MICROSOFT HAS set out its stall over privacy control in the imminent Creators' Update for Windows 10.
The new iteration of Windows 10 will start distribution on 11 April and this time, users will see that a few details on the thorny issue of privacy have been updated.
We've been long time campaigners for Microsoft to stop the use of needless gibberish in its privacy policies and its response is, well, interesting to say the least.
Perhaps most notable is that although, as previously documented, data collection now comes down to two options, 'Basic' and 'Full', the amount of data being collected in Basic mode has dropped by half because Microsoft has discovered it didn't need as much as it thought it did. Hmmm…
Terry Myerson's blog (praise the blog, PRAISE) also introduces Marisa Rogers, the Windows Privacy Officer who will reassuringly purr at us that our data is fine and that rustling in the bushes definitely isn't a drone at the window.
"She champions our privacy commitments to you both inside and outside Microsoft, working with our Microsoft engineers and advocates around the world to ensure we're delivering great experiences with privacy by design and giving you the information that puts you in control."
She is the alpha and the omega. She is the keeper of secrets. She is the Highlander. OK, we made up that bit.
Her statement begins: "Before I get into the privacy details about this update and beyond, I want to first thank YOU - our customers - for your feedback and support on this journey. Our commitment to your privacy is only fully realised when we deliver on your feedback."
In truth, we think most users want fully granular privacy settings, so we're not convinced this delivers, but let's give Marisa Rogers' Neighbourhood the benefit of the doubt as there's a lot of promise here.
So the main changes, then.
"Learn more" buttons by each privacy setting will explain what they're for and how they're used. Windows 10 users will be able to schedule their upgrade to the Creators' Update and choose their privacy settings at that time.
The more granular aspects have been dejargonised, though, but "let apps use advertising ID to make ads more interesting to you based on your app usage" will still confuse your gran, and that irritates us.
New users will be able to pick their privacy settings as part of the clean install process, and Windows 10 Mobile users (ie Kevin) will have diagnostic data collection turned off by default.
"We are on a journey with you and fully committed to putting you in control and providing the information you need to make informed decisions about your privacy. The Windows 10 Creators Update is a significant step forward, but by no means the end of our journey," Roger said.
But credit where it's due Microsoft, it's all a step in the right direction… kicking and screaming. µ
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