New Windows 10 Privacy Controls: It’s going to snoop on you, but how much?

Microsoft has faced criticism for Windows 10’s privacy settings in recent months, and now it looks like it’s doing something about it.

The company is set to introduce an online privacy dashboard with the upcoming Creators Update, which is due to launch in Spring this year.

This portal will allow users to see activity data such as location, search, browsing, and Cortana Notebook data across multiple Microsoft services.

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As Windows chief Terry Myerson explains in a blog post: “When you are signed in with your Microsoft account, you can go to account.microsoft.com/privacy to review and clear data such as browsing history, search history, location activity, and Cortana’s Notebook – all in one place.

“This is our first step in expanding the tools that give you visibility and control over your data spanning Microsoft products and services, and we will continue to add more functionality and categories of data over time.

Alongside the portal, Microsoft is simplifying the privacy settings in Windows 10, reducing the number of diagnostic data collection levels from three to two.

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That basically means you’ll be able to choose between Basic and Full data collection levels, which is certainly more simple but seems a tad limited, especially seeing as the Basic level will now collect even less data than before.

Still, it’s good to see Microsoft tending to privacy concerns. The company is also set to introduce a new set up experience which replaces previous Express Settings.

Myerson writes: “If you are moving from Windows 7 or Windows 8, or doing a fresh install of Windows 10, the new set up experience will clearly show you simple but important settings and you will need to choose your settings before you can move forward with setup.
 
“If you are already using Windows 10, we will use notifications to prompt you to choose your privacy settings. We’ll introduce this process in an upcoming Windows Insider build soon.”

Microsoft has been criticised for its operating system’s privacy settings recently, most notably by Electronic Frontier Foundation, which claimed the company was sending an “unprecedented amount of usage data” back to its HQ.

It certainly looks as though Microsoft has taken notice, but whether the privacy changes planned for the Creators Update will fully address the concerns of users remains to be seen.

WATCH: What’s new in Windows 10?

Let us know what you think of Microsoft’s privacy changes in the comments.

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