Microsoft Reduces the Amount of Data Gathered by Windows 10 Telemetry
Since the introduction of Windows 10, privacy advocates have argued that the system sends back telemetry data, such as websites users visit, voice input, text input, touch input and location. Because of that, a growing number of privacy concerns have emerged in past few months, with the most recent one coming from the Electronic Frontier Foundation.
Microsoft has decided to put out the Windows 10 Creators Update, hoping to put a stop to these fears with some changes to its privacy controls.
What’s the Next Step?
Microsoft has been making changes and upgrading its Windows software, but disregarding user choice. According to EFF, the upgrade to Windows 10 went from annoying, to downright malicious. The gathering of telemetry data, without users knowing what’s being sent back to the company, was apparently the last straw.
Currently, there are three levels of diagnostic data collection, and Microsoft is planning to simplify it by adding an option to switch between full and basic data collection levels. According to Windows chief, Terry Myerson, the data collected at the Basic level is reduced and includes data that is vital to the operation of Windows.
The Creators Update will give its users options for disabling speech recognition, locations, relevant ads, recommendations and diagnostics, followed only by necessary error reporting. You’ll be prompted to configure your privacy settings by pop-up notifications.
If you plan to install Windows 10 for the first time, the Express Settings experience will be replaced with an offering of new set up choices, and users will decide which the right ones for them are. You will need to choose your important settings before you can move forward with the set up.
Besides the user privacy regulation, Microsoft also plans to introduce a new web-based privacy dashboard. The dashboard is designed to show Windows 10 users their activity data in a single view. Data, including browsing, search and location data, can be viewed and cleared in the new privacy dashboard. The web-based privacy dashboard is available now. As for the new Windows upgrade, Microsoft would be adding more features over time.
Microsoft has (finally) admitted its problem and come up with solutions in a single step, which is nice, but some would prefer a much earlier admission with a We’re working on the problem announcement. The Creators Update answers a lot of questions, but it raises some as well, with something called ‘Dynamic Lock’, which is likely to launch a completely new conspiracy theory wave.
Dynamic Lock uses the camera on your PC or laptop to monitor when you sit in front of it, so it can be locked automatically once you step away. Dynamic Lock can be disabled by users. We are aware of and use remote access software to access our personal data anytime and anywhere. However, users constantly “monitored” for the sake of the stability of new Windows updates feel as guinea pigs. Users need control and have every right to it over their personal computers.
The Windows Creators Studio Update is here in April. The announced changes will clearly address the users’ biggest concerns, but we’ll have to wait and see for ourselves.