Microsoft Reduces Windows 10 Data Collection by 50%

/ 2 years ago

Microsoft Reduces Windows 10 Data Collection by 50%

Two factors marred Microsoft’s 2015 Windows 10 launch: harassment of existing users to upgrade and its aggressive data collection. While the former receded within twelve months, the latter persisted. Microsoft came under great scrutiny for its Windows 10 privacy violations. In fact, French privacy watchdog CNIL ruled the Redmond company’s practices contravened French law. Consequently, Microsoft revised its policy. CNIL now reports Windows 10 records nearly 50% less data that it did a year ago.

New Windows 10 “Basic” Setting

CNIL closed its investigation into Windows 10 after it became satisfied by Microsoft’s revisions to the operating system. Windows 10 now records only “necessary” data and better informs its users about it. The watchdog reported on the changes:

“The company has nearly reduced by half the volume of collected data within the “basic” level of its telemetry service which is capable of identifying the system’s functional issues and solving them. It has restricted its collection to the sole data strictly necessary for maintaining the proper functioning of its operating system and applications, and for ensuring their security.

Users are now informed, through a clear and precise information, that an advertising ID is intended to track their web-browsing in order to offer them personalized advertising. Furthermore, the installation procedure of Windows 10 has been modified: users cannot complete this installation unless they have expressed their choice regarding activation or deactivation of the advertising ID. Moreover, they can reverse this choice at any time.”

Windows 10: In Breach of French Data Protection Act

July last year, CNIL issued Microsoft with a formal notice to stop its Windows 10 data collection. The CNIL stated that Microsoft’s practices breached France’s Data Protection Act. In particular, CNIL objected to the excessive collection of user data and tracking of browsing habits without consent. In a statement, it said:

“The company is collecting excessive data, as these data are not necessary for the operation of the service.”

French data protection authorities launched a separate, concurrent investigation into Windows 10’s data collection.

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