Microsoft has revealed more information about the data that it collects from Windows 10 installations around the world today, as it makes the Windows 10 Creators Update available for manual download.
For users happy to wait, new iteration of Windows 10 will automatically roll-out on 11 April. At the same time, Microsoft has revealed more details about its data collection activities in a bid to mollify privacy campaigners.
Microsoft has been accused of obfuscating both the level of data collection, as well as what, exactly, it collects from hundreds of millions of PCs around the world.
Perhaps most notable is that although, as previously documented, data collection now comes down to two options, 'Basic' and 'Full', the amount of data being collected in Basic mode has dropped by half because Microsoft seems to have discovered it didn't need as much as it thought it did.
Terry Myerson, executive vice president of the Windows and Devices Group wrote a blog to explain the changes. In it, he also introduces Windows Privacy Officer Marisa Rogers, who claims that Microsoft doesn't do anything dodgy with all the data it collects. Honest.
"She champions our privacy commitments to you both inside and outside Microsoft, working with our Microsoft engineers and advocates around the world to ensure we're delivering great experiences with privacy by design and giving you the information that puts you in control," according to Myerson.
Her statement begins: "Before I get into the privacy details about this update and beyond, I want to first thank YOU - our customers - for your feedback and support on this journey. Our commitment to your privacy is only fully realised when we deliver on your feedback."
In truth, we think most users want fully granular privacy settings, so we're not convinced this delivers. Rogers went on to detail the main changes.
'Learn more' buttons against each privacy setting will explain what they're for and how they're used. Windows 10 users will be able to schedule their upgrades to the Creators' Update and choose their privacy settings at that time.
The more granular aspects have been de-jargonised, though, but "let apps use advertising ID to make ads more interesting to you based on your app usage" remains.
In other words, it means that Microsoft is watching the software you're running on your machine, but only doing so for the purpose of advertising via the operating system.
New users will be able to pick their privacy settings as part of the clean install process, and Windows 10 Mobile user(s) will have diagnostic data collection turned off by default.
"We are on a journey with you and fully committed to putting you in control and providing the information you need to make informed decisions about your privacy. The Windows 10 Creators Update is a significant step forward, but by no means the end of our journey," said Rogers.
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