Microsoft comes clean(ish) on Windows 10 data collection

Microsoft comes clean(ish) on Windows 10 data collection

Windows 10 is getting a whole lot better with the Creators Update, but there’s more to it than just new features and performance improvements. Microsoft is today highlighting some changes to give users better control over their privacy.

The most visible of these changes will be a new Privacy Settings screen that shows up when installing the Creators Update (whether via an update or a fresh install). The screen provides several toggles for data collection for location, diagnostics, ads, speech recognition, and “tailored experiences.”

By default, these are all turned on. Microsoft believes the settings “will provide you with the richest experience and enable important Windows 10 features to operate most effectively.” Of course it does.

Still at least Microsoft is putting the information upfront; you have to confirm these settings before installing Windows 10 now. You can also click on a new “Learn More” button for more details about each toggle.

It’s worth noting that you still can’t fully turn off diagnostics data – there are simply ‘Basic’ and ‘Full’ options – but Microsoft says it’s cut down the amount of data collected under the Basic setting by about half.

Moreover, Microsoft is, for the first time, providing full details on what information it collects under the basic tier, which you can read up on here. Warning, it’s long.

It’s not going to solve all of Windows 10’s privacy issues, but it’s at least a step forward. Microsoft says more improvements are on the way; here’s to further transparency down the road.

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