Microsoft agrees to Windows 10 adjustments with Swiss data watchdog

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By Brenna Hughes Neghaiwi | ZURICH

ZURICH Switzerland’s data protection czar will
not take Microsoft to court after the U.S. company
agreed to adopt recommendations for improving data processing
transparency for its Windows 10 operating system, the government
agency said.

The Swiss Federal Data Protection and Information
Commissioner (FDPIC) said on Wednesday it had concluded an
investigation into the operating system begun in 2015, which it
said revealed data protection gaps under Swiss law.

“The FDPIC investigations revealed that data processing in
connection with Windows 10 did not conform in every respect with
the data protection legislation,” the authority said in a
statement.

In response, Microsoft made proposals to the commissioner
which had been agreed after adjustments by the FDPIC.

“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,” the FDPIC said.

The Swiss government agency said the agreement with
Microsoft meant there was “no need for court proceedings”.

A Microsoft spokesman said the company appreciated the
opportunity to discuss Windows 10 with the Swiss Data Protection
Authority.

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

Microsoft says in a blog on its website that it is committed
to protecting consumers’ privacy with the product.

here#pWiBih9TYK1dw7kj.97

In its 2015-2016 annual report, the FDPIC said the system’s
quick installation or “get going fast” option automatically
activated nearly all data transfer and access processes, which
meant user data, including location details, browser and search
history, keyboard entries and nearby WiFi networks,
automatically went to Microsoft.

In concluding its investigation, the FDPIC said the Windows
10 “quick access” and “customize settings” pages had not fully
met transparency requirements. Information was lacking on the
content of browser, feedback and diagnostic data, as well as on
the length of time that transmitted data would be stored, it
said.



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