Curated by: Luigi Canali De Rossi

Monday, March 31, 2003

Microsoft Is Getting Private Information Directly From Your PC

When connected with your computer to the Microsoft web site you reveal a lot of private information to Microsoft without even realizing it.

It used to be that no information was sent to Microsoft when you accessed their software updating hub at

Unfortunately times have changed and not for the better.

As of now, a lot of information about your computer is sent back to Microsoft though this has not been officially disclosed.

What actually happens when you connect to this Microsoft Web site can be precisely verified and studied.

Though the data transferred to Microsoft is encrypted in an SSL connection and cannot be normally examined with a standard network packet analyzer, researchers at have been able to decipher the commands the queries and protocols used during this information exchange.

The biggest privacy issue in this the list of hardware components that is transferred from your PC to Microsoft.
Through this Microsoft is able to detect the exact brand and model for each component installed in your system.

A German research firm has analyzed this issue in detail and has published a detailed report which reveals exactly which data is transferred to Redmond and what Microsoft could learn from it.

The question for now remains open: What does Microsoft want to do with your data.

To find out more, come back to this column and see also: 1126/index.html



The full 14-page report (6 pages are available for free) is available for online purchase at only € 1.99. Together with the article you will also find a set of handy utilities to verify what explained in the article.

I have bought a copy the next second I read this. What are you waiting for?

You can read the original post here.

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posted by Robin Good on Monday, March 31 2003, updated on Tuesday, May 5 2015

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This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.




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