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Microsoft listens to your Skype and Cortana recordings from 2015

ByFields Corrielus 2019-08-08 290

Microsoft contractors are manually reviewing recordings collected from the Skype automatic Translation feature and Cortana Voice Assistant. The recording includes personal conversations and discussions on relationship issues, as well as other personal matters such as weight loss. 

Microsoft listens to your Skype and Cortana recordings


The contractors also mentioned that during the vetting process, they also heard content similar to "phone porn" and said they had heard users enter their full addresses using Cortana commands and use voice assistants to search for pornographic content. They are unable to learn the user's identification information. A Microsoft spokesman said all contractors had signed confidentiality agreements and Microsoft had the right to audit to ensure compliance. 

Before Microsoft, Apple, Amazon and Google also faced severe censorship for processing voice data collected from their respective voice assistants. Contractors are hired to listen to recordings in order to improve the voice services used by users. In the case of Microsoft, Motherboard reported that some of the audio needed to be heard by contractors came from Skype's machine translation service, which was launched in 2015. 

However, Microsoft did not state in the Skype Translator FAQ and Cortana documents that the company was using voice data to improve its services, except that "statements and automatic recording will be analyzed and any changes will enter our system to build higher-performance services." Elsewhere, the company says it "automatically translates and feedback the correction to the system."However, Motherboard pointed out that Microsoft did not make it clear that anyone would listen to the recordings. 

Asked about this, Microsoft said it collected and used voice data only on the basis that users chose to participate, and pointed out that in the voice part of the privacy panel, users can delete voice data obtained by the company about the user himself. 

In a statement, a Microsoft spokesman stressed that the company "remains transparent about the voice data collected and used to ensure that consumers are able to make informed choices about their voice data." Microsoft seeks permission from users before collecting and using user voice data. " 

"before sharing data with suppliers, we have also developed several procedures designed to give priority to the protection of user privacy, including the concealment of identifying information, requiring suppliers and their employees to sign confidentiality agreements, and complying with stricter EU privacy standards." 

In August 2015, Microsoft was also exposed as using win 10 to monitor user privacy.


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