Microsoft Contractors Listen To Some Skype Calls And Cortana Interactions

Microsoft has a bit of an issue on its hands in a similar fashion as Apple, Google, and Amazon.

Motherboard has found that Microsoft contractors have been listening into Skype calls only if users are performing a translation function in Skype and not during any other typical Skype voice or video call. As a result, they’ve listened in on intimate conversations between couples and more. And to add to that, Microsoft contractors listen to voice commands spoken to Cortana too. Now Microsoft, much like Apple says right up front that it analyzes audio of translated calls in Skype to improve its services, but it does not mention that some of the analysis will be done by humans. I guess Microsoft assumes that you’ll figure that out on your own. But a better strategy would be for Microsoft to spell that out so that there is no ambiguity.

Having said that, You should also consider what this contractor said to Motherboard:

“The fact that I can even share some of this with you shows how lax things are in terms of protecting user data,” a Microsoft contractor who provided the cache of files to Motherboard, said. 

The contractor said, “I generally feel like that while we do not have access to user identifiable information, that if Microsoft users were aware that random people sitting at home in their pajamas who could be joking online with friends about the stuff they just heard that they wouldn’t like that.”

Yeah. This is a bit of an #EpicFail. Now Microsoft says in short that it’s doing nothing wrong and this is all spelled out for you so that you know that this is going on, but this really doesn’t feel right. I say that because Amazon, Apple, and Google decided to take a sober second look at how they do things when this issue was brought to their attention. Microsoft at present doesn’t seem to be heading in a similar direction. Perhaps they want to reconsider that for no other reason than to avoid being sued like Apple.

 

One Response to “Microsoft Contractors Listen To Some Skype Calls And Cortana Interactions”

  1. […] might recall that Microsoft was one of a number of companies who were using humans to listen in on requests to their r…. Which of course has now become a major story in the world of tech as it’s seen as a privacy […]

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