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-   -   Explora calling home (http://forum.dstv.com/showthread.php?t=38146)

Tom dP 2017-04-20 08:35

Explora calling home
 
Hi,

i would like to know why my Explora is calling home over the internet on an hourly basis. Though the bandwidth is not excessive, I do not see why this is necessary since when I access the Catch-up menu, the images get loaded only then. This leads me to believe that the calling home function does not update such services. What then is it doing and why?

Geoff D 2017-04-20 08:55

[QUOTE=Tom dP;340987]Hi,

i would like to know why my Explora is calling home over the internet on an hourly basis. Though the bandwidth is not excessive, I do not see why this is necessary since when I access the Catch-up menu, the images get loaded only then. This leads me to believe that the calling home function does not update such services. What then is it doing and why?[/QUOTE]

Spying on your viewing habits for [I]one[/I]. But, I am sure it is sending telemetry data back to MC just like MS does. Thanks for confirming a suspicion I have had since this all started.

And herein lies another reason some may be battling with getting their remote recording capability working (especially techno savvy users who have made changes to what protocols and ports they have open on their routers).

MC Marietjie 2017-04-20 10:01

Folks, we do not collect data about your viewing habits from your Explora that is connected to the internet. We have a DStv-i Panel that gives us that data. It is unethical to collect data without getting express permission from customers. (Sorry @Geoff your suspicions are unfounded).

We only track what shows are downloaded via Catch Up Plus but not what you are actually watching on your Explora on Catch Up or live television.

Optimist 2017-04-20 10:41

Just to add - the "call home" function includes allowing the Explora to look for an updated catalogue of what's available on CU+. Updates happen multiple times a day. It uses a very small amount of bandwidth.

Geoff D 2017-04-20 16:44

[QUOTE=MC Marietjie;341020]Folks, we do not collect data about your viewing habits from your Explora that is connected to the internet. We have a DStv-i Panel that gives us that data. It is unethical to collect data without getting express permission from customers. (Sorry @Geoff your suspicions are unfounded).

We only track what shows are downloaded via Catch Up Plus but not what you are actually watching on your Explora on Catch Up or live television.[/QUOTE]


Thanks for the correction. But forgive me if I say

"Ja ja, we believe it all just as much as we believe Microsoft's stories about what they do with the data they collect off our PCs" ;).

MC Marietjie 2017-04-21 09:10

All of us here love research and data - the DStv-i research is devoured when it comes out. That is why I am very confident when I say we DO NOT collect data off your internet connected Explora about what you are watching - else we would have been sharing that data far and wide within the company.

The inference that we are somehow doing some unethical or underhanded and openly lying about it, is really not ok.

csbw 2017-04-21 15:29

[QUOTE=MC Marietjie;341020]... We have a DStv-i Panel that gives us that data. ...[/QUOTE]
Please forgive my ignorance, but is this DStv-i Panel that you are referring to the i-Plate on the decoders? Or have I completely missed the bus on this one....:o

Optimist 2017-04-23 08:04

[QUOTE=csbw;341347]Please forgive my ignorance, but is this DStv-i Panel that you are referring to the i-Plate on the decoders? Or have I completely missed the bus on this one....:o[/QUOTE]

Not related. The DStv-i Panel is a separate system, only used by those involved in the invited collection of data.

andrewgerm 2017-04-27 14:29

[QUOTE=MC Marietjie;341020]FIt is unethical to collect data without getting express permission from customers. (Sorry @Geoff your suspicions are unfounded).[/QUOTE]

Why then, when we expressly disable the option in settings to collect viewing data, does it so often change that setting back to allow? And without notifying us...

Optimist 2017-04-27 17:44

[QUOTE=andrewgerm;342181]Why then, when we expressly disable the option in settings to collect viewing data, does it so often change that setting back to allow? And without notifying us...[/QUOTE]

That somewhat contradicts my experience Andrew, when did you first notice it?
I used to have it turned off, for all that period it was never found back on and I did check quite often as I had the same concerns. About 2 to 3 months ago I decided it was harmless and now allow it, so can't speak about that period.

Geoff D 2017-04-28 09:33

Here is something to check for those with working Exploras .

This parameter may have to be set to allow IF you are making use of remote recording.
Or if making use of CU+ and Showmax?

Optimist 2017-04-28 10:02

No, although part of the same system it's a separate setting which makes no difference to any online functionality Geoff. But thanks, you've helped the thinking with the theory I've been considering...

@Andrew - is it possible that someone else in your household is fiddling when there's sometimes connectivity problems without you being aware?
Switching the Explora Connected Services setting off and back on does the following;
1. It will cause the reporting to turn back on.
There is a warning message in the first instance that explains how to turn it off again if not desired, but if it hasn't then been turned off then any repetitive toggling will not display the warning again, until the reporting has been manually turned off. (Just tried it again to be sure.)
2. Any downloads, scheduling for downloads and those time settings, and the download history will be erased.

So if that's what's happening, not recommended, and in my experience it does not help with any occasional connectivity issues.
One exception we've known about for a long time - for initial setup, some have a problem getting going until this setting is toggled once (turned back on after a reboot).

Geoff D 2017-04-28 10:12

[QUOTE=Optimist;342256]No, although part of the same system it's a separate setting which makes no difference to any online functionality Geoff. But thanks, you've helped the thinking with the theory I've been considering...

@Andrew - is it possible that someone else in your household is fiddling when there's sometimes connectivity problems without you being aware?
Switching the Explora Connected Services setting off and back on does the following;
1. It will cause the reporting to turn back on.
There is a warning message in the first instance that explains how to turn it off again if not desired, but if it hasn't then been turned off then any repetitive toggling will not display the warning again, until the reporting has been manually turned off. (Just tried it again to be sure.)
2. Any downloads, scheduling for downloads and those time settings, and the download history will be erased.

So if that's what's happening, not recommended, and in my experience it does not help with any occasional connectivity issues.
One exception we've known about for a long time - for initial setup, some have a problem getting going until this setting is toggled once (turned back on after a reboot).[/QUOTE]

Why toggle the parameter ON if OFF when doing the above action if it is not needed? A SW bug? Or, is it because it has to be ON?

Now if left ON, what does it do? Send the collected data at regular intervals as part of the comms back to MC? What does MC then do with the data if so? Discard it if no agreement has been reached with the specific user?

This is exactly the on-going debate with Microsoft, and it never gets answered there to the satisfaction of Windows users. MS has over many months grudgingly admitted to certain things and provided the user with slightly more control but has never come completely clean either.

Geoff D 2017-04-28 11:43

The default for this setting is ON

The message that appears on the screen reads:

[QUOTE]When you connect your DStv Explora to the internet, data about how you use your decoder is [B]automatically[/B] sent to us.
This data is not tied back to individual users and is used for research to improve our products.
More info (including Terms and Conditions) on dstv.com.

If you do not want us to collect your data, you can switch Usage Monitoring off under System Settings in the Settings menu.
[/QUOTE]

A User will not always be aware that this parameter has returned to the default state should they have chosen to set it to OFF.

In essence this is the same argument going on with Microsoft, Google and many other Internet service providers. The defaults are just about always ON and one has to consciously opt out. And then remember after every update to go and check the settings.

Patrick No 1 2017-05-01 09:45

[QUOTE=MC Marietjie;341269]we DO NOT collect data off your internet connected Explora about what you are watching
[/QUOTE]

Then what EXACTLY does "Usage Monitoring" report?

Optimist 2017-05-01 09:55

This was posted earlier;

[QUOTE=MC Marietjie;341020]Folks, we do not collect data about your viewing habits from your Explora that is connected to the internet. We have a DStv-i Panel that gives us that data. It is unethical to collect data without getting express permission from customers. (Sorry @Geoff your suspicions are unfounded).

[B]We only track what shows are downloaded via Catch Up Plus but not what you are actually watching on your Explora on Catch Up or live television.[/B][/QUOTE]

Patrick No 1 2017-05-01 10:14

Optimist, that tracking can be done server side. I believe that there is more information that is logged and uploaded via the "Usage Monitoring".

Optimist 2017-05-01 10:22

[QUOTE=Patrick No 1;342679]Optimist, that tracking can be done server side.[/QUOTE]

Agreed, but I think that server side usage is controlled by giving this permission. So then not an actual function other than to pass back a permission byte of info - given the public concerns about the subject it looks like MC are being sensibly over cautious.
But perhaps they plan for more in the future, the disclaimer seems to cover far more than just this. As long as they keep people informed...


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