Europe is notoriously tough on tech companies over privacy, and Germany is one of the leaders in pushing for more regulations. The largest economy in the EU has also been critical of Microsoft's management of user data on Windows 10.
Interestingly, Germany still does not see Windows 10 fit enough for government use. Microsoft has made concessions to regulators in the country, but they are still not happy. Good news for Microsoft is the Federal Ministry of the Interior is ready to work with the company.
The Bavarian State Office for Data Protection Supervision (BayLDA) says the platform is not ready. The organization argues it is impossible to completely control the data stream between Windows 10 and Microsoft's servers.
This worry has been consistently raised among users and companies. Microsoft's privacy policies in Windows 10 have been widely lambasted since inception. The company has been forced into an array of concessions, but still customers are not happy.
Switzerland and the Netherlands are two nations to question privacy on the platform. China and now Germany have outright rejected Windows 10 as capable of running government data. Microsoft made enough concessions in China to allow a bespoke version of the platform to launch.
It seems the same will have to be done in Germany. The Federal Ministry of the Interior says it is working on a standard and secure ‘Federal Client' version of the platform. This would come with the required concessions and would be able to run on government machines.
One problem with these changes, and those made in China, is that Microsoft does not say what the concessions were. In Germany, the Federal Ministry says “the knowledge of the concrete measures would make it easier for unauthorized persons to deliberately attack security mechanisms of the federal client.”
That is probably fair enough. However, it begs the question, if Microsoft can protect privacy better on Windows 10 (the concessions prove it can), why aren't customers afforded the same luxury?