Microsoft’s New Privacy Dashboard for Windows 10 Users
Windows 10 has been a lightning rod attracting attacks by privacy activists like the EEF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) who recently excoriated Microsoft for blatantly misleading consumers and trampling “on essential aspects of modern computing: user choice and privacy“.
Anyone using a computer or device connected to the Internet in 2017. who expects any reasonable amount of privacy is living in Neverland. Information equals money – it’s the currency of the 21st century and whatever operating system you use, whatever search engine you favor, whatever device you prefer, you should be aware by now that any expectation of reasonable privacy is not much of an option – at least not for the average user.
But, some say, Microsoft reached far beyond the pale of what is considered “normal” regarding user privacy. The EEF thinks Microsoft Windows 10 displays a reckless disregard for user privacy…
“Windows 10 sends an unprecedented amount of usage data back to Microsoft, particularly if users opt in to “personalize” the software using the OS assistant called Cortana. Here’s a non-exhaustive list of data sent back: location data, text input, voice input, touch input, webpages you visit, and telemetry data regarding your general usage of your computer, including which programs you run and for how long…”
To be fair Apple, Android, and Chrome devices don’t hold user privacy in much higher regard than Microsoft. Indeed, Microsoft learned a lot about making money from user data and information and is finally catching up.
Microsoft feels your pain. And like Google, they’ve launched a site where users can go to delete data Microsoft collected about them as well as access pages to help them change privacy settings on Windows 10-powered devices:
“At Microsoft, we believe privacy starts with putting you in control and giving you the tools and information you need to make informed choices. This website is the place where you can manage your privacy settings for the Microsoft products and services you use, and where you can view and clear the data that Microsoft saves to the cloud.
For other data that is saved to your Windows 10 device, you’ll need to go to your device to change those privacy settings and view the data collected. You’ll find detailed instructions for viewing and changing your privacy settings on your device on the individual settings pages listed below…”
From the Microsoft privacy dashboard you can:
** View and clear your browsing history.
** View and clear your search history.
** View and clear your location activity.
** Edit Cortana data.
** Edit data on Microsoft Health.
** Change privacy settings in Windows 10.
** Manage apps and services that can access your data
** Manage Skype settings.
** Manage Xbox settings
** Manage ‘promotional communications’
If you’re interested in seeing what Microsoft knows about you and controlling what kinds of data they collect about you in the future, visit this page: