In some ways it is understandable that some information about your activities on the computer is passed back to Microsoft. The company needs to know when applications or the operating system crashes, and if there are any other serious problems that require attention.
Knowing what apps people use and what activities they carry out on their computer can be used to make Windows more useful. Cortana and other services can work better if they can share a little information, apps and Windows might rely on knowing your location in order to provide local information, and so on.
You should not lose sleep over the information you are sharing because it is no worse than other things, such as your mobile phone. You might be surprised how much information that gadget leaks, but if Windows 10's activities are keeping you awake at night worrying what is being revealed and what use that data is being put to, there are ways to stop the leaks.
Spybot Anti-Beacon is a free utility from Safer-Networking, the company that produces the popular Spybot anti spyware utility for Windows PCs.
There are two versions of the program and it comes either with or without an installer. The portable version without the installer is preferable and you just unzip the archive and double click the program to run it. If you want to remove it from the computer you can simply delete the folder.
There are several tabs at the top of the window and the first one is Protection. This displays the names of the services and policies that can be blocked and there is an Immunize button at the bottom to apply the changes.
Unfortunately, the names of some of the items blocked and the consequences of doing so are not clear. For example, what is Application Impact Telemetry (AIT) Group Policy? What effect will blocking this have on the computer? It assumes you are an expert and you already know the answers to these questions.
Clicking the Show options button helps a little and tick boxes enable each item to be selected or deselected as you prefer before the Immunize button is clicked.
With each item is the registry key that will be changed or the task that will be stopped. It could do with more explanations and simpler terminology. At the moment you just have to trust Spybot Anti-Beacon knows what it is doing.
On the Optional tab are a few more items. They are optional because they are potentially useful and you might want to keep them.
Spybot Anti-Beacon is OK, but O&O ShutUp10 offers more privacy options and better explanation of what is being enabled or disabled. Windows 10 Settings contains many simple switches to prevent information being shared and that is also an alternative to this utility.
Title: Spybot Anti-Beacon
Size: 1.6 MB
Verdict: Needs simple explanations of what it is doing, but otherwise OK.