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Latest Windows 10 Insider Preview builds reveal new privacy tools

New privacy options will be seen in upcoming Windows 10 releases. (Source: ZDNet)
New privacy options will be seen in upcoming Windows 10 releases. (Source: ZDNet)
In a step up towards addressing the spate of privacy concerns surrounding Windows 10, Microsoft is introducing new privacy tools that will enable users to see the exact data being sent as telemetry information.

The latest Windows 10 Insider Preview Builds feature options to view the telemetry information sent to Microsoft and if required, delete them from the computer. The feature was spotted in the latest Redstone 4 (RS4) builds 17063 and 17074. Currently, the commands are just placeholders but will likely be enabled as the OS inches closer to release sometime in H1 2018.

Ever since Microsoft made Windows 10 as a service (WaaS), the OS gained notoriety for collecting a lot of telemetry data. Microsoft published a comprehensive list of the information that it collects and has also been insisting that the data is only being used to improve the OS iteratively and that it will not be sold to third parties. While telemetry collected can never be zero, Microsoft has been proactively including options for more transparency. The Fall Creators Update, for example, enabled users to select privacy options during the installation process itself.

Apart from the above two new privacy tools, RS4 will possibly include a new 'View User Dictionary' option under Speech, Inking & Typing that shows a list of new words that the user has saved to the dictionary. This could be important for the those concerned with the logging of proper nouns such as names of people and places in the dictionary.

It is a welcome move by Microsoft to include these changes in Windows 10 as an answer to some of the sharp criticism it has received over the years regarding the amount of telemetry data collected. Hopefully, this will (at least slightly) improve the adoption of Windows 10 in enterprises working with highly sensitive data.

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Vaidyanathan Subramaniam, 2018-01-24 (Update: 2018-01-24)
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam
Vaidyanathan Subramaniam - News Editor
I am a cell and molecular biologist and computers have been an integral part of my life ever since I laid my hands on my first PC which was based on an Intel Celeron 266 MHz processor, 16 MB RAM and a modest 2 GB hard disk. Since then, I’ve seen my passion for technology evolve with the times. From traditional floppy based storage and running DOS commands for every other task, to the connected cloud and shared social experiences we take for granted today, I consider myself fortunate to have witnessed a sea change in the technology landscape. I honestly feel that the best is yet to come, when things like AI and cloud computing mature further. When I am not out finding the next big cure for cancer, I read and write about a lot of technology related stuff or go about ripping and re-assembling PCs and laptops.