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Manage Privacy: Windows Customer Experience Improvement Program and Resulting Internet Communication

Published: August 15, 2012

Updated: October 17, 2013

Applies To: Windows 8, Windows 8.1, Windows Server 2012, Windows Server 2012 R2



In this section

Purpose of the Windows Customer Experience Improvement Program

Overview: Using the Windows Customer Experience Improvement Program in a managed environment

How the Windows Customer Experience Improvement Program communicates with a site on the Internet

Procedures for controlling the Windows Customer Experience Improvement Program

This topic describes how the Windows Customer Experience Improvement Program communicates across the Internet, and it explains steps to take to limit, control, or prevent that communication in an organization with many users.

The Windows Customer Experience Improvement Program (CEIP) is a voluntary program that collects information about how people use Windows. CEIP collects information about configuration settings, hardware configurations and usage, and user’s encounters with the operating system without interrupting their tasks at the computer. The information that is collected helps Microsoft improve the features that are used most often and create solutions to common issues.

In a managed environment, the Windows Customer Experience Improvement Program runs only if an administrator chooses to participate. You might decide to disable the program on all computers. You can do this by using Group Policy or by using an answer file with an unattended installation.

If you would like your computers to participate in the CEIP program, you can also use Group Policy to redirect data from the Windows Customer Experience Improvement Program to a Windows Server on your network with the Windows Feedback Forwarder or similar software that is designed to collect data from the Windows Customer Experience Program. For more information, see Procedures for controlling the Windows Customer Experience Improvement Program later in this section.

The Windows Customer Experience Improvement Program communicates with a site on the Internet as follows:

  • Specific information sent: The information that is sent includes details about the computer hardware configuration (such as the number of processors and screen resolution), performance and reliability (such as how quickly a program responds when you click a button), and information about use of the system (such as how many folders a user typically creates on the desktop). It also includes information about the use of features such as Event Viewer and Remote Assistance. For additional details, see the link to the privacy statement later in this list.

  • Default setting: By default, the Windows Customer Experience Improvement Program is turned off.

  • Triggers: Data for the Windows Customer Experience Improvement Program is collected over time and sent periodically. However, data is not collected or sent if the computer is on battery power, and no attempt to send data is made if the computer is not connected to a network.

  • User notification: After an administrator chooses to participate in the program, there are no notifications. You are not prompted or interrupted in any way when data is collected or sent.

  • Logging: Events are logged in Event Viewer in Windows Logs\Application.

  • Encryption: Data about software usage is encrypted during transmission by using HTTPS (that is, Secure Sockets Layer (SSL) or Transport Layer Security (TLS) with HTTP).

  • Access and privacy: Data from the Windows Customer Experience Improvement Program is stored on servers in Microsoft-controlled facilities. Microsoft uses the data to identify trends and usage patterns in Microsoft software and to improve Microsoft products and services. For additional information, see the Windows 8 and Windows Server 2012 Privacy Statement or the Windows 8.1 and Windows Server 2012 R2 privacy statement.

  • Transmission protocol and port: The transmission protocol is HTTPS and the port is 443.

  • Ability to disable: You can disable the Windows Customer Experience Improvement Program on an individual computer from the Customer Experience Improvement Settings page. You can also disable it by using Group Policy or an answer file with an unattended installation.

The following procedures explain how to make changes to how the Windows Customer Improvement Program works using Server Manager, Group Policy settings and unattended installation answer file settings.

noteNote
To change Windows Customer Experience Improvement Program settings, you must be logged on as an administrator.

  1. Open Server Manager, and click the All Servers menu in the navigation pane.

  2. In the details pane, select one or more servers.

  3. Right-click the selected servers, and select Configure Windows Automatic Feedback.

  4. In the Windows Automatic Feedback dialog, make any necessary changes.

  5. Click OK to apply the settings and close the dialog box.

  1. Using an account with domain administrative credentials, sign in to a computer with the Group Policy Management feature installed. Then open the Group Policy Management Console (GPMC) by running gpmc.msc, and edit an appropriate Group Policy Object (GPO).

  2. Expand Computer Configuration, expand Policies (if present), expand Administrative Templates, expand System, expand Internet Communication Management, and then click Internet Communication settings.

  3. In the details pane, double-click Turn off Windows Customer Experience Improvement Program, and then click Enabled.

    When you enable this setting, all administrators and users to which the GPO applies are opted out of the Windows Customer Experience Improvement Program.

    You can also restrict Internet access for this and a number of other features by applying the Restrict Internet communication policy setting, which is located in Computer Configuration under Policies (if present), in Administrative Templates\System\Internet Communication Management. For more information about this Group Policy and the policies that it controls, see Appendix B: Group Policy Settings Listed Under the Internet Communication Management Category.

  1. Using the methods you prefer for an unattended installation or a remote installation, create an answer file. For more information about unattended and remote installations, see Appendix A: Resources for Learning About Automated Installation and Deployment.

  2. Confirm that your answer file includes the following line:

    <CEIPEnabled>0</CEIPEnabled>
    

You can also redirect data from multiple computers to a computer on your network. To do this, you need to have a computer running Windows Server with the Windows Feedback Forwarder installed.

  1. On the server, open Server Manager, click Manage, and then click Add Roles and Features

  2. In the Add Roles and Features Wizard, select the server, and click Features in the navigation pane. Scroll down, click Windows Feedback Forwarder, and then click Next twice. 

  3. Specify an incoming port number (the default port number is 53533). If the domain has an Internet proxy server, specify the proxy information. Click Next, and then click Install. When the installation is complete, click Close.

  4. In Server Manager, click All Servers in the navigation pane. 

  5. In the details pane, right-click the server that you installed Windows Feedback Forwarder on, and then click Windows Feedback Forwarder Configuration. Keep the dialog box open, and then continue to the procedure To deploy the Windows Feedback Forwarder Group Policy .

  1. Open Windows PowerShell and run the following command:

    Add-WindowsFeature WFF

  2. In Server Manager, click All Servers in the navigation pane.

  3. In the details pane, right-click the server that you installed Windows Feedback Forwarder on, and then click Windows Feedback Forwarder Configuration

  4. Click the Forwarding Settings tab, and specify an incoming port number (the default port number is 53533). If the domain has an Internet proxy server, specify the proxy information, and then click Apply.

    Keep the dialog box open and continue to the procedure To deploy the Windows Feedback Forwarder Group Policy .

  1. With the Windows Feedback Forwarder configuration dialog box open, click the Group Policy tab.

    noteNote
    You may have to enter credentials, depending on the settings for the current user.

  2. Enter the name of the domain that you want to deploy the Group Policy to, and then click Find

  3. After the list of organizational units is populated, select one or more organizational units, and then click Apply.

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