Microsoft to make security changes to Windows 10, avoids Swiss court

Arif Bacchus

In 2015, the Swiss Federal Data Protection and Information Commission started an investigation of Microsoft’s Windows 10 operating system and found data protection gaps under Swiss law. Today it was announced that Switzerland’s data protection czar will not take Microsoft to court after the company agreed to adopt recommendations for improving data processing transparency for its Windows 10 operating system (via Reuters.)

The issue at heart in the situation is Windows 10’s “get going fast” option during installation, which automatically activated nearly all data transfer and access processes and sent location details, browser and search history, keyboard entries and nearby WiFi networks automatically to Microsoft.  According to Reuters, the Switzerland government investigations found that “this  data processing in connection with Windows 10 did not conform in every respect with the data protection legislation.”

Since then, however, Microsoft has announced a new privacy dashboard and a new privacy setup experience in Windows 10. And, as a result of these recent developments, and proposals which were made by Microsoft to the commission and agreed to after adjustments, the Switzerland government agency has decided that “there is no need for court proceedings.” They went on to say in a statement:

“The technical implementation of the modifications requested by the FDPIC will be carried out worldwide as part of the two Windows 10 software releases planned for 2017.”

A Microsoft spokesman, meanwhile, appreciated the opportunity to discuss Windows 10 with the Swiss Data Protection Authority. A statement from the spokesman reads:

“As a global business, Microsoft is committed to complying with all applicable laws in the countries in which we offer our services and products.”

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