Microsoft Eases Windows 10 Privacy Paranoia With Better Transparency And User Control In Creators Update

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Microsoft has taken a lot of hits for what some users see as an invasion of privacy in Windows 10. Microsoft has taken it on the chin from consumer advocacy groups like Which? and the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), and the company has made efforts to revamp its privacy policy and controls for the end-user. However, those efforts have been deemed insufficient by the likes of the European Union (EU) and other effected parties.

Microsoft is now taken your privacy more seriously and using a multi-prong approach with the Windows 10 Creators Update to show you what data is being collected, and is giving you even more control over what you share with Microsoft. For starters, Microsoft is opening up its telemetry tools on what is collected at what the company calls the “Basic” level. Microsoft explains:

The Basic level gathers a limited set of information that is critical for understanding the device and its configuration including: basic device information, quality-related information, app compatibility, and Windows Store… The Basic level helps to identify problems that can occur on a particular device hardware or software configuration.

Microsoft is publishing the entire breadth of data acquired at the Basic level (which you can view in this Technet article), and is providing limited details on what is collected in “Full” level.


Microsoft is also updating its privacy policy to loop Windows 10 users in on how and why it collects data. “Like previous privacy statement updates, we will make this information available to you in a layered manner online, allowing you to progressively explore more information about your privacy choices with Windows 10,” said Windows chief Terry Myerson.

In addition, Microsoft is providing what it calls “in-product information”, which gives Windows 10 users more feedback about what each privacy setting entails. Clicking the “Lean More” button gives you a short snippet of information about what is being shared with Microsoft.

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“We are on a journey with you and fully committed to putting you in control and providing the information you need to make informed decisions about your privacy,” explained Marisa Rogers, Microsoft’s Windows and Devices Group Privacy Officer. “The Windows 10 Creators Update is a significant step forward, but by no means the end of our journey.”

We’re glad to see that Microsoft is taking a more customer-centric approach to privacy and is at least responding to past criticisms. The company still might not have gone far enough for some people/organizations, but Microsoft is at least making an effort to be more transparent and is giving customers more choice over their data.

“I’m proud of the team’s work here and our continued commitment to your privacy,” added Myerson. “I’m also appreciative of the great feedback we’ve received from our customers along this journey. You inspire us every day to innovate and deliver a great product that respects your privacy choices.”