The EU is still concerned about user privacy on Windows 10

The watchdogs, a group comprised of the EU's 28 authorities responsible for ensuring consumers' data protection, a year ago expressed concerns about default installation settings of Microsoft's Windows 10 OS.

In response, Microsoft announced a Windows 10 update in January - the "Creators Update", scheduled for release this spring - which includes a web-based dashboard that prompts users to select the level of data-sharing desired.

As a result the Working Party specifically requests further explanatory information from Microsoft, as data controller for this personal data, as to how the opt-outs, default settings and other available control mechanisms presented during the installation of Windows 10 operating system provide a valid legal basis for the processing of personal data under the Data Protection Directive 95/46/EC. The group is complaining about the default privacy settings in Windows 10 that are enabled when a user first installs boots into the operating system. According to Neowin, those new measures were, in fact, announced after an investigation into Microsoft that began in 2014.

Meanwhile, the company has reiterated its commitment to working with European data protection agencies to ensure that the data collection process is transparent and does not violate standards. It appears that Microsoft worked with Swiss authorities to introduce those new measures revealed last month.

Privacy and trust of data that is stored in the Microsoft Cloud has also garnered headlines around the world and the company is continuing their effort to make sure customers understand how their data is handled across various Microsoft cloud services.

Microsoft's Windows 10 operating system is a work in progress. France's National Data Protection Commission (CNIL) expressed back in July its own concerns over Windows 10's tendency for collecting excessive customer data.

The working party welcomed Microsoft's introduction of five new options in Windows 10 to limit or switch off certain kinds of data processing, but said they provided insufficient information about their operation.

Reuters reports that the group wants Microsoft to explain how it was processing personal data, particularly for advertising. The company says it seeks users' consent before collecting data, but European Union authorities argue that users' consent can't be valid without proper information.

  • Carolyn Briggs