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article imageMicrosoft: Windows 10 users 'positive' about privacy changes

By James Walker     Aug 7, 2017 in Technology
Windows 10 users have been "positive" about privacy improvements made with the recent Creators Update. Microsoft said that feedback suggests its customers are now pleased with the options available but it recognised there's "still work to do."
Microsoft launched a new Windows 10 privacy experience with April's Creators Update. Before the Creators Update is installed, you have to review Microsoft's revised privacy policy and update your settings to explicitly choose a diagnostic data level. New installations include the additional privacy screens as part of the first-run experience.
In a blog post today, Microsoft said the Creators Update changes have meshed well with users. It cited customer feedback that the privacy settings are "a boon for the privacy minded" and "very well done." The company also revealed 23 million people have visited its separate web-based cross-device privacy dashboard since its launch in January.
Improved Windows 10 Creators Update privacy controls
Improved Windows 10 Creators Update privacy controls
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"In April, we outlined significant enhancements made to the Windows 10 Creators Update that put you in more control to make informed decisions about your privacy," said Microsoft. "Those enhancements included improving in-product information, updates to the Microsoft privacy statement, and publishing more information about the diagnostics data we collect."
"Since then, feedback we've received about the Creators Update has been positive. This is great news to us because what we hear from you directly impacts the improvements we make."
Windows 10 has had no shortage of privacy scares, controversies and outcries since its launch two years ago. Microsoft has been repeatedly criticised by users and consumer rights groups for its widespread telemetry collection and inadequate privacy settings.
Windows 10 Creators Update
Windows 10 Creators Update
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This year, Microsoft has tried to adjust its image to appear more privacy-minded. It has opened up about the telemetry information it collects and improved the labelling of privacy options within Windows. Faced with accusations it was spying on users, the company has had no option but to hand some control back to its users. It now says the effort is paying off.
While Microsoft is sounding cheerful today, in reality there's still a long way to go though. The company's blog post is vague over the real meaning of "positive."
The headline claim that 71 percent of customers have selected to send "full diagnostics" data to Microsoft is probably more accurately interpreted as "haven't changed the defaults." Even though the Creators Update forces you to review your settings, all the options are set to the defaults of "on" automatically.
Microsoft said it is looking forward to a "continued dialogue" over Windows' privacy settings. It added that it's currently working to make Windows 10 compliant with the EU's new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) that goes into effect in 2018. GDPR will be aligned with Microsoft's "enduring commitment to trust," guaranteeing EU citizens certain safeguards around their privacy rights in Windows.
More about Microsoft, Windows, windows 10, Privacy, Data protection
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