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Cortana Is Listening Into Your Skype Conversations

Dave Parrack 10-10-2017

Microsoft is adding Cortana to Skype, but to make use of the intelligent assistant you’ll have to let her listen in on your conversations. Those who are happy to do so will get the benefit of her knowledge, as she offers up useful information related to what you and your contacts are talking about.


Cortana is actually quite brilliant. She may be younger than Apple’s Siri, but she’s more intelligent and more capable. Which is why one of our authors almost fell in love with her How Cortana Became The "Other Woman" In My Life She appeared one day and changed my life. She knows exactly what I need and has a wicked sense of humour. It's little wonder that I've fallen for the charms of Cortana. Read More . However, as nice, affable, and funny as Cortana is, we’re not sure we want her eavesdropping on our conversations.

Cortana Fills That Friend-Shaped Hole

The ability to eavesdrop is exactly what Microsoft is now offering. In a Skype Blog post, the Skype Team has announced that Cortana can now be a part of your Skype chats. She’ll even be a contact in her own right, so you can have one-on-one conversations with her when you’re bored or lonely.

Beyond that, Cortana will offer “in-context assistance” within your conversations with other people. This means recommending restaurants, offering up movie reviews, and suggesting smart replies. She can also help you schedule events or set up reminders. Like all the best stalkers.

Cortana will automatically be added as a contact in your address book and on your contact screen. To enable her to get involved in other chats just tap on her name to start a conversation, and then, when asked for permission, allow her access to your location and IM conversations. If you dare.


The fact that this is opt-in rather than opt-out is good, and should allay most privacy concerns. However, people will want to take advantage of Cortana’s new-found skill. And doing that means letting Cortana be that creepy person on the bus listening to what everyone else around is saying.

Cortana is being rolled out gradually, starting with Skype for Android and Skype for iOS to users in the United States.

Cortana… Your New Favorite Stalker

I’ll be honest, I don’t personally like the idea of Cortana listening into my Skype conversations ready to offer a choice of restaurants or to set up an appointment. However, if you’re comfortable with giving up a little bit of privacy Why Have Americans Given Up On Privacy? A recent study by the University of Pennsylvania's Annenberg School for Communication concluded Americans are resigned to giving up data. Why is this, and does it affect more than just Americans? Read More you can now take advantage of Cortana’s considerable skillset.

Will you be adding Cortana to Skype? If so, do the privacy implications not bother you? If not, why not? Do you accept that getting the most out of technology means giving up our privacy? How do you feel about digital assistants like Cortana and Siri? The comments are open below!

Image Credit: JoanDragonfly via Flickr

Related topics: Microsoft, Microsoft Cortana, Skype.

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  1. foxxqube_head
    October 22, 2017 at 11:14 pm

    I am considering and waiting for "mycroft" with linux integration plus "telegram" attached. No more stalkers, watchers etc needed. I am not a corporate product..

  2. dragonmouth
    October 10, 2017 at 9:49 pm

    "Cortana Fills That Friend-Shaped Hole"
    Not for me. I recognize Cortana for the Siren that it is.