Windows 10 spying: Microsoft reveals what data its collecting from your PC

Microsoft is revealing more information on the data that Windows 10 collects from all the computers it installed on.

With the impending rollout of the Creators Update for Windows 10 coming on the 11th of April 2017, Microsoft is releasing more information on the so called diagnostic data it collects by itself.

The next major overhaul of Windows 10, the Creators Update, will be available on April 11, but you may want to hold off on making the leap.

Windows 10’s Anniversary Update, the last significant feature upgrade to the OS, triggered complaints about frozen systems and broken webcams, due to a string of bugs that were uncovered after its rollout last summer.

This transparency has only comes after Microsoft faced the threat of enforcement action from various European regulators over the “excessive” and somewhat opaque nature of the OS’ data collection.

Microsoft will for the first time release the complete list of the diagnostic data collected at the Basic level, the lowest level that can be set by Home and Pro users. The firm will also provide a detailed summary of the data collected at the Basic and Full level.

Microsoft has recently reduced the amount of data collected at this Basic level by about half.

“One of our most important improvements in the Creators Update is a set of privacy enhancements that will be mostly behind the scenes,” said Terry Myerson, Microsoft’s executive VP of the Windows and Devices Group, in a blogpost .

The body representing EU privacy watchdogs, the Article 29 Working Party, users recently criticized Microsoft for the lack of clarity over the information Windows 10 collects.

“Microsoft should clearly explain what kinds of personal data are processed for what purposes. Without such information, consent cannot be informed, and therefore, not valid,” The group has not yet commented on whether this additional transparency addresses their concerns, but Microsoft said the changes were informed by the Article 29 Working Party’s concerns.

Apparently. the new Creators Update introduces a new privacy settings menu. This allows users to choose what information they are comfortable being sent back to Microsoft. Users can toggle off the collection of various pieces of information, including location data when using maps, voice recordings when using the Cortana virtual assistant, or diagnostic information related to what they type and write, and the apps they use.

Every user will be presented with the menu when upgrading. Obviously the default setting will be “on” to send various data back to Microsoft.

Alongside these changes, Microsoft has also launched a web-based privacy dashboard , which lets Microsoft account holders check the data Microsoft has collected about their use of its various services, for example, data related to location, search, browsing and Cortana.

Microsoft is also improving the in-product information about privacy and updating the Microsoft privacy statement to include more detail and reflect privacy changes in the Creators Update.

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.