Despite being viewed as an improvement over Windows 8 and being given away for free, Windows 10 had a rocky start. One of the biggest reasons was that privacy advocates were concerned about Microsoft’s data collection policy. There have been frequent calls for the company to clarify its data collection procedures and now the company has finally answered them in a new blog post.
For starters, let’s look at the changes coming next week in the Creators Update. Upon installing the Creators Update, users will be greeted with a screen allowing them to customize their privacy settings allowing users a bit more control over what kind of data is being sent to Microsoft.
Upon a fresh install of Windows 10, users will be greeted with a screen prompting them to customize their privacy settings.
Previous versions of Windows didn’t explicitly inform users that they could change their privacy settings so this new feature is a welcome change from the company and will hopefully carry over into future versions of Windows.
With the Creators Update, users will be offered two separate settings, Basic and Full. Microsoft’s Brian Lich wrote that while in Basic mode, Windows 10 will only collect data that is critical to the maintenance of the OS. For those who want more details, Lich’s article includes a section detailing every aspect of Basic mode’s data collection. In short, Microsoft says that Basic mode will only gather general system data and will not collect personal data.
Those concerned about their privacy will likely want to stick to the basic data settings. The data collected in Full mode does appear to be mostly general data, but there are instances where the company will obtain personal data such as your browsing history. It should also be noted that if you select the Full collection mode then the company will use that data to craft targeted ads, but users can opt out of those.
Microsoft has released an updated privacy statement that goes a long way towards clarifying their privacy policies. It is a definite improvement over past versions of the document as it is well-organized and easy to read.
Eric is an avid tech junkie, gamer, and comic fan. When he's not working on his PC, you'll find him at your local comic book shop.