Microsoft announced the public preview of a new Telemetry controlling option for Enterprise customers on July 23, 2020.
Telemetry date, Microsoft prefers the term diagnostic data due to the negative connotation of the term Telemetry, has been a controversial aspect of the Windows 10 operating system since its launch.
Microsoft decided to enforce the collection of Telemetry data on non-Enterprise systems and give Enterprise customers the choice to disable Telemetry.
While there are ways to deal with the collection of data on Windows 10 systems, see our overview of privacy tools for Windows for example, it is likely that most Windows 10 systems transmit data to Microsoft on a regular basis.
Diagnostic data is used to measure and improve the stability and reliability of the Windows 10 operating system according to Microsoft, for instance by noticing and reacting to issues as quickly as possible. The company introduced an option in 2018 to view the collected data on the device it was collected on.
Microsoft notes that Enterprise customers had two options in regards to the collection of diagnostic data up until now: admins could disable the collecting entirely, or allow Microsoft to act as the controller of the data.
The third option that Microsoft launched as a public preview this week makes the Enterprise customer the controller of the data. Microsoft states that customers stay in control of the data but will still benefit from the gathering and making available of data to Microsoft.
Microsoft’s role changes from the controller of the data to that of a data processor. Enterprise customers may “use familiar tools to manage, export, or delete data to help them meet their compliance obligations”.
The example that Microsoft gives in the announcement has customers respond to user requests using the Microsoft Azure portal to delete or export diagnostic data. Administrators can add or remove Windows devices using group policy or mobile device management, according to Microsoft.
Enterprise customers find a link to a signup page in the announcement if they are interested in the preview. The service is available for Windows Enterprise customers and compatible with devices running Windows 10 version 1809 or newer.
Home users won’t benefit from the new option, and it seems unlikely that Microsoft will change its stance towards the collection of diagnostic data on home systems anytime soon.
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