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Oh No, Even Microsoft is Listening to User’s Skype Conversation

The Windows maker claims all these conversations are scanned through without identifying the user.

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Personal conversations of Skype users on all topics including weight loss, phone-sex and Cortana recordings are under the risk of being heard by Microsoft contractors, according to media reports.

An unnamed Microsoft contractor, who shared recorded audio files with web portal Motherboard, has admitted that they have heard users entering their full addresses using Microsoft's digital assistant Cortana, as well as using the voice assistant to search for pornography.

According to a cache of internal documents, screenshots and audio recordings obtained, the conversations being heard are the ones that use Skype's translation service, Motherboard reported on Wednesday.

With Microsoft also accused of listening to its user’s conversations, it’s fair to say that none of the big technology companies are doing their business without invading into their private lives.

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About hearing phone calls, Skype's website said that the company may analyse the audio of phone calls that a user wants to translate to improve the chat platform's services. However, it does not say some of this analysis will be done by humans.

The contractor further pointed out that they did not have access to user-identifiable information.

The revelations come after Apple, Amazon and Google have faced intense scrutiny over their handling of voice data obtained over the process of operating their respective voice assistants.

Defending its process, a Microsoft spokesperson said that all of its vendors agree to confidentiality agreements and that Microsoft has audit rights to ensure compliance, The Verge reported.

Recently, Apple decided to suspend the programme that lets Siri listen to users' recordings for "quality control". The use of voice assistant is proving to be a costly affair for the users, especially if their private conversations are being heard by human moderators, which is a clear invasion of privacy.

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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Topics:  Apple Siri   user privacy 

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