Windows 10 gives users more control of what diagnostic data they share

Christine Fisher
Contributing Writer

In another attempt to give Windows 10 users more control over their data, Microsoft is making a few changes to its Settings app and Group Policy settings in the latest Windows 10 preview build (19577). In the Settings app, basic diagnostic data will now be known as "required," and full diagnostic data will be known as "optional." Theoretically, Windows 10 will make it easier to switch between sharing required and optional diagnostic data with Microsoft.

Required data will include things like your IP address and the type and version of your device -- data Microsoft needs to maintain and improve its products and services. Optional data will scrape less-critical info, like what pictures people are inserting into Word documents to provide better image options. If you're a commercial customer and select the optional setting, Microsoft will offer more granular Group Policy settings. Those will allow you to configure which data is collected within your organization.

For years, Microsoft has been trying to convince people that Windows 10 doesn't violate users' privacy, even though it collects a disconcerting amount of data. To mend its reputation, Microsoft has given Windows 10 a privacy dashboard and offered users more control over app permissions. These changes are the latest effort to improve transparency, and Microsoft says it will share more specifics when it gets closer to the retail release.