Microsoft's November Windows 10 screwed up some users' privacy settings

The company has released a fix, and plans to put things back for affected users

People who updated to the latest Windows 10 update may want to double-check their settings. Microsoft revealed Tuesday that it took the previous update (which was released on November 12) down from the Internet the day before because of a problem that reset some users' privacy settings when installed. 

The bug reset settings on affected devices to make it easier for advertisers to track users across applications, and allow devices to share users' information with wireless gizmos like bluetooth beacons that don't explicitly pair with a PC, tablet or phone. 

Microsoft released a fix on Tuesday, so anyone installing the update now shouldn't be affected by the bug. What's more, the company said in an emailed statement that those people who had their settings changed will have them restored to the correct configuration over the coming days. However, Microsoft won't say how it plans to do that yet. 

The company said in its statement that the problem affected "an extremely small number of people who had already installed Windows 10 and applied the November update." It's not clear what triggered the bug, however. 

The good news in all this is that Microsoft has fixed the problem after it became apparent. The bad news is that the company released an update that changed settings users rely on to maintain their privacy. 

All of this comes at a time when users have heightened concerns about what data Windows 10 collects on users and shares with Microsoft. The company offers settings to stop that collection (except for telemetry data that it thinks isn't a privacy issue), but all those settings are for naught if bugs render them useless. 

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Blair Hanley Frank

IDG News Service
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