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Microsoft lays out privacy features and tools available in Windows 10 Creators Update

On April 11, Microsoft will start to roll out the Creators Update to millions of PCs running Windows 10. This is the first major update for Windows 10 this year, and it will make your PC better with several interface improvements, new 3D creation features and much more. That’s not all, as the Redmond giant will also introduce new privacy enhancements to give users more control about telemetry and the diagnostic data that Windows 10 users share with Microsoft.

In a new blog post on the Windows blog, Microsoft’s EVP of the Windows and Devices Group Terry Myerson describes these features a “one of our most important improvements in the Creators Update.” First of all, Microsoft is now being more transparent about the kind of data it collects from Windows 10 users, and Myerson explained that the company has “reduced, by about half, the volume of data we collect at the Basic level.” He added:

For the first time, we have published a complete list of the diagnostic data collected at the Basic level. Individual data points that relate to a specific item or event are collected together and called Events. These are further organized into diagnostic areas. We are also providing a detailed summary of the data we collect from users at both Basic and Full levels of diagnostics.

Additionally, the Creators Update will make it easier for Windows 10 users to configure their privacy settings. When you will start the upgrade process on your PC, you will see the following privacy settings screen that will reflect your current Windows 10 settings. As you can see, there are detailed descriptions for each setting to help you choose what’s best for you, but you will be able to change these settings at any time after installing the update.

For those of you doing a clean install of the Creators Update, you’ll also be able to configure your privacy settings during the out of box experience. The following screenshot shows you the new privacy set up experience with Microsoft’s recommended settings. “We believe the recommended settings will provide you with the richest experience and enable important Windows 10 features to operate most effectively,” explained Microsoft’s Windows and Devices Group Privacy Officer Marisa Rogers.

Windows 10 Mobile users are not forgetten either, as a new privacy set up experience will also be displayed after installing the mobile version of the Creators Update. “The only difference in mobile is the “Tailored experiences with diagnostic data” setting is automatically turned off for all customers and is not presented as an option on the privacy screen due to limitations of the mobile platform,” explained Rogers.

Privacy settings in the Windows 10 Mobile Creators Update.

“In future updates, we will continue to refine our approach and implement your feedback about data collection and privacy controls,” added Rogers. Later this month, Microsoft will also improve its online privacy dashboard with new controls for voice data that Microsoft collects to improve Cortana. Last but not least, the company has also updated the Microsoft privacy statement to include more information about the privacy enhancements in the Creators Update. You can check the key changes on this page.

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What do you think of these privacy improvements in the Creators Update?