1. BlueOwl245's Avatar
    I have a Lumia 640XL, and I have not yet used Cortana. I have decided that I do not like Cortana at all (I don't want "to be learned about", prefer traditional web searching, and have a very good brain for everything else! (I'm not a certified member of Mensa for nothin'!)

    On to my questions....

    Q1: If I turn Cortana off (in Settings), and also turn off "Allow app to run in the background" (in Battery Saver - Usage - Cortana), and also delete cloud and phone data by tapping "Manage Cloud Data" and "Clear Phone Data" (both on Settings - Cortana)... WILL Cortana use any cloud data or connect to the cloud (assuming of course that it remains switched off)?

    I understand that as a core part of WP8.1 that Cortana cannot be uninstalled, indeed I may change my mnd about cortana later this year, but I assume the above is enough to put her 'into hibernation'?

    Q2: With Cortana still never used even once on my Lumia, and switched off (as described above), if I hold down the search icon at the bottom right corner of my handset, Cortana still pops up "listening" for that first initial contact! How do I remove Cortana from the search icon? (ie, I only ever want to use that search icon for bing internet searches, and do not want to accidently start up Cortana).

    06-27-2015 06:30 AM
  2. tgp's Avatar
    I do not wish to be snarky here, but judging by this post following your other post, I think you would be best suited with two tin cans and a string. As concerned as you are with anonymity and privacy, a smartphone is not for you. In fact, even a dumbphone or a credit card would reveal way more about you than you wish to share.

    Now, to attempt to directly answer your questions, I do not know for sure, but I do know that Cortana uses Bing. If you have Cortana disabled, I would think that using the search icon is still only using Bing, even though it appears to be Cortana at the front end. It should not be saving anything in Cortana's notebook. Maybe someone else can give a more informed answer.
    06-27-2015 08:36 AM
  3. rhapdog's Avatar
    You cannot change the search engine in Windows Phone. Bing will learn about you, just as Cortana learns about you. Cortana is just an "interface" to make Bing more personal, with a few added features to allow you to automate texting and calling, and finding files on your phone, and launching apps via voice.

    Cortana is necessary for voice interaction within certain apps that allow you to give voice commands for certain functions in certain apps.

    There is not much Cortana will learn about you that Bing doesn't already learn about you, except she can be configured to scan your emails for flights to help you know if a flight is going to be on time. That has to be enabled separately.

    If you've read very much of the forums, you know I hate to agree with tgp ( ;), yeah, tgp, I'm teasing you. ) but there is no way to have privacy with a smart phone. Even if you have location services switched off, you would have to disable the GPS to prevent being tracked via GPS, but you can still be tracked no matter your settings by triangulating your location between cell towers. This is something a number of governments will do. Many phone companies will track your movements with super cookies, even if you have "do not track" enabled. So even if you prevent certain web sites from tracking you, you cannot prevent everyone from tracking you.

    If you ever get online, or if you ever make a phone call with a cell phone (even a non-smart phone without internet), then you are being tracked. If you ever use a debit card or credit card, then you are being tracked.

    If you ever hold a job and receive a paycheck, then that information is also being tracked. You can't get away from being tracked in some way unless you are a homeless person living in the park under a cardboard box and use cash to pay for everything you consume.

    Whether or not you enable/disable Cortana will matter very little on your tracked data on the web. However, it does offer a number of benefits.
    tgp, Laura Knotek and RumoredNow like this.
    06-27-2015 09:04 AM
  4. tgp's Avatar
    If you've read very much of the forums, you know I hate to agree with tgp ( ;), yeah, tgp, I'm teasing you. )
    LOL as much as it pained me I had to like your post because I agree with every word!

    To reiterate what rhapdog said, privacy is pretty much gone in this day and age. I know that a few people have concerns similar to yours, Owl. However, you are being tracked no matter what, unless you live like rhapdog said. There is no way around it. You can reduce the tracking somewhat, but it is virtually impossible to totally exclude yourself. I figure since I'm being tracked anyways, I might as well go all in and enjoy the benefits. You can try to exclude yourself, but you're basically creating an major inconvenience with little to no benefit.

    I recently heard a little bit of a program on NPR about privacy. The guest said that most of us would be astounded if we knew the extent to which big corporations track us. And he wasn't talking about the NSA or tech companies like Google, Microsoft, and Apple. He was talking about companies that collect data that we might not think about. A credit card company, for example, knows where you drive, how much you drive, where you live, what you eat, what you wear, what time of the day or night you tend to shop, and pretty much everything else about you.
    06-27-2015 10:14 AM
  5. BlueOwl245's Avatar
    Sorry guys but you two seem to have jumped to a conclusion about me, as a phone user. I don't have time for immature mocking jokes about tin cans, I use these forums for one reason only - to understand the technology I now own. I have clearly written elsewhere in these forums that I have no problem with what is known as "Standard Device Information" and "User Credentials" which as someone who has been using the internet since before 1990, long long before most people even saw a real life computer, these aspects of mobile technology are far from new to me, and do not bother me. Why oh why people in this forum have jumped to a conclusion that I am some kind of technophobe, puzzles me. So long as such common data is not used deliberately and maliciously against me (as applies for any half intelligent person today), by any organisations or individuals, I have no problem with it. (common sense statement!)

    However, my questions here where only about CORTANA as a core part of newer technology that i am not familiar with. This, as you have helped kindly confirm, DOES get alot more personal and alot more (what is the polite word for it now.... hmmmm ) 'interactive' with it's users. Just because I do not like this, does not necessarily mean that smartphones do not suit me.

    Alot of the more 'technology obsessed people' on these forums seem to jump to conclusions about other people, judging by their own personal beleif system, just because such people ask an innocent question. (ie, if I was to ask a few questions about say, tomatoes, it does not necessarily follow that I like them, or hate them, either way. I would be simply finding out more about them, to make a later decision about them!).

    I am still not a fan of Cortana, and that is final, but thanks for the more constructive comments you have made.

    Thanks for your opinions.
    Last edited by BlueOwl245; 06-28-2015 at 11:57 AM.
    jchapman01 likes this.
    06-28-2015 10:18 AM
  6. Big Papa Smurf's Avatar
    If you don't want Cortana, you could just not upgrade past WP8 ( no wp8.1/w10)
    07-12-2015 09:05 AM
  7. jacob browning's Avatar
    The thing is cortana isnt really different then anything else that's out there so don't understand the hard no. With that said theres really no way to fully get rid of her if you have her where the app is just search then shes not doing any of her notebook things at all (some of that stuff you have to enter manually anyway) but she'll show her icon . You are just doing normal bing searches but shes now the universal face for bing on the OS. Even if you have cortana on though if you dont use her features it really doesnt do a thing to you or your phone.

    Curious on your reasons for such a hard no (without even using it once something thats very weird with how "well-verse" you say you are) since you are ok with devices as long as they arent used against you...which they arent unless you are taking "i can learn about you" slogan too seriously. Shes literally just there to make it an easy hands free quick method to how you normally do things.
    07-13-2015 08:28 AM
  8. WalrusTangerine's Avatar
    Pressing and holding the search button when Cortana is off brings up Speech, which was there before Cortana and can't be turned off. It can't "learn" about you, only follow simple voice commands. If you want more privacy you can uncheck the last box in Settings -> speech, which then stops sending your speech info to Microsoft.
    07-13-2015 08:44 AM

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