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Skype users warned after Microsoft could be “listening” to calls

Skype users warned after Microsoft could be “listening” to calls

A new investigation done by tech website Motherboard has revealed that Microsoft workers could be “listening in” on your Skype conversations.

It has been revealed that some employees occasionally have to review real video chat that has been processed by translation software in order to check the quality of translations, according to The Sun.

A Microsoft spokesperson told Motherboard that Microsoft collects voice data to improve features on Skype.

They said: “We also put in place several procedures designed to prioritise 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.”

Paul Bischoff, a privacy advocate from Comparitech.com, told news.com.au: “Microsoft clearly states that recordings and transcriptions are analysed to verify accuracy and make corrections.

“The fact that humans are performing that analysis might make users uneasy, but I don’t think there’s much risk to end users.

“That is, unless a contractor steals recordings and gives them to a Vice reporter. Microsoft ought to take steps to ensure this can’t happen in the future.”

“I recommend users refrain from revealing any identifying information while using Skype Translation and Cortana. Unless you identify yourself in the recording, there’s almost no way for a human analyst to figure out who you are.”

Skype is an online video chat and voice call service that also provides an instant messaging platform.

Javvad Malik, a security awareness advocate at KnowBe4, said: “This latest revelation goes to show more needs to be done to ensure consumer data is being protected when customers use such services.

“In this instance, there needs to be a clear level of transparency and honesty about the entire call-recording process to give people a true understanding of what they are signing up for.

“There is a fine line between invading someone’s privacy and collecting data for business purposes; a line that if crossed, can lead to serious breaches of data privacy.”