If you use a PC, Xbox, or other Microsoft device, chatting with Cortana can be an easy way to get things done while your hands are occupied.
But as with all voice assistants, beware of corporate snooping. In August, Motherboard discovered that Microsoft contractors listen to recordings of Cortana voice commands, sometimes from personal computers and browsers with little security.
Cortana recordings are now transcribed in “secure facilities,” according to Microsoft. But the transcription program is still in place, which means someone, somewhere still might be listening to everything you say to your voice assistant.
Don’t worry: if this creeps you out, you can delete your recordings. Here’s how.
The first step is to open a Windows PC and sign in to the same Microsoft account you’ve been using to chat with Cortana. Once you’ve done that:
Open the menu that says “Filter by data type” on the left side of the screen. Click “Voice,” which is the second option.
In the center of the screen, you’ll see a list of Cortana recordings associated with your Microsoft account. You can click on the play button to listen to each recording individually.
Note: Doing this won’t prevent Cortana from sending your voice recordings to Microsoft. For that, you’ll need to disable online speech recognition.
Toggle Online speech recognition off
Now, Cortana will only use device-based speech recognition, which is less accurate than its cloud-based recognition engine and has limited functionality. But Microsoft will no longer transcribe or collect any of your voice recordings.