Microsoft Cortana, Microsoft’s Daylight Spy can know more about you than you know yourself
When I first came to know about Microsoft Cortana, I was really excited about what it could do… I mean what could be more exciting than an AI, that you could talk to, while using your PC ? The potential implications were massive. For those AI freaks out there, here’s an article about Cortana for Android.
The main problem is that Microsoft Cortana is collecting your information in more ways than one. For starters, Cortana collects what you search in the Windows Search bar, including the searches that may be linked to personal data, pictures etc. It can be the list of installed applications on your PC, to your recently viewed files including your very important documents.
If you have heard about privacy advocates like famous(or infamous) Edward Snowden and the things that he revealed, than surely you’ll understand why privacy is becoming increasingly difficult these days.
What it can know about you
Cortana allows for setting reminders for Times, Places, and People. In short, in this way Cortana comes to know about :
- Your daily schedule, from simple things like, what you’ll do in the morning, to going to the gym in the evening or going on a date with your romantic fantasy.
- The Places you visit or wish to visit. So it knows which are the places you hang out.
- The People you know, their contacts numbers.
- Cortana can track flights using the flight number and packages using their tracking numbers.
- It can listen to a song playing near you and identify it. Just say “What is this song?” and Cortana will use your microphone to listen to the music and match it to a specific song.
- Cortana is “powered by Bing.” So anything that maybe related to you, could be used to track you online.
- It has access to your current location.
- Cortana is an AI. It gradually understands you through machine learning and so it can understand you and your habits, more than you have ever understood yourself.
Now you may be a person who is not much of a privacy freak, but for those Windows 10 users who are, this can be real problem, since Cortana cannot be fully disabled. Of course there are some methods which can be used, but they are out of scope of this article. Refer to my next article for steps on how this can be done.