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Privacy enhancements coming to the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update

Written By published September 13, 2017

Editor’s note – March 31, 2010 – Instances of “Windows Analytics” below were updated to “Desktop Analytics” to reflect a change in the product offering.

In April, we outlined significant enhancements made to the Windows 10 Creators Update that gives you more control to make informed decisions about your privacy. Those enhancements included improving in-product information about your privacy, updates to the Microsoft privacy statement, and improving transparency by publishing more information about the diagnostic data we collect.

Continuing with our commitment to privacy and data control, today we’re announcing privacy enhancements coming to the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update for consumers and commercial customers that further increase your access to information and provides you more control over what information is collected.

For consumers, some of the new experiences you will see include:

Easier access to privacy information during setup

To simplify your access to information about the features we offer, and the data collection and use around those features, we have made two privacy changes to the setup process.

First, we are giving users direct access to the Privacy Statement within the setup process. Second, as you set up a new device, the Learn More page on the privacy settings screen enables you to jump to specific settings for location, speech recognition, diagnostics, tailored experiences, and ads while you choose your privacy settings. You no longer need to sift through the privacy statement if you only want to read about a specific feature, simply click the Learn More button for easy access.

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.

Privacy Statement shown in new privacy settings in the Windows 10 Fall Creators Update.

Ability to set application controls beyond location

Likewise, it’s important to us that you have transparency and control over which applications can access your information. Most users are accustomed to being prompted for permission to use location data when using a map or other location-aware application. Starting with the Fall Creators Update, we’re extending this experience to other device capabilities for apps you install through the Windows Store. 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. This way you can choose which apps can access information from specific features on your device. (You can learn more about Windows app permissions here.)

Office Lens pop up asking for your permission to let Office Lens access your camera.

App permission prompts will only apply to apps installed after the Fall Creators Update. To review and manage your existing app permissions go to Start, select Settings, then select Privacy.

Desktop Analytics setting

Likewise, our Enterprise customers asked us to provide them with greater control over which data is shared with us to enable new services. In addition to the above enhancements, we’re also providing a new setting that limits diagnostic data to the minimum required for Desktop Analytics. Desktop Analytics allows Enterprise administrators to decrease IT costs by gaining insights, using Windows Diagnostics, into the computers running Windows 10 in their organizations. It is a fast-growing Microsoft service – providing data-driven insights that reduce the cost of deploying, servicing, and supporting Windows 10. To learn more about Desktop Analytics and how your company can benefit from Windows diagnostics data, visit the Desktop Analytics website.

As part of our ongoing dialogue and transparency with you, our customers, I am excited to announce these privacy changes coming next month in the Fall Creators Update. Windows Insiders will get an early look of some of these changes in the coming weeks. I look forward to continued dialogue and hearing your feedback here.