January 10, 2017 9:00 am

Our continuing commitment to your privacy with Windows 10

By / Executive Vice President, Windows and Devices Group

At Microsoft, we are deeply committed to protecting our customers’ privacy. This includes providing clear choices and easy-to-use tools that put you in control of how your information is collected and used. Trust is a core pillar of our More Personal Computing vision, and we are working hard to make sure Windows 10 is the most secure Windows ever and a product you love and trust.

Many of you have asked for more control over your data, a greater understanding of how data is collected, and the benefits this brings for a more personalized experience. Based on your feedback, we are launching two new experiences to help ensure you are in control of your privacy.

First, today we’re launching a new web-based privacy dashboard so you can see and control your activity data from Microsoft including location, search, browsing, and Cortana Notebook data across multiple Microsoft services. Second, we’re introducing in Windows 10 a new privacy set up experience, simplifying Diagnostic data levels and further reducing the data collected at the Basic level. These Windows 10 changes are being introduced in a Windows Insider build soon for feedback first and will be rolled out to everyone when the Windows 10 Creators Update becomes available.

We also recognize organizations have different needs than individuals when addressing privacy. Learn more about what we’re doing to help IT pros manage telemetry and privacy within their organizations here.

Microsoft privacy dashboard introduces new ways to review and manage activity data

We heard that you want better ways to be able to see and manage activity data collected by Microsoft services. Today, we’re taking a step forward in supporting our privacy principle of transparency with the introduction of a new Microsoft privacy dashboard on the web that lets you easily see and manage your activity data.

When you are signed in with your Microsoft account, you can go to account.microsoft.com/privacy to review and clear data such as browsing history, search history, location activity, and Cortana’s Notebook – all in one place. This is our first step in expanding the tools that give you visibility and control over your data spanning Microsoft products and services, and we will continue to add more functionality and categories of data over time.

Privacy changes coming to the Creators Update

We’ve been listening to your feedback and shared how we’re protecting your privacy shortly after the launch of Windows 10.  We are continuing this commitment to make it as easy as possible for you to make informed choices about your privacy with Windows 10. With that in mind, in the Creators Update, we are making some changes by simplifying the privacy settings themselves and improving the way we present the privacy settings to you.

First, we will introduce a new set up experience for you to choose the settings that are right for you. This experience, which replaces previous Express Settings, will look slightly different depending on the version of Windows you are using. If you are moving from Windows 7 or Windows 8, or doing a fresh install of Windows 10, the new set up experience will clearly show you simple but important settings and you will need to choose your settings before you can move forward with setup. If you are already using Windows 10, we will use notifications to prompt you to choose your privacy settings. We’ll introduce this process in an upcoming Windows Insider build soon.

Second, we’ve simplified our Diagnostic data collection from three levels to two: Basic and Full. If you previously selected the Enhanced level, you’ll have the option to choose Basic or Full with the Creators Update.

Third, we’ve further reduced the data collected at the Basic level. This includes data that is vital to the operation of Windows. We use this data to help keep Windows and apps secure, up-to-date, and running properly when you let Microsoft know the capabilities of your device, what is installed, and whether Windows is operating correctly. This option also includes basic error reporting back to Microsoft.

Below is a look at the new privacy settings set up experience we will be introducing to Windows Insiders in an upcoming build. We have made this new set up experience voice-capable providing greater accessibility for customers. Voice data remains on the device as part of this set up process.

a look at the new privacy settings set up experience we will be introducing to Windows Insiders in an upcoming build. We have made this new set up experience voice-capable providing greater accessibility for customers. Voice data remains on the device as part of this set up process.

User interface designs presented to Windows Insiders are subject to change before general availability.

As you make your choices in the new set up experience, we’ll share additional information about what impact each choice will have on your Windows experience as shown below.

Privacy Changes Coming to Creators Update

User interface designs presented to Windows Insiders are subject to change before general availability.

As always, customers can review all their privacy settings, including these, and make changes at any time under Settings.

Looking forward

When it comes to your privacy, we strive to make choices easy to understand while also providing clear visibility and control over your data. We believe finding the right balance is one of our most important tasks in delivering great personalized experiences that you love and trust.

Today, we take another step in our journey to make changes that address your feedback and help make your experience with Windows and other Microsoft products better and richer. We want you to be informed about and in control of your data, which is why we’re working hard on these settings and controls. And regardless of your data collection choices, we will not use the contents of your email, chat, files, or pictures to target ads to you.

Together we’re on a technology journey as devices, the Internet, and smart things all around us are changing the way we communicate, play and get stuff done. At Microsoft, a key part of our journey is engaging with our customers, listening to feedback and trying new ideas. Thank you for all your feedback and please continue to share your thoughts here.

Terry

Updated January 10, 2017 9:05 am