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Windows 10's privacy settings (10 January 2017)

Windows 10's privacy settings will be simpler but more limited with Creators' Update

Windows 10's privacy settings will be simpler but more limited with Creators' Update

Microsoft said Tuesday that it plans to simplify the privacy options in the upcoming Creators’ Update, though some may see one component as limiting user choice as well.

Microsoft plans to revamp how privacy is managed in the upcoming Creators Update to Windows 10, both as part of the initial setup as well as the amount of data it collects in day-to-day diagnostics. That amount will actually decrease, if a user so chooses. But Microsoft has also eliminated an intermediary option, forcing the user to choose whether to provide Microsoft minimal or “full” access to their PC. 

If that all seems somewhat confusing, Microsoft also said it has dedicated a new page to explaining what data it collects, and how to erase that data from Microsoft’s service. The new privacy dashboard is available online, and accessible if you’re logged in with your Microsoft account. 

Why this matters: Most people aren’t really sure what data the devices they use collect about them—though they rarely hunt that information down. Google provides a nicely organized page about the data it collects, including an Activity Controls page that offers data privacy controls similar to what Microsoft is launching. Apple does a much poorer job, basically tossing a ream of legalese at the user. In any event, any free service is often paid for by your private data. Google and now Microsoft are making that transaction somewhat more transparent.

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