Facebook, Microsoft announce new privacy tools to comply with GDPR

In four months the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) comes into force, and companies are racing against time to comply with the new rules (and avoid being brutally fined if they fail).

One of the things that the regulation mandates is that EU citizens must be able to get access to their personal data held by companies and information about how these personal data are being processed.

Facebook Microsoft privacy tools

Facebook users to get new privacy center

With that in mind, Facebook is getting ready to roll out a new global privacy center, through which users will be able to tweak core privacy settings for Facebook. This should make it easier for users to manage their data, i.e., make informed choices about their privacy.

“Our apps have long been focused on giving people transparency and control and this gives us a very good foundation to meet all the requirements of the GDPR and to spur us on to continue investing in products and in educational tools to protect privacy,” Sandberg said at a Facebook event in Brussels on Tuesday.

Microsoft users get diagnostic data viewer and updated privacy dashboard

Microsoft has already added a new Activity History page to the Microsoft Privacy Dashboard. Through this page, users can see what data are saved with their Microsoft account, as well as to adjust privacy settings on their device or browser.

In the coming months, users will be given the ability to view and manage media consumption data, product and service activity, export any of the data they see on the dashboard and delete specific items. (GDPR also mandates data portability and right to erasure of personal data).

The Windows Diagnostic Data Viewer, currently available only to Windows Insiders, is set to be introduced to the broader Windows user base with the release of Windows 10 Redstone 4 in March or April.

Through this tool, Windows users will be able to see and search all Windows diagnostic data that’s in the Microsoft cloud related to their specific device.


This will include:

  • Common data (OS name, version, device ID, etc.)
  • Device Connectivity and Configuration data (device properties and capabilities, preferences and settings, peripherals, and device network information)
  • Product and Service Performance data (device health, performance and reliability data, movie consumption functionality on the device and device file queries). “It’s important to note that this functionality is not intended to capture user viewing or, listening habits,” says Marisa Rogers, Privacy Officer with Microsoft’s Windows and Devices Group.
  • Product and Service Usage data (device, OS, applications, services).
  • Software Setup and Inventory (installed applications and install history, device update information).

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