In the past, personal assistants were reserved only for people with the means to receive their services. With the advent of new technologies, personalized virtual assistants are now available for use by anyone. Services such as Apple’s Siri, Microsoft’s Cortana, and Google Now can provide personalized relevant information to their “clients” at the press of a button or the utterance of a phrase. These services can perform tasks, from sending messages to coordinating meeting times; they have access to a cosmos of information and can return answers to questions in a matter of seconds. They use user information to refine users’ results based on stored cloud data that can offer a personal experience at a simulated level; they even adapt to usage in order to offer a more personalized experience with increased usage.
This personalization comes at the cost of privacy. Much of the data that is analyzed by the services is often stored for extensive amounts of time on company servers. This storage of data results in privacy concern for people that rely on the virtual assistant's private operations (file storage, time management, etc.); much of a person’s life can be maintained on servers and understanding how and if this data is used is a major concern for people.