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Windows 10 User Data Gathering Raises Privacy Concerns

By Grace Anilado , Apr 06, 2017 08:14 PM EDT
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Windows 10 is getting an update this April 11 and Microsoft is including a bunch of new features. But amongst these latest changes, the revelation of what data the technology company gathers from its users is the most anticipated. That is because the company has raised privacy concerns amongst users and privacy campaigners since users cannot turn off diagnostics collection.

Although Microsoft regularly collects data from personal computers, users are unaware exactly what information are being gleaned from them. But the company has now addressed those concerns through the Windows 10 Creators Update. Users can now know what particulars are collected from them via the two Technet pages the company has published.

The Technet pages detail what information are gathered from the basic and full levels of diagnostics. Even at the basic level, Microsoft already collects plenty of user particulars. However, Windows executive vice president Terry Myerson assured Windows 10 users that the company only takes what is needed for the smooth operation of their devices. Unfortunately, despite their data gathering revelation, there is still no way to turn off the diagnostics collection.

But the Windows 10 update also gives users more power over what kind of information they share. The updated privacy dashboard lets users turn on or off several privacy settings. Among these is the Diagnostics that users can either set to Full or otherwise. Furthermore, users can now choose whether or not they will share their location information or even allow applications to user advertising ID for tailored ads.

In the past, privacy concerns over Microsoft's data gathering practices have spurred countries to protect their citizens. France, for example, ordered the company to halt tracking of Windows 10 users. Similarly, the European Union warned users that the latest update is not enough to ease privacy problems. Such concerns have led to trust issues that the company is hoping to address with its latest update. Still, the verdict lies in the hands of privacy watchdogs.

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