The Windows 10 Creators Update will start rolling out to users on 11th April and Microsoft has finally revealed not just what data its collecting from users but how its trying to be more transparent.
The Creators Update brings with it a variety of tools for, well, creators including 3D design, improved game broadcasting and tweaks to the Edge browser.
But not everybody using Windows 10 is using it to create and as such Microsoft has made a number of improvements to how users can protect their privacy a bit better.
The first of these is that Windows 10 will now offer up a short description about what each privacy setting does. In addition to that privacy statement Microsoft has also detailed what data it’s collecting from users.
“For the first time, we have published a complete list of the diagnostic data collected at the Basic level. Individual data points that relate to a specific item or event are collected together and called Events,” Microsoft wrote in a blog.
The list of what data the firm is collecting at the Basic level is exhaustive but it’s not what we would call “user friendly”.
For instance the bootID value that Microsoft collects tells the firm how often the system has been booted up since it was installed. Simple to understand we’re sure you’ll agree.
However, the common data extension expld is described as “Represents the experiment ID. The standard for associating a flight, such as an OS flight (pre-release build), or an experiment, such as a web site UX experiment, with an event is to record the flight / experiment IDs in Part A of the common schema.”
I’m not saying that there is nobody that understands that statement but I’d be willing to bet that if I told my parents Microsoft was collecting that information they’d respond with a blank stare.
To its credit Microsoft has given an overview of what data it is collecting in plain English but this explanation covers both Full and Basic Diagnostic data collection. This then becomes a game of matching the technical data with the basic, and who really has time to do that?
The firm is in the process of updating the Microsoft privacy statement to share more detail about what data it is collecting and hopefully it’s an easier read than the list which is currently online.
To be clear this is not a witch hunt and we appreciate that Microsoft is being more transparent with users, we’d just really like it if the firm made it easy for all users to understand exactly what Microsoft is collecting.