Windows Fall Creators Update will shake up privacy settings


— 1:45 PM on September 13, 2017

Microsoft's Windows 10 Creators Update introduced several changes in the privacy settings of the operating system. The Fall Creators Update will shake up Windows 10's privacy model again by adding per-application privacy settings for applications obtained through Microsoft's Windows Store. The software company is also taking steps to make it easier and simpler for users to learn more about Windows' data collection and privacy policies. Enterprise customers will also gain the ability to control the amount of diagnostic data that is shared with Microsoft.

Applications that access location data already have to obtain user permission on an invidual basis. Microsoft is extending the per-app permission requirements to additional resources like contact and calendar information, as well a device's camera and microphone. The permission prompts will only apply to apps installed after the Fall Creators Update itself. Users will be able to review the privacy settings for previously-installed programs through Settings, as described in Microsoft's blog post. These new per-app permissions requirements apply only to apps obtained through the Windows Store, however.

Microsoft is also making it easier for users to learn about Windows' privacy settings during the operating system's installation. The OS' privacy statement will be accessible during the install, and the Learn More page in the privacy settings screen will let users read up on individual topics like location, speech recognition, diagnostics, and ads without having to click through the entire statement.

Enterprise customers will gain greater control over the amount of data shared with Microsoft through the Windows Analytics program. In particular, a new setting will allow administrators to quickly set the amount of data shared with Redmond to the minimum required for Windows Analytics.

The Fall Creators Update is scheduled for release on October 17. The privacy revisions share the spotlight with Fluent UI design tweaks, Windows Mixed Reality support, and a redesigned Photos app, among other improvements. 

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