CIO Today HOME LATEST NEWS NEWSLETTERS SEARCH Search
  LATEST NEWS FOR SUNDAY APRIL 23

Close Search Box
CIO Today
BIG DATA
EU Data-Privacy Regulator Raises Concerns About Windows 10
Posted February 22, 2017
EU Data-Privacy Regulator Raises Concerns About Windows 10
Next Story
EARLIER
Customer Service Gets Smart Thanks to Salesforce Einstein
THIS STORY
EU Data-Privacy Regulator Raises Concerns About Windows 10
Next Story
LATER
Salesforce CRM Helping Healthcare Providers Boost Service
YOU ARE HERE:   HOME arrow BIG DATA arrow THIS STORY
NEWS OPS

By Matt Day. Updated February 22, 2017 8:17AM

SHARE

ALSO SEE

The European Union's data-protection watchdog says it still has concerns about the information Microsoft is collecting from users of its Windows 10 operating system.

The EU regulator sent Microsoft a letter a year ago raising concerns that the operating system didn't give users enough information or control over what data was being scooped up and sent to the Redmond company's servers.

Microsoft subsequently introduced an expanded settings menu that gives people installing the software more information on data privacy, but the EU's Article 29 Working Party said last week that the changes don't include enough disclosures to customers.

The group "remains concerned about the level of protection of users' personal data," Isabel Falque-Pierrotin, chair of the working party, said in a letter sent to Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella and company privacy czar Brendon Lynch. The regulator disclosed the letter Tuesday.

It is not clear, Falque-Pierrotin said, to what extent users will be informed about specific data Windows 10 collects. And the new settings leave much to be desired in their specificity, she said.

A Microsoft setting gives users the option to toggle from "full" telemetry data collection to a "basic" level, Falque-Pierrotin wrote. Microsoft's explanation to users says that means the company will collect "less data," without further explanation.

"Microsoft should clearly explain what kinds of personal data are processed for what purposes," the letter said. "Without such information, consent cannot be informed, and therefore, not valid."

In a statement Tuesday, Microsoft said it was listening carefully to comments from the EU and "will continue to cooperate with the Working Party and national data-protection agencies."

The statement said Microsoft's views on protection of user data in Windows 10 were contained in a blog post published in January by Microsoft Windows and Devices chief Terry Myerson. Myerson, outlining coming changes to the operating system's data-notification settings, said the company strives to "make choices easy to understand while also providing clear visibility and control over your data."

It's unclear if Myerson's post, published more than a month before the latest EU letter, was meant to respond as well to the concerns the Working Party relayed last week.

Privacy concerns have dogged Microsoft since the launch of its latest personal computer operating system in 2015.

The software by default sends to the company system settings and application usage data, which Microsoft says is made anonymous by removing identifying information.

Separately, personal data like records of the common words customers type into text messages, or the information people give the Cortana digital assistant, is also gathered.

The company says it does not go through email and other correspondence for the purpose of trying to target advertising to users.

In addition to the EU's interest, at least seven European countries, including Germany, the U.K. and France, have started investigating the operating system, Falque-Pierrotin's letter said. The German state of Bavaria is coordinating collaboration between the separate probes.

© 2017 Seattle Times syndicated under contract with NewsEdge/Acquire Media. All rights reserved.

Tell Us What You Think
Comment:

Name:

Steve Carr:
Posted: 2017-03-21 @ 6:29am PT
Freedom of speech and freedom of the internet, that net neutral was a way for the government to get their greedy hands on the internet. Stop the Government from spying on everybody. Use the search engine that does not change its results for political reasons and respects your privacy, just good old fashion results that are not tracked. Lookseek.com Have a great day

MORE IN BIG DATA

Next Article >

INSIDE CIO TODAY NETWORK SITES SERVICES BENEFITS