Microsoft has moved to reassure Windows users that their private data is not at risk, following reports about invasive data collection policies.
Terry Myerson, Microsoft's executive vice president of the Windows and Devices group, has attempted to dispel the myth that customer data is at risk, saying that users are always in control of the data being collected.
"We collect a limited amount of information to help us provide a secure and reliable experience. This includes data like an anonymous device ID, device type, and application crash data which Microsoft and our developer partners use to continuously improve application reliability," Myerson said on the Microsoft blog.
"This doesn't include any of your content or files, and we take several steps to avoid collecting any information that directly identifies you, such as your name, email address or account ID."
One of the biggest concerns following the release of Windows 10 is that Microsoft is collecting sensitive data via Bing and Cortana, including location information, location history, contact details, voice inputs and search history.
However, Myerson denied claims of invasive privacy practices, explaining that all the features are customisable and can be switched off if desired.
"You are in control of the information we collect for these purposes and can update your settings at any time. Note that with new features like Cortana, which require more personal information to deliver the full experience, you are asked if you want to turn them on and are given additional privacy customisation options," he said.
Furthermore, Myerson stressed that Microsoft does not scan the content of user emails for advertising purposes.
"Unlike some other platforms, no matter what privacy options you choose, neither Windows 10 nor any other Microsoft software scans the content of your email or other communications, or your files, in order to deliver targeted advertising to you," he wrote.
Microsoft competitors, including Google's popular Gmail service, use automated software to scan email content for spam and malware, but the somewhat controversial procedure is also used to target advertising to relevant yet unwitting users.
Myerson also highlighted a number of new Windows features. "All Windows 10 customers will receive an upcoming update to family features, with default settings designed to be more appropriate for teenagers, compared to younger children," he wrote.
"Additionally, we're working on ways to further enhance the notifications that kids and parents get about activity reporting in Windows."
It was revealed earlier this month that Microsoft was downloading system installation files for Windows 10 to users' machines, even when they had not requested the upgrade.
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