Earlier this week, Microsoft announced a recommitment to users’ privacy with the upcoming Windows 10 Creators update: when it will be released in April, users will discover a new set of privacy settings, with only two levels of automatic data collection. According to Microsoft, the company has reduced the data collected at the "Basic" level to focus on "data that is vital to the operation of Windows."
While Microsoft still won’t allow Windows 10 Home and Pro users to completely disable telemetry, these changes have been praised by the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF), which previously criticized Microsoft for "blatantly disregarding user choice and privacy" in an August editorial. In an interview with Computerworld, Maul Kalia, EFF legal intake coordinator explained that "these are solid and welcome steps." He added:
More transparency is what we want from the company. I’m glad they took some of our suggestions to heart, and we're happy that they did that, but we'd prefer them to be more transparent with users about what is collected and why.
It’s true that Microsoft may still have work to do to convince users that refused to upgrade to Windows 10 that the new operating system is not spying on its users. In its latest blog post, Microsoft claimed that the purpose of telemetry is to "help keep Windows and apps secure, up-to-date, and running properly when you let Microsoft know the capabilities of your device," but the company still declined to reveal exactly what kind of data it collects.
However, the company clearly reiterated that it would never use this data to deliver personalized ads to its users. "Regardless of your data collection choices, we will not use the contents of your email, chat, files, or pictures to target ads to you," explained the company.
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