Microsoft reassures users concerning Windows 10 privacy myths

Microsoft has clarified its position on privacy concerns surrounding Windows 10, in a bid to quell rumours about the monitoring and harvesting of user data.

The information comes in the form of a blog post, which acknowledges that privacy is an “incredibly important topic” in today’s connected world. It goes on to proclaim that Windows is, by making these assertions, “more committed, more transparent and listening harder to customers” than any of its competitors.

Feedback aims to make Windows work better and put users in control

Terry Myerson, who wrote the blog, explained that Windows 10 was created with two straightforward privacy principles in mind. The first was that information would be collected in order for the product to work better for consumers. Secondly, users would be put firmly in control, by being able to determine what data is collated.

Privacy in Windows 10

Privacy in Windows 10

Any information that is gathered, Myerson noted, is encrypted in transit to the Windows servers, before being stored in “secure facilities”.

There were three types of data groups outlined; two of which were collected and one that was not. The first of the two collected data sets involved safety and reliability. Myerson claimed that, in order to provide a secure and reliable experience, Microsoft harvests anonymous device ID, device type and application crash data – although no content or files.

To illustrate why this was successful, Myerson details a crash that was plaguing some users with a certain graphics driver. Harvested information allowed Microsoft to fix the issue and prevent further crashes with relative ease.

The second data set collected was dubbed ‘personalization data’. This harvests personal information, such as common search terms, to provide more relevant apps or products. The example given was for a sports fan searching regularly for information on their team, being served a more relevant experience.

Finally, Myerson explained that Windows 10 does not collect advertising data. He said: “Unlike some other platforms, no matter what privacy options you choose, neither Windows 10 nor any other Microsoft software scans the content of your email or other communications, or your files, in order to deliver targeted advertising to you.”

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