windows 10 privacy
Microsoft's privacy policy changes outline how Cortana will use data to make suggestions. MONEY SHARMA/AFP/Getty Images

Microsoft has updated its privacy policy, and it goes some way towards quelling fears about what the company is doing with customer data. ZDNet trawled through the statement on Tuesday, and found some notable changes from the new version (posted mid October) and the previous July version.

There were some serious concerns raised about Windows 10 at launch, when it emerged that Cortana was contacting Microsoft even when privacy settings had been changed to avoid any contact with the developer. At the time, Microsoft responded by saying that it was not receiving query or search data, and that the system respects the customer's privacy settings. However, it seems that Microsoft is still taking steps to ensure customers are comfortable with its data handling.

Beyond updates to reflect the name changes to Groove Music and Movies & TV, Microsoft has clarified some of the more controversial aspects of the policy. A section on OneDrive now explains that the company is only scanning personal files so they can be uploaded to the cloud storage service, while the section on scanning files in private folders has been clarified to reflect the fact that the only files being scanned are the ones stored on OneDrive.

Microsoft has also clarified that BitLocker drive encryption keys backed up to OneDrive will not be used by the company "for any purpose." This is in response to fears that Microsoft could use the keys to access encrypted data. At the same time, the company has changed wording in sections to outline how data will be used to determine if a customer is using a non-genuine copy of Windows.

Beyond quelling privacy fears, Microsoft has changed the wording of the section on Cortana to show its intent to predict who the user is most likely to want to communicate with. This includes flagging important messages and improving the system voice recognition.