As early as Windows 7, when you opened up the Devices and Printers control panel, there was an option to "Obtain device information from the internet" (or some wording to that effect) which would retrieve graphics for printers and such, so they wouldn't show up with generic icons. I wonder if this is *that*, but perhaps without asking for permission, and of course being done insecurely as it may have been all along.
Windows 7+: Device Metadata Packages Show more
Overview of the Device Metadata System > Device Metadata Retrieval Client
"When the user opens the gallery view window of the Devices and Printers user interface, the DMRC [...] checks the local computer's device metadata cache and device metadata store. If the device is newly installed [or] scheduled for a periodic metadata update, DMRC queries the Windows Metadata and Internet Services (WMIS) website [...]"
Windows 7+: Device Metadata Packages / Security Show more
It should be done by HTTPS for sure, but this feature was designed for Windows 7, which was released in 2009, and concern over HTTPS wasn't quite as mainstream until after the Snowden revelations in 2013.
There may well be an exploitable vulnerability somewhere, for all I know. However, Device Metadata Package information retrieved via WMIS is verified to have been signed by Microsoft.