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New privacy settings coming to Windows 10 get previewed

by Mark Tyson on 7 March 2018, 11:01

Tags: Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT), European Commission, Windows 10

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An oft cited complaint, or even reason not to upgrade to Windows 10, is due to privacy concerns. Microsoft's latest OS collects some data for personalisation and product improvement, as it is a mixture of software and services. The big problem is that the control panels in Windows 10 Home and Pro don't allow you to disable all of Microsoft's data collection (such as telemetry and diagnostic data). However - enterprise, education and server versions of Windows 10 have recently been updated to allow even the telemetry data tap to be completely turned off.

With the Windows 10 Spring Creators Update due shortly, and the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) about to become law, Microsoft is working on improving its user data privacy choices. Yesterday it released an update to insiders that previews the new privacy screen settings layout coming to Windows 10. In a blog post Microsoft says the purpose of the new design is to "help our customers make focused choices about their privacy" and as a bonus it offers two new settings for Inking & Typing and Find my device.

Not all Insiders will get the same experience. I'm not sure if Microsoft is varying the experience delivered geographically (EU vs others?) or in some other way. The blog says it intends to test multiple experiences to find the best solution for everyone. Some users will experience a single screen with separate sections for Inking & Typing and Find my device. Others will have to check through seven different screens, each dedicated to a single privacy topic. Microsoft shared the 1+2 style setup screenshots (as reproduced throughout this article).

 

Remember, the screenshots shown are those screens seen when you setup a new device, they aren't from the control panel within an already setup Windows 10 install. Expanded options should similarly be available in the control panel after install, says Microsoft, but I don't have any screenshots for that.



HEXUS Forums :: 7 Comments

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Due to M$'s business model, any forced decrease in data gathering will just be offset by an increase in shoving unwanted revenue generating software and adverts on to the users?
Actually, that's more of a $oo$gle model which makes 80% of their profits from ads and selling data collected for ad purposes. MS makes about 5% of their revenue from ads, so I would not stretch that idea that far.
deepblue08
Actually, that's more of a $oo$gle model which makes 80% of their profits from ads and selling data collected for ad purposes. MS makes about 5% of their revenue from ads, so I would not stretch that idea that far.
So what percentage of M$ profits are earned by stealing peoples data?
Ironbuket
So what percentage of M$ profits are earned by stealing peoples data?

Technically speaking, none. You give consent as part of the install/upgrade process so they haven't stolen anything.
spacein_vader
Technically speaking, none. You give consent as part of the install/upgrade process so they haven't stolen anything.

By that logic, a conman that duped a little old lady out of her life's savings for unecessary roof repairs hasn't done anything either, because she gave consent.

Did Windows users truly give informed consent? Did most users genuinely understand the methods of data collection, the nature and extent of data collected and the uses to which it may be put? Or did they simply install an operating system, or buy a PC with it already on, and fail to read or understand, the pages of legalese?

If “acceptance” was a clear, plain English (or other native language) explanation of what's bring accepted, together with a genuine choice, then fair enough. In other words, if MS were given a genuinely informed consent to use data, perhaps in exchange for a discount, then fine. But their current ‘consent’ is about as genuine and informed as that given to the old lady by the conman. Moreover, in my opinion, the mindset MS exhibited in gaining this supposed consent, until forced to change by imminent legal changes, was about the same as the conman's mindset.

Personally, I'd rather pay full retail for an OS that isn't snooping on me, that have a “free” one that is.