Microsoft Forces Users to Review Windows 10 Privacy Settings

Windows 10 users who haven’t installed the Creators Update will soon be notified to review their privacy settings and to install the latest feature update to remain secure, Microsoft announced.

Microsoft has been criticized for its Windows 10 data collection practices, and the French National Data Protection Commission (CNIL) recently served the company a formal notice to stop collecting excessive user data. As a result, Creators Update addressed these concerns, and CNIL closed the formal notice last week.

Although it claimed the Windows 10 data collection was aimed at improving the overall user experience, Microsoft did listen to feedback and provided users with increased control over their privacy in Creators Update. Users can now set data collection to Basic or Full, depending on how much usage statics they want to share with Microsoft.

Microsoft is now using these changes to push Windows 10 users to review their privacy settings if they haven’t done so already. The company will provide users with the possibility to postpone the process up to five times, but the next prompt will ask them to confirm their privacy settings. 

“Given the Windows 10 Creators Update provides the latest security protections to help keep you safe, we want to help update your device as soon as possible. […] you will have the opportunity to review your privacy settings before your device is eligible to take the Creators Update. If you have not already taken this update, starting this week, we will prompt you to review your privacy settings,” John Cable, Director of Program Management, Windows Servicing and Delivery, notes in a Friday blog post.

The update experience, Cable says, will not change, and users will be able to choose when they want to update to the Creators Update, once their devices are ready.

Updating to the Creators Update, Cable notes, ensures that Windows 10 users benefit from the latest security improvements and usability improvements available for them. In the light of the recent WannaCry and NotPetya outbreaks, it’s not surprising the tech company is playing the “stay secure” card, especially since the first version of Windows 10 is at end-of-service.

“While you can continue to use this version and your computer will still work, you will no longer receive the monthly quality updates that contain protection from the latest security threats. To remain secure your device should be updated to the latest feature update,” Cable notes.

The “latest feature update,” of course, is Windows 10 Creators Update, and Microsoft is taking steps to ensure users are more likely to update. The company will start notifying them if their devices need to be updated, Cable reveals.

Related: French Regulator Accepts Microsoft’s Data Protection Improvements to Windows 10

Related: Microsoft Tackles Ransomware with Controlled Folder Access

Related: Microsoft to Make EMET Native to Windows 10


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Ionut Arghire is an international correspondent for SecurityWeek.

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