Microsoft opens up on Windows telemetry, tells us most of what data it collects

(credit: Mike Mozart)

Microsoft has published the full range of data that Windows 10 version 1703, the Creators Update, will collect in its default "basic" telemetry setting. The company has also provided details on the kinds of information that can be captured in the optional "full" telemetry setting.

Since it was first released there has been widespread concern about Windows 10's data collection, as the operating system collects various kinds of data and sends it back to Microsoft. The company says it uses this information to determine how well systems are running and get a heads up on problems that users are facing. Telemetry isn't new to Windows, but prior to Windows 10 it was always opt-in, through schemes such as the Customer Experience Improvement Program and Windows Error Reporting. If you didn't want to send anything, you could turn it all off.

In Windows 10, however, that changed: while the Windows 10 Enterprise version, available to software assurance subscribers, enabled customers to disable telemetry, the regular consumer editions (Windows 10 Home and Windows 10 Pro) did not. At release, there were three options (Basic, Enhanced, Full); as of the Creators Update there are only two (Basic and Full). Basic is the default setting, though members of the Windows 10 Insider Program have their systems set to Full.

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