Microsoft's Windows 10 platform has faced numerous criticisms and has specially been penalized for privacy concerns where it has been accused of overstepping privacy boundaries of the users. While this has been going on for several months now, Microsoft has finally decided to step up and regain the lost trust from its users.
In a new blog post on the official Windows Experience blog, Terry Myerson, Microsoft's Executive Vice President, Windows and Devices Group, has announced some privacy changes that will be coming to Windows 10. Microsoft claims that these changes have been brought about as the company is deeply committed to protecting its customers' privacy.
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Likewise, Microsoft also says that, as the users have asked for more control over their data, a greater understanding of how data is collected, and the benefit it brings for a more personalized experience, so based on their feedback, the company is launching two new experiences to help ensure that users are in control of their privacy.
Besides, after months of defending its policies with regulators, Microsoft has announced that it's making a series of privacy-related moves.
First, Microsoft is launching a Web-based privacy dashboard that will now allow users to see and control their activity data including location, search, browsing, and Cortana Notebook data across multiple Microsoft services.
New Ways to Review and Manage Activity Data
With the introduction of new privacy dashboard on the web, Microsoft is basically taking a step forward in supporting its privacy principle of transparency. And now, it lets users easily see and manage their data.
So when users are signed in with their Microsoft account, they can go to account.microsoft.com/privacy to review and clear data such as browsing history, search history, location activity, and Cortana's Notebook all from one place. Microsoft has promised to continually add more functionality and categories of data over time.
Privacy Changes for Creators Update
Secondly, apart from this privacy dashboard, the company is also introducing a new privacy setup process for Windows 10 with the Creators Update. Microsoft is making some setup changes and it will now allow users to choose their privacy settings in a desired manner and make informed choices as well.
Starting with the privacy setup experience, Microsoft says this will replace Express Settings, and the company also says the setup screen will look different depending on which version user are upgrading from or whether it's a fresh install of Windows 10. If users are already running Windows 10, then Microsoft says that the company will use notifications to prompt users to choose their privacy settings.
Moving on, Microsoft claims that it has simplified its Diagnostic data collection from three levels to two: Basic and Full. So if users previously selected the Enhanced level, now they will have the option to choose Basic or Full with the Creators Update.
Further, the company has reduced the data collected at the Basic level which means that it will include data that is vital to the operation of Windows. The data will help keep Windows and apps secure, up-to-date, and running properly. Users will also have an option of basic error reporting back to Microsoft.
As such, the company's detailed changes to Windows 10 will be rolled out via the Windows Insider Preview and will be made available to all users via the Windows 10 Creators Update.
While Windows 10 has received criticism regarding the user privacy since its release from users and critics alike, Microsoft now seems to take on a journey to make explicit changes that will address the customers' needs and help them get a better and richer experience with Windows and other Microsoft products.
Nonetheless, as it seems like Microsoft is working hard on the new settings and controls and also make a lot of changes, users will have to wait until the Creators Update is available in April to see whether Microsoft has truly addressed all of the issues or not.