Microsoft lets Windows 10 customers get greater control over their data

(Image credit: Microsoft)

Microsoft has revealed a new feature that should give Windows 10 users greater insight into the inner workings of their system.

The company has unveiled the public preview of a new option that will allow enterprise customers to control their Windows diagnostic data.

Diagnostic data is used to help Microsoft keep the operating system secure from new threats, up to date and working properly, as well as troubleshooting problems and improving performance - and also offering users personalized tips, ads, and recommendations when "Tailored experiences" are enabled.

Potentially, this will help corporate customers to do some of the troubleshooting themselves, and, control what exactly they send to Microsoft to meet their compliance requirements.

Windows 10 control

Until now, enterprise users had two options in managing their Windows 10 diagnostic data. One option was to allow Microsoft full responsibility in handling and controlling all the information, making the company responsible for determining just how diagnostic data was processed and used in order to improve the operating system and deliver analytical services.

Option two was to simply turn off diagnostic data flows altogether, meaning all the information might just go to waste.

Microsoft is now introducing a third option, allowing the customer to be the controller for their Windows 10 diagnostic data, while still giving them the benefits that the information provides.

Microsoft will still act as a data processor, processing Windows diagnostic data on behalf of the controller, but the customer will get the benefits of better updates and features they may need.

"User control and transparency are among our key privacy principles and central to Microsoft’s mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more," Microsoft wrote in a blog announcing the news.

"For those customers who are interested, this option makes it even easier for them to enable and get the most out of core Microsoft 365 experiences, while addressing their compliance efforts."

Customers utilising this new option will be able to use existing tools to manage, export, or delete data, allowing them to continue meeting compliance obligations - for example, using the Microsoft Azure portal to respond to user requests to delete or export individual parts of personal information. 

Windows devices can also be quickly added or removed from the service using group policy or mobile device management (MDM), speeding up processes for admins, whilst hopefully lessening the risk of data breaches.

The new feature is launching now as a public preview, with interested customers able to sign up via the Windows site.

Anton Shilov is the News Editor at AnandTech, Inc. For more than four years, he has been writing for magazines and websites such as AnandTech, TechRadar, Tom's Guide, Kit Guru, EE Times, Tech & Learning, EE Times Asia, Design & Reuse.