Although we're just a few weeks away from the release of the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update, Microsoft has just revealed some new privacy enhancements that will be introduced with the next major update. Earlier this year, the Creators Update brought new privacy settings to check out during the upgrade process, and also cut down by half the volume data collected by Windows 10 at the “Basic” telemetry level. But as we just learned, the Windows team has more important privacy improvements in the pipeline.
First of all, the Fall Creators Update will give Windows 10 users direct access to the Privacy Statement within the setup process. In addition, the privacy settings screen will be improved with "Learn More" buttons for each privacy setting (location, speech recognition, diagnostics, etc.). "We want you to have all the information about your privacy setting options readily available so that you can make an informed decision about your privacy and how your data is used," shared WDG Privacy Officer Marisa Rogers.
More importantly, the major Windows 10 update will introduce app permission prompts that are very similar to those already available on iOS and Android. "You will be prompted to provide permission before an app can access key device capabilities or information such as your camera, microphone, contacts, and calendar, among others," explained Rogers. This is much better than the current situation where Windows 10 users have to check permissions after installing every app, often to see that apps automatically have access to more than what they really need.
Lastly, the Fall Creators Update will let Enterprise administrators limit diagnostic data to the minimum required for Windows Analytics. For those unfamiliar, this is the company's tool that lets IT admins use telemetry data to streamline and accelerate Windows upgrades. "Our Enterprise customers asked us to provide them with greater control over which data is shared with us to enable new services," explained Rogers.
These privacy enhancements will soon be tested with Windows Insiders in the coming weeks, before rolling out all Windows 10 users later in October. These are all positive changes, especially the app permission prompts that will likely please privacy-conscious users.