After Google and Amazon, Now Microsoft Employees Are Accused Of Listening Skype Calls

Must Read

Happy B’Day Gordon Moore: One Of The Founding Fathers Of Silicon Valley

Gordon Earle Moore co-founded the paramount Intel Corporation (NASDAQ: INTC) with Robert Noyce in July 1968, which is worth $204.16...

WhatsApp Might Lose 60 Million Indian Users Post Updated Policy Changes, New Survey Reveals!

The Facebook-owned instant messaging platform’s decision to update their privacy and terms of service brought about a...

Uber and Ola In Hot Water: India Authorities Launch Fresh Probe!

The Directorate General of Goods and Services Tax Intelligence (DGGI) sent a summons to Uber and Ola...

How would you react if you are told that all your Skype call conversations are being heard by unknown people sitting somewhere remotely?

After numerous similar revelations concerning almost all the big tech companies, it is now Microsoft’s turn in the spotlight. It has been revealed that Microsoft contractors have been listening to the private conversations of the users conducted through the app’s translation service. Apparently, a whistleblower provided Motherboard, one of the leading tech journal, a list of internal documents, screenshots and audio recordings for the same. The audio obtained by Motherboard are merely snippets, lasting anywhere between 5 to 10 seconds. It contains conversations from people ranging from intimacy to discussing personal issues. Let us look at this issue in a little more detail.

What is the Skype Translator Service?

The translator is a service released by skype which performs near real-time audio translation for its users during phone and video calls. It uses AI to do the same, with Skype working on this service for more than a decade prior to its launch. However, it does not explicitly list that the audio of their conversations would be used the way it is. In their FAQ, it is mentioned that Skype will ‘collect and use’ the conversation for the betterment of its products and services. A Microsoft spokesperson even pointed this fact out while responding to Motherboard. But nowhere is it written that these conversations will be analysed in the end by humans.

Advertisements

What Does A Contractor Do?

A contractor is provided with snippets of audio to transcribe. For that audio, the person is provided with a set of translations generated by skype. It is then up to them to choose the best translation out of the options which fit the audio. If an appropriate translation is not present, they have to provide one themselves. The audio is then treated as confidential information by Microsoft.

The whistleblower, a similar contractor himself, had this to say regarding the issue:-

” Some stuff I’ve heard could clearly be described as phone sex. I’ve heard people entering full addresses in Cortana commands, or asking Cortana to provide search returns on pornography queries.”

What Next for Microsoft?

It is not the first time when a tech company is found guilty of invading users’ privacy. Amazon and Google both were recently accused of listening to private conversations of Alexa and Google Home users. It also led some of them to cough up huge fine for it as well.

Microsoft will have to take the path previously trodden by the likes of Apple and Google. Both the tech giants have had to suspend the human reviews of the voice recordings of their specific voice assistants or products.

With the laws promoting privacy becoming stricter, will it make the big companies abide by them? That is one question for the future.

Advertisements

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Latest News

The Slip-Ups Keep On Coming: WhatsApp Web Users’ Mobile Data Leaked On Google

As the developments have unfolded over the past week, the clock for WhatsApp seems to be ticking...

Trump Administration Has Landed Its Final Blow On Chinese Companies: Xiaomi Blacklisted!

In its recent move to safeguard national security, the United States’ Trump Administration has decided to go after China’s second-biggest smartphone marker...

Huawei Is Gunning For Acquiring A Fifth Of Android’s Userbase With Its Own HarmonyOS!

After Google’s ban on Huawei in 2019, the Chinese-origin tech company is all set to roll out HarmonyOS later in 2021 as...

Battle Lines Are Drawn: Qualcomm’s Latest Acquisition to Challenge Apple, Intel

The quest to gain supremacy creates a butterfly effect for sure. With the challengers and the champion pulling out all stops to...

After Ola and Uber, Now Swiggy And Flipkart Under Probe For Tax Evasion: What’s Brewing?

A few days ago, reports emerged about Ola and Uber coming under the scanner of Directorate General of Goods and Services Tax...

India’s Biggest IT Firms Reported Sharp Jump in Employee Hiring In FY Q3 2021

India's IT sector has been on a steady rise after the turbulence the first half of 2020 caused. On Wednesday, major IT...

In-Depth: Dprime

Will ‘TikTok By Microsoft’ Be A Winner?

For the last two years, TikTok has been in the public eye for all sorts of reasons. First, it was the exploded...

Facebook Subscription Model: Looking Beyond Ad Dollars?

Seldom do job listings create a stir this gripping. However, when the job listing in question is a stealth post from Twitter,...

Will The Online Food Delivery Market in India End Up Becoming A Two-Horse Race?

It's pretty much evident that the food delivery space in India is all set to get riled up soon enough as one...

More Articles Like This