Windows diagnostic data processor configuration Data Subject Requests for the GDPR and CCPA

Applies to:

  • Windows 10 Enterprise, Pro and Education edition version 1809 with July 2021 update and later
  • Windows 11 Enterprise, Pro and Education edition

Introduction to Data Subject Requests (DSRs)

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) gives rights to people (known in the regulation as data subjects) to manage the personal data that has been collected by an employer or other type of agency or organization (known as the data controller or just controller). Personal data is defined broadly under the GDPR as any data that relates to an identified or identifiable natural person. The GDPR gives data subjects specific rights to their personal data; these rights include obtaining copies of personal data, requesting corrections to it, restricting the processing of it, deleting it, or receiving it in an electronic format so it can be moved to another controller. A formal request by a data subject to a controller to take an action on their personal data is called a Data Subject Request or DSR.

Similarly, the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), provides privacy rights and obligations to California consumers, including rights similar to GDPR's Data Subject Rights, such as the right to delete, access, and receive (portability) their personal information. The CCPA also provides for certain disclosures, protections against discrimination when electing exercise rights, and 'opt-out/ opt-in' requirements for certain data transfers classified as "sales". Sales are broadly defined to include the sharing of data for a valuable consideration. For more information about the CCPA, see the California Consumer Privacy Act and the California Consumer Privacy Act FAQ.

The guide discusses how to use Microsoft products, services, and administrative tools to help our controller customers find and act on personal data to respond to DSRs. Specifically, this includes how to find, access, and act on personal data in the Windows diagnostic data collected by Microsoft when the Windows diagnostic data processor configuration is enabled. Here’s a quick overview of the processes outlined in this guide:

  1. Access—Retrieve Windows diagnostic data associated with a data subject and if requested, make a copy of it that can be available to the data subject.
  2. Delete—Permanently remove Windows diagnostic data associated with a data subject.
  3. Export—Provide an electronic copy (in a machine-readable format) of Windows diagnostic data to the data subject.

Personal information under the CCPA is any information relating to an identified or identifiable person. There is no distinction between a person's private, public, or work roles. The defined term 'personal information' roughly aligns with 'personal data' under GDPR. However, the CCPA also includes family and household data. For more information about the CCPA, see the California Consumer Privacy Act and the California Consumer Privacy Act FAQ.

Each section in this guide outlines the technical procedures that a data controller organization can take to respond to a DSR for Windows diagnostic data collected by Microsoft when the Windows diagnostic data processor configuration is enabled.

Terminology

The following list provides definitions of terms that are relevant to this guide.

  • Controller—The natural or legal person, public authority, agency or other body which, alone or jointly with others, determines the purposes and means of the processing of personal data; where the purposes and means of such processing are determined by Union or Member State law, the controller, or the specific criteria for its nomination may be provided for by Union or Member State law.

  • Personal data and data subject—Any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person (‘data subject'); an identifiable natural person is one who can be identified, directly or indirectly, in particular by reference to an identifier such as a name, an identification number, location data, an online identifier or to one or more factors specific to the physical, physiological, genetic, mental, economic, cultural, or social identity of that natural person.

  • Processor—A natural or legal person, public authority, agency, or other body that processes personal data on behalf of the controller.

  • Customer Data—All data, including all text, sound, video, or image files, and software, that are provided to Microsoft by, or on behalf of, a customer through use of the enterprise service.

  • Windows diagnostic data—Technical data from Windows devices about the device and how Windows and related software are performing. It is used to keep Windows up to date, secure, reliable, performant, and make product improvements. Some examples of Windows diagnostic data are the type of hardware being used, applications installed with their respective usage, and reliability information on device drivers. Some Windows components and apps connect to Microsoft services directly, but the data they exchange is not Windows diagnostic data. For example, exchanging a user’s location for local weather or news is not an example of Windows diagnostic data.

How to use this guide

When you enable the Windows diagnostic data processor configuration, you become the controller of the Windows diagnostic data collected from devices. For more information on this configuration, see Configure Windows diagnostic data in your organization.

Windows diagnostic data

Microsoft provides you with the ability to access, delete, and export Windows diagnostic data associated with a user’s use of the devices enabled with the Windows diagnostic data processor configuration.

Important

Some Windows diagnostic data is only associated with a device identifier and is not associated with a specific user. This type of device level data is not exported and is deleted from our systems within 30 days.

The ability to rectify Windows diagnostic data is not supported. Windows diagnostic data constitutes factual actions conducted within Windows, and modifications to such data would compromise the historical record of actions, increasing security risks and harming reliability.

The next section provides steps on how to execute a data subject request for Windows diagnostic data that is associated with an Azure Active Directory (AAD) User ID. For more information, see Windows 10 & Windows 11 Privacy Compliance: A Guide for IT and Compliance Professionals.

Executing DSRs against Windows diagnostic data

Microsoft provides the ability to access, delete, and export certain Windows diagnostic data through the Azure portal, and also directly via pre-existing application programming interfaces (APIs).

Step 1: Access

Microsoft provides a way for the tenant administrator within your organization to access Windows diagnostic data associated with a particular user’s use of a device enabled with the Windows diagnostic data processor configuration. The data retrieved for an access request will be provided, via export, in a machine-readable format and will be provided in files that will allow the user to know which devices and services the data is associated with. As noted previously, the data retrieved will not include data that may compromise the security or stability of the Windows device.

The Azure portal provides the enterprise customer’s tenant administrator the capability to manage DSR access requests. Azure DSR, Part 2, Step 3: Export, describes how to execute a DSR access request for Windows diagnostic data, via export, through the Azure portal.

Step 2: Delete

Microsoft provides a way to execute user-based DSR delete requests based on a particular user's Azure Active Directory object.

For user-based delete requests, Microsoft offers two solutions. There is a portal experience providing the enterprise customer’s tenant administrator the capability to manage DSR delete requests. Azure DSR, Part 1, Step 5: Delete, describes how to execute a DSR delete request for Windows diagnostic data through the Azure portal by deleting a user and associated data.

Microsoft also provides the ability to delete users, which in turn will delete Windows diagnostic data, directly via a pre-existing application programming interface (API). Details are described in the API reference documentation.

Important

Deleting collected data does not stop further collection from the device. To turn off data collection follow the procedure described in the respective service's reference documentation.

Step 3: Export

The tenant administrator is the only person within your organization who can access Windows diagnostic data associated with a particular user's use of a device enabled with the Windows diagnostic data processor configuration. The data retrieved for an export request will be provided in a machine-readable format and will be provided in files that will allow the user to know which devices and services the data is associated with. As noted previously, the data retrieved will not include data that may compromise the security or stability of the Windows device. Azure DSR, Part 2, Step 3: Export, describes how to execute a DSR export request for Windows diagnostic data through the Azure portal.

Microsoft also provides the ability to export Windows diagnostic data directly via a pre-existing application programming interface (API). Details are described in the API reference documentation.

Notify us about exporting or deleting issues

If you run into issues while exporting or deleting Windows diagnostic data from the Azure portal, go to the Azure portal Help + Support blade and submit a new ticket under Subscription Management > Privacy and compliance requests for Subscriptions > Privacy Blade and GDPR Requests.

Note

It can take up to 5 days to complete a Windows diagnostic data export request. If you experience issues, please allow at least 7 days before opening a support ticket.