One of the biggest initial concerns about Windows 10 was privacy, with many organisations concerned that Microsoft’s default settings were too aggressive in collecting consumer data.
One of these organizations was the Swiss Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner (FDPIC), who started an investigation in 2015 after complaining that Windows 10’s quick installation or “get going fast” option automatically activated nearly all data transfer and access processes, which meant user data, including location details, browser and search history, keyboard entries and nearby wi-fi networks, automatically went to Microsoft.
“The FDPIC investigations revealed that data processing in connection with Windows 10 did not conform in every respect with the data protection legislation,” they noted.
Now after discussion with Microsoft which included negotiation regarding features the authority has declined to prosecute Microsoft, saying upcoming changes to the OS in 2017 would address all their concerns.
“The technical implementation of the modifications requested by the FDPIC will be carried out worldwide as part of the two Windows 10 software releases planned for 2017,” the FDPIC said, noting there was “no need for court proceedings”.
Microsoft said they appreciated the opportunity to discuss the issue with FDPIC, noting “As a global business, Microsoft is committed to complying with all applicable laws in the countries in which we offer our services and products.”
Microsoft recently detailed the privacy improvements coming soon in the Windows 10 Creators update.
Microsoft is introducing a new setup (aka OOBE) experience on Windows 10 which will include the most important privacy settings in one place. While setting up a new PC or a fresh install of Windows 10, users will be able to control any privacy settings they want — this includes Location, Speech Recognition, Diagnostics, Tips, and “Relevant” ads.
Along with the improved privacy control in Windows 10, Microsoft is also giving users better control over their privacy on the web. The company is launching a new privacy dashboard for its users, which will allow them to control all of their Microsoft Account’s privacy settings from a central dashboard.
From the new privacy dashboard, users will be able to delete their browser history (from Microsoft Edge), search queries (from Bing), location data, as well as the data provided to Cortana for its Notebook feature.