Nowadays, it has hard for companies to hide from the privacy protection radar, at least, in theory. Surely, Microsoft is one of them. Criticism in the past has forced Redmond to open up on the tracking and data collection it performs through Windows and other products.
In 2017, Microsoft disclosed what data it collects from Windows 10 PCs. And with the release of the April 2018 Update, it introduced the Diagnostic Data Viewer app in Windows 10. Still, there are is a lot of stuff to be known.
So, the latest disclosure about Windows 10 is the connection endpoints. In other words, the websites Windows 10 connects after you perform a clean install.
Access to these internet domains is required for smooth running of a variety of apps and services including Windows Error Reporting, Windows Update, Cortana, Windows Search, Microsoft Store, Windows Spotlight, Windows Defender, OneDrive, etc.
Microsoft has provided details of the connection endpoints for Windows 10 1709 and later versions. You can find the list of websites here and here.
As per Microsoft, you can generate this list on your own by performing a clean install of Windows 10 on a virtual machine and leave it idle for almost a week at default settings. You can use some network analyzer to log the traffic and then compile reports on traffic going to public IP addresses.
While the list might seem extensive, it’s possible to control and disable connections to many of these endpoints. However, doing so could mess up the normal working of some app or Windows service.
Source: Microsoft via MSPowerUser
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