Better privacy controls for apps in next W10 update
Microsoft is offering you greater control over your privacy options in the next Windows 10 update, in an attempt to prevent more complaints from users and campaigners who claim it collects far too much personal data.
After you install the Fall Creators Update, due to be released on 17 October, apps you download from the Windows Store will have to ask your permission to access sensitive parts of your PC, such as your webcam, microphone, calendar and contacts. They will often require this access to work properly, though some apps may ask for more than they need.
Currently, Microsoft automatically grants these permissions on your behalf, except when apps request your location.
In a blog post explaining the new options ( www.snipca. com/25626), Microsoft privacy officer Marisa Rogers said: “It’s important to us that you have transparency and control over which applications can access your information”.
As an example she cites how Office Lens, Microsoft’s tool for taking and cropping photos of printed documents, requires access to your computer’s camera/webcam (see screenshot above).
You can read more about permissions on Microsoft’s site ( www.snipca.com/25628). It says, for example, that giving an app ‘Call History’ permission lets it “access history of phone calls you made on the device, in Skype or other telephony apps”.
The change makes Windows 10 act more like the mobile operating systems Android and IOS, which prompt you to approve an app’s request to access part of your phone or tablet.
Read Microsoft’s privacy terms
Another way Microsoft wants to reassure you is by showing you its full Privacy Statement when you set up the Fall Creators Update.
This statement, already available online ( www.snipca. com/25627), aims to explain
“what personal data Microsoft collects from you, through our interactions with you and through our products, and how we use that data”.
The company, perhaps realising that many people won’t sift through the whole statement, is also providing shorter ‘Learn More’ pages for each privacy setting.
Don’t ask a juror about the case – they’re not allowed to tell you Don’t post messages saying you “know” the defendant is guilty Don’t contact the defendant to offer support Don’t name children in cases, or victims of sexual offences