Want to know what data is collected about you and your system, and how that data is used? Microsoft comes clean.
Privacy has been a concern about Windows 10 since its launch, with the onus being on users to manually configure the operating system to improve their privacy. However, no-one outside Microsoft has known exactly what data is collected – until now.
Microsoft has opened up about the data it collects from devices to help the company improve services, offer tailored products to users and keep Windows "up-to-date, secure, and operating properly".
The company revealed the information in documentation supporting its Creators Update, which is due to roll out to all Windows 10 users very soon.
The information is probably the most in-depth details Microsoft has ever released, carefully explaining the common data, device, connectivity and configuration data, product and service usage data, performance data, software setup and inventory data, content consumption data, browsing, search and query data, inking, typing, and speech utterance data and licensing and purchase data it collects across devices.
It details what each of these means, then how the company collects the information and goes on to use it to improve its services.
For example, in the product and service usage data, Microsoft has broken down how it monitors app usage, the app or product state and login properties (such as if login was successful or not), with each section detailing exactly what Microsoft takes note of – from which features are in use, to how users navigate around the app and even whether they left feedback.
The new documentation will go some way to appease customers who are concerned about how the company uses their data. By listing everything it reads, they can be reassured nothing is being recorded without their permission. Still, if you want to make sure, we've reviewed five free tools to help lock down Windows 10's privacy settings.
Microsoft said it won't be producing similar documentation for older versions of Windows 10, Windows 7 or Windows 8.1 though.