Windows 10 Diagnostic Data: Has Microsoft Really Changed The Way It Collects Your Data?

Windows 10 comes with a lot of built-in privacy tools for its users, but some IT administrators are still concerned about potential privacy issues. In fact, the Windows 10 telemetry service has raised the eyebrows of many IT pros.

For those who don’t know, the telemetry feature is by default enabled in Windows 10. The Redmond giant uses it to collect the performance and usage data from Windows 10 machines. If you are one of those who don’t like Microsoft’s data collection practices, we have a piece of good news for you.

Diagnostic Data Changes Coming Soon In Windows 10 v2004

Considering the serious concerns of the users, Microsoft has now decided to bring a series of changes in the Windows 10 OS. The company is making it easier for you to control the amount of data that you want to share with Microsoft.

At the time of writing this article, you can see four diagnostic data options (Security, Basic, Enhanced, Full) in your Settings app. Microsoft is removing the Enhanced level and renaming the Basic (to Required Diagnostic Data) & Full (to Optional Diagnostic Data) settings. Microsoft explains in a blog post:

“As part of the Microsoft initiative to increase transparency and control over data, we’re making some changes to the Settings app and Group Policy settings that will start showing up in Windows Insider builds this month. Basic diagnostic data is now known as Required diagnostic data and Full diagnostic data is now Optional diagnostic data.”

The new settings are already available in the Windows 10 build 19577 released this month. According to Microsoft, those who are enrolled in the Windows Insider program can receive new builds by enabling the Optional Diagnostic Data setting.

Moreover, Microsoft recommended Windows 10 Enterprise users should set the diagnostic data level from Enhanced to Full in order to receive new builds in future.

Microsoft’s Data Collection Practices Are Still The Same

Although the telemetry changes are still a work in progress, it seems like these are only visual tweaks. Microsoft doesn’t plan to change the way it collects user data.

Besides that, the Organizations will now have access to the new Group Policy options. Fortunately, you still have the option to completely disable the telemetry feature in Windows 10.

What’s your take on this change? Do you think that Microsoft should abandon telemetry practices? Let us know in the comments down below.

Alex Schoff
Alex is a technology reporter with a particular interest in Microsoft and Windows. He keeps a close eye on major developments related to Windows 10, Google Chrome, Office 365, and more.