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EU still concerned over Windows 10 privacy despite Microsoft’s changes

EU still concerned over Windows 10 privacy despite Microsoft’s changes

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European Union data protection watchdogs are still concerned over Microsoft’s privacy settings in Windows 10, despite the software maker announcing changes to the way it collects data. The Electronic Frontier Foundation originally blasted Windows 10 over privacy concerns, accusing Microsoft of sending an “unprecedented amount of usage data” back to the company with its operating system.

Reuters reports that a group known as Article 29 Working Party, which is made up of the EU’s 28 authorities for protecting data, wrote to Microsoft with its concerns last year. The issues raised involve the default settings in Windows 10 and a lack of control over how Microsoft processes the data it collects.

EU data protection watchdogs say Microsoft's changes aren't enough

Microsoft responded last month with a method to simplify the diagnostic data collection levels, so that it’s clear what telemetry data is being sent back to the company’s servers. Microsoft will introduce a new privacy options set up process, with clearer options for disabling location, speech recognition, diagnostics, recommendations, and relevant ads.

“Even considering the proposed changes to Windows 10, the Working Party remains concerned about the level of protection of users’ personal data," says a statement from the EU group. "Microsoft should clearly explain what kinds of personal data are processed for what purposes. Without such information, consent cannot be informed, and therefore, not valid."

Microsoft has not responded to the latest concerns, but EU watchdogs aren’t the only authorities raising Windows 10 privacy issues in Europe. France's data protection commission ordered Microsoft to "stop collecting excessive user data" last year, and the software maker responded noting it would work with France's privacy watchdog to find a solution.