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Microsoft expands Copilot data protection so more users can chat with ease

Students, faculty, and working professionals will soon be able to enjoy extra protection on Copilot.
Written by Sabrina Ortiz, Editor
Maria Diaz/ZDNET

Copilot has proven to be a worthy ChatGPT competitor, boasting the same features as OpenAI's chatbot with extra perks, including GPT-4, internet access, and footnotes. As a result, working professionals and students can greatly benefit from using the chatbot, and this update makes it possible for them to do it safely. 

On Tuesday, Microsoft announced its "next wave of commercial data protection availability," allowing more users with eligible work or student Entra ID accounts to access commercial data protection in Copilot just by signing in at no additional cost. 

Also: How to use Copilot (formerly called Bing Chat)

Microsoft's commercial data protection addresses major confidentiality issues with using generative AI chatbots, ensuring that prompts and responses are not saved, that the data is not used to train the underlying models, and Microsoft has no eyes-on access to user or chat data, according to the release. 

Users will know that the data protection is on because there will be a "Protected" badge next to the user's profile icon, and there is the text that reads "Your personal and company data are protected" above the text box. 


Users will also be able to enjoy the additional protection on mobile in the Copilot app, on all major web browsers, in the sidebar using Copilot in Microsoft Edge, and via their computer's taskbar in Windows. 

Copilot protected badge in mobile

Starting in late February, users with the following licenses will be eligible for commercial data protection in Copilot at no additional cost: Microsoft 365 F1, Microsoft Office 365 E1/ E1 Plus/E3/E5/F3, Microsoft 365 Business Basic, Microsoft 365 Apps for enterprise, and Microsoft 365 Apps for business, according to the release. 

Also: How ChatGPT (and other AI chatbots) can help you write an essay

"This next wave of availability significantly expands the number of users eligible for commercial data protection in Copilot, paving the way for organizations and schools to be even more productive and creative," said Microsoft. 

Despite the already broad expansion, Microsoft shares its goal is to provide commercial data protection in Copilot to every Entra ID user. 

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