Windows 10 April Update (RS4) brings new privacy settings

Madeleine Dean By: Madeleine Dean
3 minute read
windows 10 v1803 privacy settings

Windows 10 users have criticized the operating system’s privacy settings even before its official launch. Many users don’t agree at all with Microsoft’s methods of collecting personal information.

People simply don’t want to share personal information related to their location, the websites they visit, or what they type on their keyboards with Microsoft.

The privacy concerns that users expressed about Windows 10 also drew the attention of the EFF. As a quick reminder, the Electronic Frontier Foundation openly accused Microsoft of violating user privacy by unlawfully retaining user data with Windows 10.

Tired of hearing the same accusations all over again, Microsoft decided to change its data collection strategy in Windows 10 April Update, also known as Redstone 4 or Windows 10 v1803.

More specifically, the Windows 10 April Update introduced a new privacy setup experience in order to help users ‘make focused choices about their privacy’.

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Redstone 4’s new privacy settings

The new privacy settings offer users more details on what information they send to Microsoft on a daily basis. Most importantly, users can choose to send the respective information to the company or not.

It is worth mentioning that all users can review and update their privacy settings at any time by navigating to Start > Settings > Privacy.

windows 10 spring creators update privacy settings

And now, let’s take a took at the privacy settings available on Windows 10 v1803.

windows 10 redstone 4 privacy

As you can see in the screenshot above, Microsoft simplified the privacy settings page. There is a thorough description about its setting and the impact is has on your privacy.

For example, if you choose to send inking and typing information to Microsoft, you will actually allow the company to see what you type on your keyboard. The same is valid if you choose to activate Speech Recognition. The company will have full access to your voice input.

Of course, many users still don’t like the idea of sending personal information to Microsoft, but we must admit that the company has taken a big step forward towards improving transparency.

As we already pointed out in a previous post, transparency about user data collection is that makes users trust or mistrust a company. Microsoft realized this and decided to play fair when it comes to user personal data collection.

So, don’t forget to head over to Settings > Privacy and customize the privacy settings as soon as you’ve upgraded to the Windows April Update. Speaking of customizing your privacy settings, you should really disable Timeline. This interesting feature allows you to synchronize your activities on all your devices, but it collects a huge amount of user information.

If you’re worried about keeping your private data private while online, you can follow the recommendations listed below:

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published on March, 10 2018 and has been since updated for freshness, and accuracy.


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