Microsoft's Siri-like Cortana service doesn’t talk to kids

If you’re 13 years old or younger, Cortana will not talk to you.

Microsoft Cortana, a voice activated virtual assistant for Windows Phone 8.1 named after Halo’s AI character, will not talk to kids.

Like Apple’s Siri on iPhone, Cortana’s speech recognition allows users to ask it questions and perform specific tasks. Cortana also collects data on users in the process in order to improve the experience over time, meaning it is subject to the US government's Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act (COPPA).

COPPA’s policies insure that children under the age of 13 can’t share information online without the approval of a parent. According to GameSpot sister site CNET, at this point in development Cortana doesn’t have any parental controls, so if you’re listed as being younger than 13 on your Microsoft account and try to use Cortana, she’ll respond with, "I'm sorry, you'll need to be bit older before I can help you."

Cortana is currently available in beta to developers on Windows Phone 8.1. Support for other Microsoft devices like Windows computers and Xbox consoles could come later.

Got a news tip or want to contact us directly? Email news@gamespot.com

Did you enjoy this article?

Sign In to Upvote

emanuelmaiberg

Emanuel Maiberg

Emanuel Maiberg is a freelance writer in search of the Citizen Kane of burritos.
167 comments
Darkhol0w
Darkhol0w

So under 13 is a nono, but 14 is ok? That's certainly strange.

therealzorvan
therealzorvan

And once again, I'm reminded that kids do have it better than adults.

ryogapower
ryogapower

windows phones suck. microsoft suck. this story is full of suck.

MrJskilet
MrJskilet

I'm gonna tell Cortana to call me chief...

Evdne971
Evdne971

But she'll go rampant after 8 months

jd7904
jd7904

Why? Did they use Kathryn Murray as the voice for Cortana? :-P

HonorOfGod
HonorOfGod

Cortana please help!! my house is on fire please call the fire fighters!!

Cortana: "sorry little prick, get lost"

playstationzone
playstationzone

Mirosoft dont like kids they h8 them and no wonder dont make any kids games and i know about say knack was awful game for ps4 but playstation did great kids games than  mirosoft,

TimberWolf_CLT
TimberWolf_CLT

@playstationzone You have fairly low reading comprehension don't you?  Cortana has this restriction because of the COPPA rules and to this point MS didn't want to add parental control clutter to it.

Siri's not supposed to talk to kids 13 and under either.

And neither is a game, so what's your point?


Angry_Mushroom
Angry_Mushroom

@TimberWolf_CLT @playstationzone  


His point is that we should all read before commenting.  Or such tragic comments happen.  Also another point is that no one under 13 should be allowed on the internet. 

GinsuVictim
GinsuVictim

Cortana has a sign in her yard and can't live within 100 yards of a school?

Lamesy
Lamesy

Me neither, Cortana, me neither.

noandno
noandno

This means most X1 gamers?

xxmavr1kxx
xxmavr1kxx

@noandno  Nope they all moved over tot he PS4 for the more POWAHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!

Nightcrawler86
Nightcrawler86

But can she tell me where the neawest westauwant is?

canuckbiker
canuckbiker

I'd like glados, without the homicidal tendencies.

de_anomaly
de_anomaly

Alot of these government agencies are useless, kinda like the NSA. All it takes is to input a false DOB when u set up ur account. I did it as a kid, and kids will keep doing it.

canuckbiker
canuckbiker

Makes sense I guess. Personally I'm not a fan of talking to inanimate objects.

93ChevyNut
93ChevyNut

@dlCHIEF58 @canuckbiker Love that commercial!  I like how he greets the lamp as if it's someone completely new but he talks to his pants like they're an old friend.

Carpetfluff
Carpetfluff

Just what I need. A phone with a personality that starts off helpful, then starts sassing you and finally goes nuts and tries to kill itself.

zygany
zygany

It's a pity that's it only the chronological age that matters and not the mental age. There are plenty of over 18s who act like idiot kids when online :)

kachan64
kachan64

Lol, finally see gamespot has sotpped with the typical gaming news and going with bit of tech or it's just me, Anyways...


That means when a kid have a Windows Phone which was given by their parents, and when they say "call mum" or something, then phone will not take any actions against the child? 

oflow
oflow

when are they adding this to kinect?


simo_tmm
simo_tmm

Tell me more about those 'specific' tasks then.

spikepigeo
spikepigeo

I was just at a video-game symphony performance and there were two (incredibly obnoxious) boys sitting behind me. They must have been eight or nine years old.


When the orchestra started playing Halo, they flipped out and started cheering and clapping. Fine. Halo was great -- but eight year-olds? Come on, parents...


Bonus: when The Legend of Zelda theme was played, the kids were stoic. Didn't even flinch. Sad times we live in...

93ChevyNut
93ChevyNut

@spikepigeo Agreed.  That LofZ tune in all its original midi beauty will always remind me that I had a good childhood.

maxpowr3
maxpowr3

 Cortana is nothing compared to the dominatrix that controls the GPS in my car.

StHapns247
StHapns247

No one under the age of 17 should know who Cortana is because of parental controls and all that jazz.

tsunami2311
tsunami2311

because they wont lie about there age or that the parents even care to use parental controls, most dont use that stuff

hystavito
hystavito

Does Siri also do the same to comply with COPPA?

WraistlinGill
WraistlinGill

Looks like CBS is trimming the fat and hiring more freelance writers for the GameSpot news mill.  Where do I sign up?

kachan64
kachan64

@WraistlinGill  +1 CBS prob going to freelance sites and grab a good chunk people and blow their money on it then they're here. Isn't that amazing?

catsimboy
catsimboy

I thought it was because 13-year old boys would constantly ask her "Can I see ur bewbs?"

alteredvista
alteredvista

cortana was ok in halo 1-3...then they made her chief's helpless bitch gf. seriously halo 4 is a total facepalm to the halo storyline.