1. John20212's Avatar
    The Cortana feature looks epic; BUT the most troubling part of the Cortana announcement was that there was not a single word on user privacy and how the info will be stored apart from the notebook feature. Also can you disable the cloud features and use Cortana as a local phone only assistant if you don't want your info synced with the cloud or shared with Microsoft???

    There is talk that Cortana seems creepy, well it's only creepy if there are insufficient privacy protections, because without them how can you trust Cortana with your info?

    Microsoft emphasized the comparison to a real live personal assistant, BUT would you trust a personal assistant/secretary you hired without weting her and having her sign an NDA? Especially in fields like law practice where breach of client confidentiality can land you in prison.

    This is something Microsoft needs to address ASAP, to make sure Cortana is a PA that can be trusted by users, and has complete transparency about how user data is handled.
    04-02-2014 02:40 PM
  2. xboxonthego3's Avatar
    I was watching the stream. They said we have the option to turn off the ability for Cortana to read through are emails. If you do turn it on. Cortana on the device(doesn't go to the online service yet) reads through the emails. Then will notify you of something it might want to schedule and will ask you to confirm it before it decides to go to the cloud or online service. They used an example of having an email about a flight. Cortana recognized the email and asked if the user wanted Cortana to track the flight. He then confirmed it.

    I find that is a good concept, it has access to your data but it stays local until you say it is ok to go to the cloud. But that's if you trust what is happening behind the scenes. They probably should give us more info on it. But they did touch on a little of it during the keynote today.
    hopmedic and ven07 like this.
    04-02-2014 02:55 PM
  3. hopmedic's Avatar
    Yes, as xboxonthego said, Joe Belfiore was pretty explicit in saying that he first granted permission for Cortana in the phone to read through his email. He explicitly stated that this does NOT let the cloud read it. And he said that after you approve something to be watched by Cortana, only then will it be monitored in the cloud.
    04-02-2014 03:15 PM
  4. John20212's Avatar
    ....
    I find that is a good concept, it has access to your data but it stays local until you say it is ok to go to the cloud. But that's if you trust what is happening behind the scenes. They probably should give us more info on it. But they did touch on a little of it during the keynote today.
    This pretty much nails it; they were very vague and actually never used the word "privacy" in the keynote. It would be reassuring if Microsoft was more transparent about how exactly Cortana handles personal data, and even if it scans emails and texts, what part of them is used when you then want to use features that require cloud access. In the flight example, in the whole email uploaded somewhere in the cloud or are only the key flight data words used for cloud searches?

    In other words we need a lot more info about how the data is handled to fully trust a Personal Assistant with all your contacts/work and personal emails/ texts/phone call history/personal relationships/appointments/location data/office files....etc. When you realize that Cortana has access to all of this you want to be sure you can fully trust the way she handles that information, for both personal, but also professional reasons.
    04-02-2014 03:17 PM
  5. John20212's Avatar
    ............ And he said that after you approve something to be watched by Cortana, only then will it be monitored in the cloud.
    This is exactly what I would welcome more info on. What exactly does "monitored in the cloud mean". What info is being passed back and forward. Is the info also passed to MS for quality control and voice recognition improvement, as is the case with some of their other services? or is it simply used to find and update key things like flight times based on few key words that were taken from and email?
    04-02-2014 03:22 PM
  6. hopmedic's Avatar
    The example he used was a flight. Cortana found an email about a specific flight, asked him if he wanted it watched, he said yes, and then it pulled the data about that flight from the cloud.
    04-02-2014 03:25 PM
  7. John20212's Avatar
    The example he used was a flight. Cortana found an email about a specific flight, asked him if he wanted it watched, he said yes, and then it pulled the data about that flight from the cloud.
    I watched the keynote too, so I know what the example was, all I am saying is that they did not say much about privacy and what 'exact' info it shares with the cloud or with Microsoft.
    04-02-2014 03:57 PM
  8. Talderon's Avatar
    The example he used was a flight. Cortana found an email about a specific flight, asked him if he wanted it watched, he said yes, and then it pulled the data about that flight from the cloud.
    If you are giving her permission to read through your mails and tracking flights, there shouldn't be an issue to let her look up the latest information. You have to remember that Cortana is powered by Bing, so what she finds, you can find yourself by sending the exact information. If you look at the cards when she returns flight data, Microsoft tells you where they sourced the information from so you can just go and check it to verify.

    Microsoft does send anonymous analytical data back to themselves to enhance their services (relevancy on results, voice recognition data to help enhance accuracy and such).

    Once the Windows Phone 8.1 Privacy statement is released, you can get ALL of the information from there. :)

    Hope this helps!
    juanitoriv likes this.
    04-02-2014 06:57 PM
  9. John20212's Avatar
    ...........................
    Microsoft does send anonymous analytical data back to themselves to enhance their services (relevancy on results, voice recognition data to help enhance accuracy and such).
    ..............................
    I always had a problem with this sort of stuff, that is why I haven't really used the current WP voice system for online searches, because it wanted to automatically send crap to MS without a way to opt out.

    Considering how Microsoft is all high and mighty about how it values customer privacy MS Privacy I find it unacceptable that there is no option to opt out from sending feedback and data to improve MS services, when I want to use key features of WP.

    It does not matter what kind of data it is or what it's used for, the bottom line is I should be able to opt out from sending it to MS and still be able to use the WP feature.

    Speaking of privacy controls there should also be a way to manually control through system settings what your installed apps have access to. If an app requires access to e.g. pictre library or contacts, you should be able to install that app but disable it's access to that library regardless of whether that breaks the apps functionality; this way you could protect the user from rogue apps whose main or secondary purpose is to data mine the users phone. Of course the simple option is not to install the app, but why should you be limited like this when you could just install it, but be able to disable it's privileges as you see fit. There are plenty of apps in the WP store, even from MS, that want access to stuff they have no business accessing; prime example being Hexic | Windows Phone Apps+Games Store (United States) .
    Kashan Osama likes this.
    04-02-2014 08:57 PM
  10. hopmedic's Avatar
    It never ceases to amaze me that people are offended that they didn't go over the EULA in minute detail in the three whole hours that they spent on this high-level overview...... </sarcasm>
    04-02-2014 09:29 PM
  11. juanitoriv's Avatar
    It never ceases to amaze me that people are offended that they didn't go over the EULA in minute detail in the three whole hours that they spent on this high-level overview...... </sarcasm>
    Huh!!!!!!!! ;)
    04-02-2014 10:29 PM
  12. hopmedic's Avatar
    Or people could look at the front page of WPCentral to get a bit more info to go on top of what Microsoft did provide...
    Cortana announced for Windows Phone 8.1, we go hands on | Windows Phone Central
    04-03-2014 06:28 AM
  13. Shadowlink1138's Avatar
    The Windows Phone 8.1 Privacy Statement can be found here.

    Cortana specifics:

    Cortana is like a personal assistant on your phone, there to help make things easier in your day and on your phone. Cortana can track things that interest you, allows you to get some quiet time when you want it, and helps you do things quickly on your phone, like add something to your calendar, make a call, take a note, set alarms, and quite a bit more. It can also give you personalized reminders, suggestions, search results, app recommendations, and more. Tell Cortana you don’t want any calls for the next hour unless it’s from someone you designate, and nothing else will get through. Use Cortana to see if you have anything scheduled for next Tuesday at 4:00. Cortana can help in so many ways. You can turn Cortana off at any time—see Your Choices below.

    Cortana works best when it can learn about you and your activities by using information from your phone, your Microsoft account, third-party services, and other Microsoft apps and services. Cortana also provides personalized app recommendations in the Store. To provide personalized experiences, relevant suggestions, and improve Cortana and other services, Microsoft collects and uses various types of information, such as your phone location, information from your calendar, the apps you use, specific information from your emails and text messages, and your contacts. Cortana also learns about you by collecting information about how you use your phone, such as the music you play on your phone, your alarm settings, whether the lock screen is on, what you view and purchase in the Store, and more. Microsoft will use information collected through Cortana to personalize and improve other Microsoft products and services.
    Edit: As it states, you should check out the "Your Choices" section under Cortana. I only posted the introduction.
    hopmedic and John20212 like this.
    04-03-2014 02:35 PM
  14. John20212's Avatar
    "Microsoft will use information collected through Cortana to personalize and improve other Microsoft products and services."

    This is the main part I have issue with. It pretty much sais that Microsoft can use your personal data and information for whatever they want. That is unacceptable, and the only way to opt out is to disable Cortana, which is also unacceptable.

    The terms for something as invasive as Cortana should be worded in a way that only allows Microsoft incredibly limited access to you personal data and SOLELY for the purpose of allowing Cortana to function.
    In other words, Cortana can know and have access to you private info, on local bases with limited cloud interactions on a per-need bases and Microsoft should have no access to such info, period.

    If it does not work this way, it means Microsoft is making money of your personal data.

    If it does work this way Microsoft needs to rephrase their Privacy Agreement, to make it crystal clear that their priority is user privacy.
    04-03-2014 06:21 PM

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