The Privacy Settings in Windows 10 Creators Update Pleases Everyone

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The Windows 10 Creators Update will introduce many new settings and controls for the Windows 10’s privacy and data collection capabilities.

The changes have two parts. There is an immediately available Web-based “privacy dashboard” which gives you access to, and the ability to delete, the information collected from you by Cortana (if you have chosen to share information with Cortana in the first place): search terms, browsing history, interests, contacts, location history, and more.

The Windows Creator Update coming this year is a reworking of the operating system-level privacy controls. The important thing these will do is to make the choice more descriptive; instead of just allowing the users t0 pick “Express settings,” which puts a bunch of privacy options but does not fully describe them, this Windows 10 out-of-box experience shows a bunch of privacy-related options. To complete the process, particular settings must be chosen explicitly. The settings page is going to be more descriptive about what each setting controls and the features will be disabled when a given option is unselected.

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As such, this moves the Windows 10 privacy settings from a model of tacit consent—most people pick Express settings because it’s an easy default, without really considering what the implications are—to explicit affirmation.

In tandem with this, the Windows 10 telemetry and diagnostic data collection is changing. Currently it has three settings—basic, full, and enhanced. These settings are being reduced to two options—basic and full—and Microsoft says that it is further reducing the amount of data collected by the basic setting. However, the company still isn’t explicitly clear about what data is collected, only that it includes information about device “capabilities,” error reports, and what’s installed.

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