Windows Diagnostic Data Viewer: Microsoft introduces new privacy tool | HT Tech

Windows Diagnostic Data Viewer: Microsoft introduces new privacy tool

Microsoft’s new Windows Diagnostic Data Viewer provides in-depth information about the diagnostic data. Here’s everything you need to know.

| Updated on: Jan 25 2018, 13:58 IST
Microsoft unveils new privacy tools ahead of Data Privacy Day
Microsoft unveils new privacy tools ahead of Data Privacy Day (REUTERS)

After facing concerns around its collection of data with Windows 10 Operating System (OS), Microsoft has said Windows 10 Insiders will soon be able to install a new programme from the Microsoft Store that will give them full access to all the diagnostic data from their Windows device.

Windows Insider is an open software testing programme by the software giant that allows users with a valid license of Windows 10 or Windows Server 2016 to sign up for pre-release builds of the operating system previously only accessible to developers.

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"To kick off the new year ahead of 'Data Privacy Day' we are giving our Windows Insiders an early preview of the 'Windows Diagnostic Data Viewer' coming in our next release of Windows," Marisa Rogers, WDG Privacy Officer, Microsoft wrote in the company's blog post late on Wednesday.

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"Our commitment is to be fully transparent on the diagnostic data collected from your Windows devices, how it is used, and to provide you with increased control over that data," Rogers said.

Available to everyone in the Microsoft Store, the programme called "Windows Diagnostic Data Viewer" is separate from the Microsoft Privacy Dashboard and allows you to see, search, and take action with your diagnostic data.

Users will be able to see and search all Windows diagnostic data that's in the Cloud related to your specific device.

France had earlier ordered the tech giant to stop tracking Windows 10 users and the European Union (EU) had also voiced its concerns while Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) also pulled up the company over its data collection.

Windows Diagnostic Data Viewer: Top features

The feature will be soon available to all users via Microsoft Store. The company clarifies that the Diagnostic Data Viewer is different from the Microsoft Privacy Dashboard and gives users access to the complete diagnostic data. Users can not only browse the data but even take actions as well.

The diagnostic data includes common data which includes "Operating System's name, the Version, Device ID, Device Class, Diagnostic level selection and so on," said the company.

It also includes "Device Connectivity and Configuration such as device properties and capabilities, preferences and settings, peripherals, and device network information," it added.

Other key features include information about the product and service performance which provide insight on device health, reliability and performance.

"It's important to note that this functionality is not intended to capture user viewing or, listening habits," Microsoft said.

The Diagnostic Data Viewer will also provide information about software setup and inventory such as installed apps and history. You can learn more about the Data Viewer menu here.

Diagnostic Data Viewer shows exact details on data shared with the company
Diagnostic Data Viewer shows exact details on data shared with the company (Microsoft)
image caption
Diagnostic Data Viewer shows exact details on data shared with the company (Microsoft)

Improved privacy dashboard

Microsoft also announced that it has updated its Microsoft Privacy Dashboard with a new Activity History page. This new section is aimed at making it easier for users to navigate the data that is stored with Microsoft account. Users can also moderate the data that is being shared with the company, device or browser.

Microsoft said it will be rolling out the following features to the dashboard:

"View and manage media consumption data, as well as product and service activity on the Activity History page. Export for any of the data you see on the dashboard and Delete specific items to allow for greater individual control," it added.

(With inputs from HT Correspondent)

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First Published Date: 25 Jan, 13:57 IST