Microsoft to ‘Improve’ Privacy in Upcoming Update for Windows 10

Windows 10 doesn’t have a great record when it comes to respecting the privacy of its users. It has faced a growing number of privacy concerns over the last few months. However, Microsoft is hoping to change all that with its upcoming Creator’s Update.

Microsoft says that the new update will address all privacy concerns by offering flexible controls to users so they can choose what gets sent back to the company. Or will it?

Most people running Windows 10 will have the following 3 options under your PC Settings:

Windows 10 Privacy Settings

The full configuration of all these 3 modes are very long and comprehensive but to sum it all up, this is what they have to offer:

  • Basic: basic device info, including: quality-related info, app compat, and info from the Security level.
  • Enhanced: additional insights, including: how Windows and Windows apps are used, how they perform, advanced reliability info, and info from both the Basic and the Security levels.
  • Full: All info necessary to identify and help to fix problems, plus info from the Basic, and Enhanced levels.

“Improved” Privacy

In the Creator’s Update, Microsoft has “solved” the privacy problem by removing the “enhanced” level and leaving users with only 2 to choose from. However, Microsoft also says that the amount of data being collected, especially under the Basic level, has been reduced.

So, basic is the lowest of the 2 options that you can choose from. Currently, it usually sends back the state of your computer and its specifications, internet quality, software issues, the apps you have installed drivers problems etc. In the new “basic” settings though, it will be covering all the data that is vital for operating Windows, basic error reporting, capabilities of your device, what is installed, and whether Windows is operating correctly and it will be sending all of this back to Microsoft.

According to Microsoft. all this data will be used to “help keep Windows and Apps secure, up-to-date and running properly.”

The “Full” level will now send all the “basic” level of data and also that of the removed “enhanced” level and then even more information from your system apart from that. For the record, the “enhanced” level data includes records of events generated by the operating system, bundled applications and devices, and some crash dumps.

The new and revised “full” mode will also allow engineers to obtain user’s documents that cause crashed in applications just so they can work out what’s wrong. They can also run diagnostic tools remotely, without any kind of acknowledgement from users.

Privacy Portal

In an attempt to give users more transparency and control over privacy, Microsoft has built an online dashboard.

The portal lists some of the data that is collected and sent back to Microsoft, allowing you to control a little bit of what you are choosing to send. The updated privacy controls will also allow users to choose between some system surveillance or a complete one.

This was done mostly as a result of the outcry over the privacy issues of Windows 10.

in the Creators Update, we are making some changes by simplifying the privacy settings themselves and improving the way we present the privacy settings to you.

You can access the dashboard by clicking here. You can use it to manage your browser data, clear your search history, review location data etc. The data can also be deleted on request by the user through the portal.

Wrapping It Up

If you’re hoping the new update addresses all privacy concerns, you’re in for disappointment since it still won’t allow you to turn off all tracking.

In this day and age of computer surveillance, it is very easy to be paranoid about p. While Microsoft insists that the data it collects is anonymized and collected into records for engineers to use it, find it and debug issues that you may face, you still can’t be too sure of where your data went and whose hands is it in now. You can either completely end up not using or just give Microsoft the benefit of the doubt and live with it.

What are your thoughts on Microsoft’s privacy concerns? Are they taking it seriously? Do you have a solution? Let us know in the comments below!

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