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Microsoft's Windows 10 Creators Update To Come With Privacy Control Changes To Address Criticism

11 January 2017, 7:49 am EST By Chris Loterina Tech Times
Moving to address criticisms regarding the perceived abuse in usage data collection, Microsoft announced that its upcoming Creators Update will have more options that will let users take control of their privacy.  ( Microsoft )

Part of the reason some users avoided the Windows 10 update (to no avail) is the way Microsoft has been arbitrarily collecting tons of usage data. Critics have also mercilessly savaged Redmond for this and the company seemed to have noted all the backlash.

According to Microsoft, the upcoming Creators Update will include changes to the Windows 10 privacy controls.

Windows 10 Telemetry

When the Windows 10 was released, Microsoft outfitted it with a mechanism that can collect what the company calls as diagnostic information or telemetry. This is currently in effect.

While observers believe that data collection practice is not entirely intrusive or illegal, the excessive nature practiced in Windows 10 has alarmed users, consumer groups, and even regulatory agencies.

The latest criticism coming from the Electronic Frontier Foundation effectively summed up all the stakeholders' concerns.

"While users can disable some of these settings, it is not a guarantee that your computer will stop talking to Microsoft's servers," EFF wrote. "A significant issue is the telemetry data the company receives. While Microsoft insists that it aggregates and anonymizes this data, it hasn't explained just how it does so."

EFF further attacked Microsoft's argument that it will not be able to provide security for users who are opting to use the lowest level of usage data collection. It pointed out that such policy is effectively creating a platform where consumers are given no other choice.

New Data Collection Levels, Privacy Controls

The Creators Update will purportedly simplify the data collection levels so that users will understand what information are sent to Microsoft.

This largely came as the diagnostic data collection levels have been whittled down from three to two, Basic and Full.

"We've further reduced the data collected at the Basic level. This includes data that is vital to the operation of Windows," Microsoft explained in a statement.

Said data are also used by the company to keep Windows and apps secure, up-to-date, and running properly. The Basic option also still includes error reporting.

Privacy Dashboard

Microsoft has also introduced the so-called web-based privacy dashboard. It is now accessible through a user's Microsoft account, where he or she can delete browser and search history, along with other data that document interactions with any of its devices, applications, and services such as the Xbox, Skype, and Office apps.

Some sectors will still probably treat the latest Microsoft pronouncement with a grain of salt. Previously, choices and options it embedded in the system have been deceptive. For, instance, clicking the X in the window prompting an update was interpreted as consent rather than a rejection.

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