Microsoft is aware that there are still concerns about Windows 10’s privacy, and it’s trying to put some of them to bed with the Fall Creators Update. As part of a post detailing the imminent update’s privacy improvements, the software giant has revealed that you’ll get much more control over what apps are allowed to do with your device. Where you previously only had control over location sharing, the Fall Creators Update will ask you to grant permission before accessing all kinds of potentially sensitive hardware and software features. It’ll ask to use your camera and microphone if you have a video recording app, for instance, or check before offering access to your calendar and contacts.
You’ll only get these prompts for apps installed after you move to the Fall Creators Update; you’ll have to dive into your privacy settings to review permissions for apps you already have. Even so, it’s an important boost to Windows’ privacy security levels. Much as on phones, where fine-grained permissions are already fairly commonplace, you might not have to worry as much about malicious apps spamming your contacts or hijacking the camera.
Not that Microsoft is counting solely on this to improve privacy and overall security. You now have easier access to privacy info during the initial setup process, and Windows 10 Mobile users are getting two-factor authentication that can require more than just a PIN code to unlock a phone, such as an NFC tag. None of these updates will reassure you if you’re concerned that Microsoft itself is grabbing too much info (even if it’s mainly being used for diagnostics), but they will at least deter common privacy breaches.