Cortana deemed non-suitable for minors under the USA's COPPA act
Apparently, Windows Phone's new virtual assistant Cortana has been worrying government officials with its smarts. In its current state, Microsoft's voice recognition system falls under the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act, which limits its use by children aged under 13. If Cortana detects users are below the age limit, it will turn down their request with a polite "I'm sorry, you'll need to be a bit older before I can help you."
Why is that? Luckily, the situation is far from the privacy concerns that plagued the launch of Microsoft's Kinect 2.0 controller last year. Since Cortana is quite the personalized assistant, the amount of information it collects and sends to Microsoft's data cloud for processing is above the COPPA act's "don't intervene" threshold.
As Cortana is still in a "beta" stage, perhaps Microsoft will consider giving parents the ability to disable certain features which will make the assistant usable by children. However, it might be difficult to pull off such adjustments without compromising Cortana's functionality in some way.
1. Just.Saying (Posts: 132; Member since: 04 Apr 2013)
Under 13's should't be having smartphones to begin with. A PC at home in a study on a desk with active parental control is what they should have. Children are being exposed to porn and other adult material too soon these days and that can hamper their education. Parents believe their children are saints and wont do such things but, I've seen children teach adults how to operate a smart phone. My sister, a pre-school teacher found porn on a 5 year old's phone at school. During breaks children gather around these phones viewing such things so tell me, what good is the Children's Online Privacy Protection Act?? It sounds good on paper but does very little to actualy protect children
2. alterecho (Posts: 1059; Member since: 23 Feb 2012)
" I've seen children teach adults how to operate a smart phone"
Idiot parents think their children are smart when they do such things.
"My sister, a pre-school teacher found porn on a 5 year old's phone at school."
4. NokiaFTW (Posts: 1729; Member since: 24 Oct 2012)
Completely agree with you. When I was in my early teens, there was no thing known as a smartphone. There were basic phones. I only had a computer and I got about 1 hour daily to play on it. I used to get excited about getting out of the house and playing football or cricket with my friends. My parents didn't even buy me a PlayStation. I just wasn't interested in surfing the internet. All I wanted to do was play games and play outdoor sports with my friends. When I see young teens today, they're either pregnant, or have locked themselves up at home with their laptops, tablets, smartphones, gaming consoles and what not. Porn, violence and sex is all what they know. They aren't interested in any outdoor activities and have become obese, lazy and irresponsible. God bless the future generations.
9. chocowii (Posts: 327; Member since: 30 Jan 2014)
+1 for that.
Not only WP but other OSes too.Also, Its the parent's responsibilities to guide their children in viewing the internet.
15. phonetekmek (Posts: 70; Member since: 04 Oct 2013)
What does your post have to do with this article? Coppa has nothing to do woth content protection it is for protecting privacy and data mining for children. And thank you for letting us know what age is appropriate for our children to have a smartphone, I was wondering when I should get my son a smartphone! Content protection can be placed on a smartphone easier than on a pc. Be a parent and don't expect the government to do it for you.
18. lyndon420 (Posts: 1688; Member since: 11 Jul 2012)
Porn??? Oh no...not PORN!!!!! We can feed all the violent games and movies down our kids throats, but good god...not that cursed porn. I'm gonna get a lot of flack over this I know, but I don't care :-)
Kids these days are becoming more and more unpredictable and dangerous with huge chips on their shoulders...and at some point frustrations will set in...and a release will be sought some how. When I was 5 my friends were playing with their toy guns and preparing themselves to become the little terrorists that they wanted to become, and me...I chose to cuddle up to all the neighborhood girls for touchy feely ;-). I turned out all right. I'm not saying that we should be pushing porn on the kids...I'm just trying to make a statement that there are many more potentially harmful things that could be happening like learning how to make bombs and warefare. In Canada our newspaper sunshine girls aren't naked, but in some parts of the UK I believe that the girls are topless in the newspaper. No one makes a big deal about it and there isn't a big stereotype to make the human body into a bad thing.
If anything...we need more quality porn and less of the cheesy stuff :-)
3. wax33 (Posts: 33; Member since: 06 Apr 2014)
I'm not an American, but COPPA is about protecting the privacy of children, not about protecting them from porn, isn't it? (in reply to Just.Saying)
6. Just.Saying (Posts: 132; Member since: 04 Apr 2013)
I'm from South Africa, These acts exist in most countries but under defferent names. here its privacy and protection act but still the same thing
5. bugsbunny00 (Posts: 891; Member since: 07 Jun 2013)
how is it possible for cortana to detect a 13 yr. old voice? will it notice a 13yr old getting his/her phone on their 14th birthday?
7. Just.Saying (Posts: 132; Member since: 04 Apr 2013)
maybe it ask's for your date of birth when setting up but, people can lie anyways. I dont use WP, Im only guessing
10. papss (unregistered)
That's exactly what it does when setting it up.. just like websites do.
13. VLaRueC (Posts: 108; Member since: 18 Dec 2012)
Seems a bit strange for one voice assistant to get a pass while another one doesn't....