France drops Windows 10 privacy case after Microsoft changes telemetry settings

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There have been lots of complaints about invasion of privacy since the release of Windows 10. Microsoft’s telemetry lead to several lawsuits, including one from France’s National Data Protection Commission which said Windows 10 was collecting “excessive personal data” about users.

But now the Commission Nationale de l’Informatique et des Libertés (CNIL) has decided to drop its case against Microsoft. The commission is happy that sufficient steps have been taken to reduce the amount of data that is collected and users are now informed about data collection.

Announcing that it was dropping the lawsuit, the CNIL says that: “The company has reduced the volume of data collected under the ‘base’ level of its telemetry service by nearly half, identifying system problems and solving them. It limited this collection to the data strictly necessary to maintain the system and applications in good working order and to ensure their safety.”

The commission also notes that users are clearly warned not only about data collection, but also that a unique identifier can be used to deliver targeted advertising. Among the steps Microsoft has taken, the commission says:

In addition, the installation procedure for Windows 10 has been modified: users can not finalize the installation until they have expressed their choice of enabling or disabling the ad identifier. They may, moreover, return at any time to that choice.

Microsoft will no doubt be pleased to have managed to brush off at least one batch of criticism. But while French regulators may be happy with what’s been done, it’s not clear whether the company has gone far enough to allay the concerns of users.

Image credit: g0d4ather / Shutterstock

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