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EU Watchdogs Still Concerned For Windows 10 User Privacy After Changes By Microsoft In Creators Update

21 February 2017, 8:10 am EST By Aaron Mamiit Tech Times
Despite the changes that Microsoft will implement in the upcoming Creators Update, authorities in the European Union are still concerned for the data privacy of Windows 10 users. Apparently, the additional measures are not enough.  ( David Ramos | Getty Images )

Despite the changes that Microsoft will implement along with the Creators Update, data protection watchdogs in the European Union are still concerned over the privacy of Windows 10 users.

Microsoft has won over certain privacy groups with the changes that will be made to data collection policies once the Windows 10 Creators Update rolls out, but apparently, they were not enough for privacy authorities in the European Union.

EU Watchdogs Express Concern Over Windows 10 User Data Privacy

The Article 29 Working Party, a group that is made up of the 28 authorities of the European Union responsible for the enforcement of laws on user data protection, issued a letter last year to Microsoft. The letter contained the group's concerns on the default settings for the installation of Windows 10 and the apparent lack of options for users to prevent Microsoft from collecting and processing their data.

With the Creators Update, the Windows 10 installation process will include a new screen that allows users to see and adjust the most important privacy settings related to their data and how the operating system uses and process them.

The list of privacy settings include Location, which will allow Windows 10 and apps to access data on where the user is located; Speech Recognition, which will send voice input to Microsoft to help in the improvement of speech services; Diagnostics, which will send diagnostic data on various tools and service to Microsoft; Tailored Experiences With Diagnostic Data, which will allow Microsoft to use the diagnostic data coming from users; and Relevant Ads, which will allows apps to use data to display more interesting advertisements.

In addition to the improvements in privacy control, Microsoft will be launching a new privacy dashboard that will grant better control over the privacy settings of Microsoft accounts.

The Article 29 Working Party, however, said that separately from the ongoing inquiries into the operating system and despite the changes coming with the Windows 10 Creators Update, it remains concerned with how the personal data of users will be protected.

Privacy Concerns Against Microsoft

National authorities have previously launched investigations into Windows 10, with France back in July ordering Microsoft to stop its practice of excessive collection of user data. France's Chair of the National Data Protection Commission then ordered Microsoft to implement changes to the operating system with three months or face significant fines.

The concerns by the Article 29 Working Party is separate from these issues, specifically as with the expanded privacy options for Windows 10, it was still not clear whether users will be informed on the specific types of data that will be collected from them if they agree to the options. Without consumers knowing what specific data they are agreeing to share, they will not be able to make informed decisions on whether or not to activate the privacy options.

Microsoft, however, was acknowledged by the Article 29 Working Party to have shown willingness in cooperating with the group's concerns. The company still has a couple of months to try to address the concerns, as the Creators Update is expected to launch in April.

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