Microsoft Cortana’s email features

The title of this article is telling: Microsoft’s Cortana to spy on email to keep you on track. The article discusses Cortana’s “helpful” features that can scan your email and recognize language indicating a commitment and use this information to create reminders. If, for example, you send a message to your boss stating, “I will send you the project by 4:00 p.m.,” Cortana will set an alert so you don’t forget. Now, I’m all about keeping myself organized, but isn’t this what keeping calendars is all about? When I have an event or task, I schedule it in my calendar, and a reminder is sent to me. Do I really need or,  more importantly, want, Cortana to scan my emails to send me reminders? No mention is made in the article about where this information is stored. Is Microsoft tracking any of this data? I don’t think that I’m a particularly paranoid person, but this feature does raise a few alarm bells with regard to privacy.

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