Microsoft lately has faced a lot of scrutiny over the way and volume of data it collects with Windows 10. Though the company detailed last year about the data that Windows 10 collects, it is now going a step further to assure users more privacy.
Diagnostic Data Viewer – what it does
Microsoft’s Windows 10 Insider beta program includes two privacy-focused enhancements – the Windows Diagnostic Data Viewer and updates to the existing Privacy Dashboard.
The data viewer will give users an overview of the data being sent to Microsoft by Windows 10. The company has already admitted that it collects user data to better its services. Now, users will know what data is being sent by Windows 10. According to The Verge, the new feature is similar to Wireshark, and it allows users to decrypt the data sent to the Microsoft servers.
“The Diagnostic Data Viewer is a Windows app that lets you review the diagnostic data your device is sending to Microsoft, grouping the info into simple categories based on how it’s used by Microsoft,” the company says in a blog post.
Further, the Diagnostic Data Viewer will allow users to search and filter the data sent to Microsoft. The diagnostic data includes configuration options, device connectivity, installed apps, peripherals, movie consumption, performance data, and more. Also, a user would be allowed to change their account’s Diagnostic Data levels, irrespective to what has originally been set by the administrator.
Improved dashboard for Windows 10
In addition to the Diagnostic Data Viewer, Microsoft is also enhancing its online privacy dashboard. The updated dashboard would give users more control over the browsing history. Now, it will be easier for users to remove Timeline activities, such as for a given hour or a day. A user just needs to click on an activity, and choose “clear all from hour” and “clear all from day,” says Microsoft.
Further, users will also be allowed to erase individual items and export more data as well. Currently, Microsoft allows users to remove the entire search history, but not individual items. Also, there is a new option that lets “Windows sync my activities from this PC to the cloud.”
The latest Windows build also makes it easier for a user to select the apps that can access their pictures, documents and videos. Now, a consent box will pop-up that will ask you to accept or deny permission for access to the apps.
“If you deny access to a particular folder, to protect your privacy that UWP app will revert to only being able to access its local app folder,” Microsoft says.
All these new privacy features will be first available to Windows Insiders, but would be made available to the users with the next major Windows 10 update, which is expected in Spring.
Hopefully, the new measures will address the privacy concerns that Microsoft has been dealing with lately. France has already ordered the U.S. firm to stop tracking Windows 10 users. Further, the EU and EFF (Electronic Frontier Foundation) have also raised concerns over Microsoft’s data collection tactics.