Windows 10 Update Increases Privacy Options
The next major Windows 10 update will be rolled out to users in April of this year. Known as the Creators Update or Redstone 2, it will incorporate new media tools such as an update to Microsoft Paint allowing users to create 3D models by scanning objects with their phones. The company also plans to address the privacy concerns that have been raised by users, especially when it comes to the operating system’s data collection component which compiles and transmits user information to Microsoft.
Terry Myerson, the Executive Vice President of the Windows and Devices Group, announced a number of changes to how Windows 10 will manage privacy settings. Whereas earlier versions of Windows 10 made it easy to overlook important privacy settings during the installation process, this update will force users to make a series of choices regarding the amount of data their version of Windows 10 shares with Microsoft. For existing Windows 10 users, the update will use notifications to prompt them to update their privacy settings. These settings include letting Windows 10 track your location, managing audio recordings of your voice commands to speech recognition software, and browser usage.
While users were able to change these settings in earlier versions of Windows 10, they were often buried within the installation flow and Settings menus.
Myerson also announced the company's new privacy initiative called “The Microsoft Privacy Dashboard.” This dashboard, which has already been released, combines the data Windows collects about users in a single interface and provides visibility for the company’s data collection practices. When a user is signed into their Microsoft account, they can go to https://account.microsoft.com/privacy to review and delete data related to their browsing and search history, location information, and Cortana’s Notebook feature. Myerson writes, “Many of you have asked for more control over your data, a greater understanding of how data is collected, and the benefits this brings for a more personalized experience…This is our first step in expanding the tools that give you visibility and control over your data spanning Microsoft products and services.”