Microsoft will let business users opt out of Windows 10 tracking

Attempts to explain why its tracking isn't as bad as some fear

There has been at least a low hum of concern around new features in Windows 10 that send information back to Microsoft. The company has mostly kept quiet about those concerns, until now.

Windows 10, launched at the end of July, shares two different kinds of data with Microsoft: personalization data that helps tailor users' experiences with things like Cortana, and telemetry data that helps Microsoft see how the operating system is being used. When it comes to the personalization data, which includes information like users' locations and interests, it's possible to shut off features to minimize its collection.

But even at its most locked down, Windows 10 still phones home to Microsoft with telemetry data including an anonymous device ID, information about the type of device that's being used and data from application crashes. That sort of data has been key to solving problems with the operating system and other applications, according to an explanation published Monday from Microsoft Corporate Vice President Terry Myerson.

However, businesses that want to make sure they're as locked down as possible may not be keen on providing any information to Microsoft, especially because previous versions of the operating system didn't require any telemetry data collection. For those users, the company will allow devices running Windows 10 Enterprise to opt out of all telemetry collection, with an update later this year. 

It's an option that Myerson strongly recommends against, but that may be the price the company has to pay for driving adoption of its new operating system among businesses. Even though Windows 10 Enterprise was released in August, it's still awaiting key features Microsoft has promised, like Windows Update for Business. The addition of opt-out functionality for telemetry is another step along that road. 

In addition to the forthcoming setting, Microsoft also released guides for IT professionals and end users to help them better understand how to control the different privacy settings that are available in the operating system, whether on an organizational or individual level. 

Finally, Myerson pointed out that Windows 10 doesn't collect information from users' files or emails to serve them ads -- a thinly veiled barb at Google's data collection from its users. 

Join the newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.
Rocket to Success - Your 10 Tips for Smarter ERP System Selection

Tags Microsoft

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Blair Hanley Frank

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Cool Tech

Breitling Superocean Heritage Chronographe 44

Learn more >

SanDisk MicroSDXC™ for Nintendo® Switch™

Learn more >

Toys for Boys

Family Friendly

Panasonic 4K UHD Blu-Ray Player and Full HD Recorder with Netflix - UBT1GL-K

Learn more >

Stocking Stuffer

Razer DeathAdder Expert Ergonomic Gaming Mouse

Learn more >

Christmas Gift Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Edwina Hargreaves

WD My Cloud Home

I would recommend this device for families and small businesses who want one safe place to store all their important digital content and a way to easily share it with friends, family, business partners, or customers.

Walid Mikhael

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

It’s easy to set up, it’s compact and quiet when printing and to top if off, the print quality is excellent. This is hands down the best printer I’ve used for printing labels.

Ben Ramsden

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

Brainstorming, innovation, problem solving, and negotiation have all become much more productive and valuable if people can easily collaborate in real time with minimal friction.

Sarah Ieroianni

Brother QL-820NWB Professional Label Printer

The print quality also does not disappoint, it’s clear, bold, doesn’t smudge and the text is perfectly sized.

Ratchada Dunn

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The Huddle Board’s built in program; Sharp Touch Viewing software allows us to easily manipulate and edit our documents (jpegs and PDFs) all at the same time on the dashboard.

George Khoury

Sharp PN-40TC1 Huddle Board

The biggest perks for me would be that it comes with easy to use and comprehensive programs that make the collaboration process a whole lot more intuitive and organic

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?