Microsoft Contractors

Microsoft contractors manually listening to the personal conversation of Skype users and Cortana commands according to Motherboard report.

The conversation conducted through app’s translation service is possibly listened by Microsoft contractors, based on the cache of internal documents, screenshots, and audio recordings obtained by Motherboard.

The obtained audio file includes conversations related to personal issues and weight loss. Other files Motherboard shows that contractors also listens to voice commands that the user speaks to Cortana.

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

The audio file’s obtained are short ones that range between five and ten seconds, some of the audio files look like coming from Skype‘s Android app.

The Microsoft contractor said “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.”

Microsoft Spokesperson Response

A Microsoft spokesperson told that “Microsoft collects voice data to provide and improve voice-enabled services like search, voice commands, dictation or translation services.”

We strive to be transparent about our collection and use of voice data to ensure customers can make informed choices about when and how their voice data is used. In order to process customer data, Microsoft gets customers’ permission before collecting and using their voice data.

“We also put in place several procedures designed to prioritize users’ privacy before sharing this data with our vendors, including de-identifying data, requiring non-disclosure agreements with vendors and their employees, and requiring that vendors meet the high privacy standards set out in European law.”

“We continue to review the way we handle voice data to ensure we make options as clear as possible to customers and provide strong privacy protections,” the statement added.

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