Windows Hello and privacy

Applies to: PrivacyWindows 10

Windows Hello biometrics lets you sign in to your devices, apps, online services, and networks using your face, iris, or fingerprint. If you forget to lock your PC or tablet when you step away, Windows Hello can use your devices that are paired with your PC to automatically lock it shortly after you're out of Bluetooth range. To set things up, you’ll need to use Bluetooth to pair your phone with your PC and then turn on Dynamic lock in settings. Additionally, you can use participating Windows Hello companion devices to lock your PC or tablet.

Even if your Windows 10 device can use Windows Hello, you don’t have to. If it’s the right choice for you, you can rest assured that the info that identifies your face, iris, or fingerprint never leaves your device. Windows never stores pictures or images of your face, iris, or fingerprint on your device or anywhere else.

What data is collected, and why

When you set up Windows Hello, it takes the data from the face or iris sensor or fingerprint reader and creates a data representation—not an image; it’s more like a graph—that is then encrypted before it’s stored on your device.

To help us keep things working properly, to help detect and prevent fraud, and to continue improving Windows Hello, we collect info about how people use Windows Hello. For example, info about whether people sign in with their face, iris, fingerprint, or PIN; the number of times they use it; and whether it works or not is all valuable information that helps us build a better product. This data is stripped of any information that could be used to specifically identify you, and it's encrypted before it's transmitted to Microsoft.

How to control Windows Hello

To turn on Windows Hello, go to Settings > Accounts > Sign-in options, and select the options to set up Windows Hello. If you don’t see Windows Hello in Sign-in options, then it may not be available for your device.

To remove identification data, go to Settings > Accounts > Sign-in options. Under Windows Hello, select Remove.

How to control Dynamic lock

  1. On your Windows 10 PC, select Start > Settings > Accounts > Sign-in options.
  2. Under Dynamic lock, select Allow Windows to automatically lock your device when you’re away.
  3. You have two options for setting up Dynamic lock:

Once they’re paired, take your phone with you when you walk away, and your PC will automatically lock a minute or so after you’re out of Bluetooth range.

  • Configure Dynamic lock using the Windows Hello companion device app. This app is available in Microsoft Store.

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