to keep in mind that Microsoft isn't remotely interested in the contents of your letter to the Gas company about the way the meter reader was so rude to your dog when it bit his ankle.
It would be up to you to decide just how much (or how little) information was sent to Microsoft in this scenario, so the data protection regulations wouldn't be involved - apart from the obvious fact that Microsoft would necessarily have to reassure its customers about the ways in which the company would handle the information it received from any error-reporting component in the next version of Windows (Longhorn).
When you think about it, such a system as the one described in the article is nothing short of amazing, and in my opinion it's the key to Microsoft's ongoing good relationship with its user-base. I for one would welcome this development, and I would have no qualms about the security of my data. If I'm going to trust anyone in this way it will be Microsoft every time.
Surely it isn't that different from the memory dump you can send to Microsoft when XP very occasionally crashes? I think that Microsoft have got better things to do with their time than sift through people's personal data, all (I think) they are concerned about is trying to improve their software!
Good to see the F.E. has a sense of humor (chuckle).
But can you imagine what it would be like in MS Towers on a Monday morning when they look into their inbox to see that 60 million people around the world have all sent in reports from their 'Black Boxes' over the weekend ? It would be one heck of a task just to see if any of them were caused by the same programes and I serously doubt they would have enough time to look into each individual case let alone read your letter to the Gas Board or whatever.
It must be a good thing if Microsoft are willing to invest so much time and money to improve the stability of their products.
BTW there are serious alternatives to MS products now you know, it is not compulsory to install MS Windows, just say no.