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Microsoft lets users see exactly what data is being shared with Windows 10

(Image credit: Image Credit: JPstock / Shutterstock)

In an effort to address concerns over how Windows 10 collects data on users, Microsoft will release a new data viewer in its next update to the operating system. 

Increased scrutiny from the EU and organisations such as the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) led the company to reveal what data Windows 10 collects but now with the new Windows Diagnostic Data Viewer, users will be able to see exactly what data their devices are sending back to Microsoft. 

A great deal of anonymous data is collected in Windows 10 in order to help Microsoft improve the operating system and determine how its products are being used.  This data is encrypted before it's sent to Microsoft's servers and the new viewer will allow users to decrypt the data to make it viewable. 

From within the application, users will be able to view a great deal of diagnostic data including device connectivity, peripherals, configuration options, performance data, installed apps, films viewed and more.  Windows 10 users can even filter this data and individually inspect the contents. 

Windows Insiders will have access to the new viewer first and Microsoft is planning to make it publicly available in the next major update to Windows 10.  While the name of the update is still unknown, it is scheduled to be released in the spring of this year.    

Microsoft may be able to appease some of its critics with the release of the new tool and Windows 10 users will finally have an idea of exactly what data the company is collecting from their systems. 

Image Credit: JPstock / Shutterstock

After living and working in South Korea for seven years, Anthony now resides in Houston, Texas where he writes about a variety of technology topics for ITProPortal.