Microsoft Pushes New Privacy Interface to Older Windows 10 Versions

Microsoft Pushes New Privacy Interface to Older Windows 10 Versions

Microsoft is pushing a new privacy settings prompt that debuted in the Creators Update to older versions of Windows 10. And while they’re not saying so, one can only assume that they are doing so to meet the needs of privacy complaints from around the globe.

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“Given the Windows 10 Creators Update provides the latest security protections to help keep you safe, we want to help update your device as soon as possible,” Microsoft Director of Program Management John Cable explains. “If you have not already taken this update, starting this week, we will [now] prompt you to review your privacy settings.”

As you may know, Microsoft was able to satisfy privacy concerns from regulators and privacy watchdogs from around the globe via a new privacy settings configuration screen that debuted in the Setup routine for the Windows 10 Creators Update. So those who purchase a new Windows 10-based PC or upgrade to the Creators Update need to review and accept those settings before they can continue.

I’ve described this superficial tomfoolery as “privacy theater,” but it worked: The French regulators who touched off this silliness announced this week that Microsoft was no longer violating French privacy laws.

So now Microsoft is pushing this privacy settings review screen to users of older versions of Windows 10 too. That is, you no longer have to be running Windows 10 version 1703—the Creators Update—to be prompted to review your privacy settings. I suspect the slow rollout of the Creators Update is the reason why.

And, yes, you will still need to review your privacy settings again when you do upgrade to the Creators Update.

Microsoft is also reminding users that the initial version of Windows 10—retroactively named version 1507 as it was released in July 2015—is no longer supported. This means it will no longer receive the monthly security updates that Microsoft describes as quality updates. That is, it is unsafe to use this version of Windows 10 and you should upgrade immediately. It’s free to do so, of course.