There is this Slashdot article
about a guy who created a simple 'hello world' dummy application in Visual Studio 2015 (C++). The resulting executable contains code that "phones home" to MS. Of course, MS can do what they like with software they provide to anyone for free. If you would ask me (and I know you didn't) it is even their right...just not in their right mind.
Nowadays you must use a dedicated router between your ISP and your network, that is configured to block access to MS. At least in that way the router will always overrule any trick MS cares to put into Windows OS's.
Draconian method? Sure, but against the blatant dictatorial tendencies MS keeps showing lately, it might be the only way left to beat MS into submission.
Another way is to feed the MS beast purposefully completely wrong information. Discrediting their collected data on a big enough scale will have the same result. Could even be the next thing for nefarious organizations..."if you don't pay us, we won't DDOS you, but seriously mess up the data you keep collecting". The costs of keeping up servers that receive and store this bogus info will be quite big, the need for servers that have to (continuously) filter out bogus collected data will cost a pretty sum too. the feeling of not being able to trust the data you are collecting...priceless.