Windows 10 collects more data and has more cloud connections than any version of Windows before—a design that has many privacy implications. One of the continued complaints around this is a lack of clarity around what gets collected and how it gets used. Ed Bott spotted that the privacy statement, the lengthy document covering all of Microsoft’s major online services, was updated in October.
Some of the changes are straightforward corrections or updates to accommodate new service names. Others, however, are a bit more meaningful. For example, on consumer systems the encryption keys used for BitLocker drive encryption by default get backed up to OneDrive online. These enables data recovery in certain situations. The description of this in the privacy statement has been updated to note that “Microsoft doesn’t use your individual recovery keys for any purpose” making clear that while the keys may be stored on OneDrive, Microsoft will not use them and is not interested in decrypting your disk.
Another alteration clarifies language that was being misinterpreted. The original privacy statement read that Microsoft “will access […] your content (such as […] files in private folders)” in response to law enforcement demands, to ensure safe operation of its services, and a few other situations. This led some to believe that private folders on users’ hard disks were vulnerable to inspection and distribution by Microsoft. The new text makes it explicit that only files stored on OneDrive and e-mails stored in Outlook.com are covered by this statement.