Cortana Is Listening

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Christopher1

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They need to have a way to totally turn off Cortana, permanently. I mean not running AT ALL on machines if you don't want to use it's functionality.
It was a good idea but for people who are paranoid about our privacy, keeping track of all our file searches on our own machines is going a wee bit too far.
 

bob s

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I like Windows 10. It works just fine on my computers and I have had no issues with it. For that matter Windows 8.1.1 worked fine too. It's all about the shortcuts. Learn them, use them, love them. They make navigating the OS so much easier. You would be surprised how many people I need to tell to right click the start button to get access to all the power user goodies. And it's customizable too with some poking around. That is one feature that I sorely miss anytime I have to go back to Windows 7. Makes Windows 7, which I loved, feel...clunky by comparison.

As for the privacy concerns. Hogwash. Google does worse, and I have yet to hear of one story of someone getting stalked, sued, or otherwise thrown in jail for legitimate, legal use of Google Now/Cortana/Siri. In fact I am pretty sure Cortana, unlike Google, doesn't sell any metrics to third parties. personally identifiable or otherwise. I believe there was a podcast on another windows website that answered that question. You can't have your cake and eat it too. If you want to know when your next appointment is, notify you of phone calls/text messages/emails, and have all of that done through voice activation as has been not only promised, but ACTIVELY REQUESTED for the better part of two decades, then you gotta give something. So either set back computer usage two decades, or take off the tin foil hat. Can't do both.
 

computerguy72

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Doesn't Cortana have to collect the data discussed in the article to function? If I say "call bob" it kinda has to know who the hell "Bob" most likely is. If you say create an email for "mom" well it would have to know this for that sort of capability. For me personally i have Cortana totally disabled on my Win 10 but not because I'm worried about it knowing who 'mom' is but just haven't had time to fool with it yet. I read a couple of messages in this thread implying you can't turn off Cortana and that is false - you can and I have. Its totally disabled. I might revisit it again when I have time.
 

bob s

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Yes it does. It gives awesome location and person based reminders. So you can have Cortana remind you to tell mom something next time you talk to her on the phone. Or Remind you to get milk when you step foot in the grocery store. It has a ton of very handy features.
 

IInuyasha74

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As I mentioned, I can see a certain amount of this to be understandable, I just feel that it goes too far overall.

For those of you wondering about turning Cortana off, there are ways to turn it off. It is off by default until you activate it, so just check settings if you are wondering about that.
 

romitzie

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Even Google's and Apple's equivalent technology gather information. Almost everything gathers information nowadays like search engines, mobile devices, tablet, laptop, etc... If you want total privacy, disconnect from the internet, stay in your room and lock the door :-D
 

rapman4488

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I personally don't understand why people care so much about privacy stuff like this. If I have nothing to hide, then what harm or anything does something like this do to me? Nothing at all. It is only going to help Microsoft make Cortana better.
 

getochkn

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It's like people worried about camera's on the streets. If you're not doing anything shady walking down the street, why do you care that a camera is on you. If anything, it might help clear that it wasn't you if something happened near you, and helps catch people who do crappy things like mug people in broad daylight.
 

Dyseman

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1st How is AI going to learn anything if everyone is scared to teach it?
2nd What the hell are you hiding?
3rd Over 30 million estimated installs of Win10, You have a better shot at winning the lottery than to have your porn habits monitored directly. You have an even better shot of getting a Keylogger from a bad place vs this keylogger using anything you input beyond demographic/snapshots.

Yeah, I'm being sarcastic, but in a way, you have to stop and wonder.
 

Math Geek

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i turned it off since i won't use it on my desktop. i would not care what it collects if it did not send it to MS. this is the part i think most people don't like. it is understood that it has to have an open book look at your pc to function but MS does not also need to know this. the privacy statement is pretty clear that it collects EVERYTHING including emails, texts, stuff typed into office and lots more!!!

i understand the " if yu're not doing anything wrong who cares?" attitude but think of it like this..... if you're sitting in your living room watching tv or playing a game, would you be ok with MS sitting there watching you through the window? after all your "not doing anything wrong" so who cares right!!!??

not only are they watching you watch tv but they are taking notes so they can knock on your door later on trying to sell you stuff related to the tv show you were watching, color of your sofa, soda you were drinking at the time, snack foods you may like, new pj's cause they noticed you had holes in the ones you had on etc etc etc.... this is basically what MS (and google and apple....) are doing. enjoy it if you will, but i'd rather just avoid it. don't think cortana gonna make my life any easier than it already is :)
 
From my testing turning it off does not disable the collection and uploading of information.
I have been posting this in the forums for over a week,
And the reaction I have received so far is "So its a free upgrade" and why am i concerned about Microsoft collecting everything you do on your computer.
Well they do not need my contact lists. They do not need copies of all of my emails,they do not need copies of all of my business contracts, my bank account statements , copies of everything I post in these forums etc.......

Before you install windows 10 ,ask yourself if you are willing to give everything on your computer over to them and the government.
 

maddad

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I don't have anything to hide, but I like my privacy and it should be respected. If "you" want to opt in and give them all kinds of personal information about yourself so they can target you with ads, telemarketing calls and keep and eye on your kids for you then by all means go for it. As a matter of fact why not just let them install a chip in your head so they don't need for you to be on the computer at all. If you don't have any problem with Microsoft and Google collecting data then why big outcry when NSA/CIA/FBI/DHS etc is collecting data?
 

SheriffMoose

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Michael,

I'm a bit disappointed by this article. While you provide information regarding the privacy of Cortana and the FAQ, the article is pretty skewed against Microsoft and on the side of privacy conservation. The way the article was written feels more like a op-ed rather than news/information. You're right that Cortana does ask for a lot of personal information, and connects to essentially all aspects of your Microsoft account, but there are many ways to side step the data collection or simply turn it off. Microsoft is straight forward about this, and I think that is a positive thing, rather than negative. Many companies try and whisper the fact rather than place it right in front of you, so I commend Microsoft for that, even if they are asking for a lot. Some other users have mentioned that the benefits come with a compromise, and that's certainly true. If you want Cortana to be able to be as effective as it can be, it has to collect more information. Again, that's all fairly customizable to your tastes in terms of privacy. This Imgur post talks a lot about the privacy concerns and how its often been skewed against Microsoft: http://imgur.com/t/windows_10/oQDnY

While that post is targeted at a slightly different type of article, it applies more or less in the same way. An article discussing how to adjust the privacy settings for those concerned would have been a better quality article (in my opinion). This seems to belong in the op-ed section.
 

loki1944

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Well said. I'm not down with going all Brave New World with the OS I'm using.
 

Math Geek

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been saying this for years. the NSA has a huge database of stuff that for the most part is of unknown people until it needs to know who that person is. google/apple/facebook/MS.... all collect as much data and more and ALWAYS have it tied directly to you at all times. nothing anonymous at all. they always know it is you and want to know it is you. their tech is pretty amazing. facebook has some capabilities to collect info on you the gov would love to have as well.

of course MS is also only following the lead of google and the others so it is kind of interesting the hate they are getting while the others have never really had to deal with this level of hate about privacy. sure there have been a couple of times but overall, they have been ignored even when doing psych research on the user like facebook did more than once!!
 

jjb8675309

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If you are willing to sacrifice freedom for security, then you deserve neither.

Having said that I wouldn't expect a bleeding edge OS to not have data collection and analysis. Personally I just disable Cortana.

EDIT: So wait are we saying that even when Cortana is disabled MS is collecting data?
 

IInuyasha74

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The reason this isn't an op-ed is because the vast majority of the article has no opinion to it at all. I am essentially directly reporting what Cortana does, how Microsoft uses that information, and on the method Microsoft uses to inform users that it is happening. I do add my opinion in that I feel it goes too far in places, but that is part of my analysis of what Microsoft is doing. A necessary aspect of any piece of writing.

As for what is on imgur, they miss several points I make. They directly state that Microsoft is not giving this information to others for the purpose of advertising. Although Microsoft refers to it as "personalized recommendations", they are just wording around calling it advertising. This is not exclusive to the Windows Store, so disabling the use of your Advertising ID in that service doesn't fix the problem. If anything, the imgur points to more things I could have talked about, such as how much time and effort you need to invest just to disable some (you cannot disable all) of data collecting methods Microsoft uses. I didn't go into them because I felt for the scope of this article it would have been excessive. Having ways to turn some of these off does not excuse Microsoft from activating them in the first place.
 

Yes even when Cortana is turned off Microsoft still collects everything possible from your computer.


 
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