Windows 10 Creators Update will add app-level privacy controls

Enterprises can lock down Telemetry a little more


Microsoft's taken another small step towards addressing those worried about Windows 10's impact on their privacy by adding more controls over what apps can do in the Creators Update of the OS.

Users currently have a veto over apps sharing location data; in the Fall Creator's Update, that's going to be expanded to the camera, microphone, contacts, calendar, and music/pictures/video libraries.

Users installing apps after upgrading will see the privacy controls when they install new apps. For packages installed before the update, you'll have to set the controls in Windows 10 Settings .

Enterprise sysadmins have been given a bone. There's a new setting to further limit how big a snitch the extent of diagnostic data Windows 10 sends home.

Redmond had already given users the choice to reveal a little or a lot in their Telemetry settings; the additional setting, Microsoft says, will limit telemetry to “the minimum required for Windows Analytics”.

Formerly, the “Basic” setting included a lot more than any “minimum”, described as:

Data that is vital to the operation of Windows. We use this data to help keep Windows and apps secure, up-to-date, and running properly when you let Microsoft know the capabilities of your device, what is installed, and whether Windows is operating correctly. This option also includes basic error reporting back to Microsoft.

As you can see here, there are now four levels of telemetry:

  • Security – the new setting for enterprise users only, in which what's sent home is limited to “data about the Connected User Experience and Telemetry component settings, the Malicious Software Removal Tool, and Windows Defender”;
  • Basic – Security-level information plus “quality-related data, app compatibility, app usage data” and other device information;
  • Enhanced – Basic and Security data, plus “how Windows, Windows Server, System Center, and apps are used, how they perform”, and “advanced reliability data”; and
  • Full – you're naked to the Redmond servers.

The Creators Update is due on October 17th. ®


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