Next Windows 10 update will let you keep an eye on the diagnostic data it collects

Earlier this week, hints of new privacy tools were spotted in recent Windows 10 Insider builds, pointing to a bid to be more transparent with the types of data Microsoft collects. Now, Microsoft has offered an early peek at some of these features in a new blog post.

Perhaps the biggest introduction is that of the Windows Diagnostic Data Viewer. A heading for this feature was among the discoveries in recent Insider builds, but now Microsoft has provided a closer look at what to expect.

In short, the Diagnostic Data Viewer will live separately from the Microsoft Privacy Dashboard, allowing you to see all of the diagnostic data Microsoft has received from your Windows device. Data found in the menu includes:

  • Common Data, like the Operating System's name, the Version, Device ID, Device Class, Diagnostic level selection and so on.
  • Device Connectivity and Configuration such as device properties and capabilities, preferences and settings, peripherals, and device network information.
  • Product and Service Performance data that show device health, performance and reliability data, movie consumption functionality on the device and device file queries. It's important to note that this functionality is not intended to capture user viewing or, listening habits.
  • Product and Service Usage data includes details about the usage of the device, operating system, applications, and services.
  • Software Setup and Inventory such as installed applications and install history, device update information.

In addition to the Diagnostic Data Viewer, Microsoft says it has improved the Privacy Dashboard with a page dedicated to activity history, allowing you to see data saved to your Microsoft account. You can also manage your data and change what is collected, Microsoft says. Additional features coming down the pike include the ability to view and manage media consumption data, export data from the dashboard, and delete specific items. According to Microsoft, Windows Insiders will be the first to get their hands on all of these new privacy features.

Microsoft has taken quite a bit of heat over privacy concerns in Windows 10, leading to complaints, and even a lawsuit from a French regulator, over accusations of "excessive data" collection. The tech giant has been pretty responsive to these concerns, placing a focus on privacy features with each successive major update to the Windows 10. The addition of the Diagnostic Data Viewer looks as if it will be a further step towards transparency.

Dan Thorp-Lancaster

Dan Thorp-Lancaster is the former Editor-in-Chief of Windows Central. He began working with Windows Central, Android Central, and iMore as a news writer in 2014 and is obsessed with tech of all sorts. You can follow Dan on Twitter @DthorpL and Instagram @heyitsdtl