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Advanced technological leaps have happened over recent years such as the case of Cortana, Microsoft’s voice recognition assistant. You can command your Microsoft gadget by simply saying, “Hey Cortana” followed by your question for instance: reminder request, to mark your calendar, book and track your flight etc
However, agreeing to Cortana’s terms and conditions, then you gave Microsoft the ability to upload your personal data to their servers. These terms apply to one Microsoft account that is linked to any of your Microsoft products and services such as OneDrive, Outlook, Bing, Xbox, your phone or PC.
Well, at least Microsoft has always been candid about this collection of personal data in the case of Cortana. If in case by coming across this information you decide to stop ‘feeding’ Microsoft with your information, there are a few steps that you should take to actualize this.
Deleting Cortana Voice History from your Microsoft Account.
More often than not, Microsoft saves this data to your gadget as offline information. Once in a while, Microsoft will synchronize your device’s offline information to its remote servers and other linked gadgets with the same Microsoft account. To clear your personal information that has been harnessed by Microsoft inbuilt features and transferred to their remote servers, follow the following procedure.
To clear your offline information
- Open up Settings in your computer
- Click on Accounts
- Navigate to your info
- Go ahead to click on the “Manage My Microsoft Account” link.
To clear your personal information saved in Microsoft servers
- Launch your browser and enter the following link to your URL or simply copy then paste it; https://www.bing.com/account/personalization
- If you are not already signed in to your Microsoft account, you might have to sign in first.
- After successful login, click on the “Privacy” tab.
- Under the “privacy dashboard” page, follow the “Activity History” tab.
4. Under “Explore your data” subheading, click on “Voice”
This section is where your voice recordings are usually kept during your interaction with Cortana. Go ahead and click on play to sample any of your historical records. Otherwise, at this point, you can delete these records individually or simply click on the “Clear activity” option at the top right corner to clear the entire history.
Clearing your Cortana voice history from your Microsoft account doesn’t necessarily meant that the same information collection process won’t continue from that point in time. Now let’s see how to prevent this from happening.
Preventing Microsoft from harnessing your future data.
Now that you have erased all your voice history from Microsoft account, how do you prevent the same Microsoft servers from receiving your future data?
- You simply open settings
- Then you click on the Privacy button
- Proceed to click on speech, inking & typing.
- Now move to the “Turn off speech services and typing suggestions” button as hinted below;
After disabling the Microsoft speech and typing service, you’ll not be able to talk to Cortana anymore. Moreover, the built-in user dictionary will be cleared. Microsoft uses any collected data to smoothen their customer experience interacting with Cortana, therefore disconnecting from Microsoft servers come with that bit of tradeoff.