone-calling app needs to know the phone number of the contact you want to reach. "

    This is priceless because the calling app does not have a local store. What it really effectively means if you want to call anyone Microsoft needs to know the number.

    "If you lose your phone, you can locate your Windows phone on a map using Find My Phone at https://account.microsoft.com.... [account.microsoft.com] Even if you have turned off all other access to the location service on the phone, this feature can still work. "

    This is the problem there is no effective way to opt out even up front when initially setting up the device. The only possible option is to not associate a MS account which effectively renders the device a brick/feature phone.

    • "When you communicate with your friends, family, and business associates, like text messaging (SMS, MMS, etc.) on a Windows device, we have to get the content of the message to deliver it to your inbox, display it to you, enable you to reply to it, and store it for you until you delete it."

      "For real-time communications, a phone-calling app needs to know the phone number of the contact you want to reach. "

      Do they really think this low of their customers?

      If the calling, texting app needs to know all this, where does MS come into picture. Its ok app needs to know it but why does this information have to leave my device to their server? Why does app on my device needs a Big Brother?

  • by Anonymous Coward

    My computer should not be sending them the data in the first place. They can't abuse or "lose" data that they don't have. Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and Google are all American companies, which means they could not be trusted even if they really meant what their privacy policies say.

  • Microsoft is bingin your bunghole.

  • Sometimes the balls on Microsoft amazes me. To tout themselves as some sort of champion of privacy right after releasing the spyingest operating system they've ever released is an awe-inspiring move.

  • I'm not terribly impressed. HOWEVER: A world in which these companies trip over each other trying to appear to care about your privacy, indicates that a shift has already happened in the market and in the minds of the public at large, and these 2 behemoths are now trying to reconcile their business models with the new reality. KEEP THE PRESSURE ON THEM, and if you haven't said thanks to Ed Snowden lately, I hear he's now on the Tweeter.
  • I admittedly haven't tried this yet - thus the question mark... I need to run Windows ONLY for a couple applications in my business, but those apps are Windows XP/7 centric. Wine clearly isn't going to be anywhere near good enough (and I increasingly suspect never will be). How hard is it to setup Windows under Linux, inside Virtualbox, and cut it off utterly from the internet? Is there a huge performance hit? Will XP or Win 7 PRO (which has a built-in Win XP emulator) be difficult to install or di

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