Microsoft employees have access to Skype phone calls made through the program's real-time translation tool. According to a report published by Vice on Wednesday (7), in order to improve the service, a group of outsourced can listen to conversations translated by Skype Translator, many of which contain private information, such as discussions of relationships. Sought by the news site, Microsoft has confirmed that it analyzes voice recordings with the permission of users.
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The information surfaced after one of the company's employees, whose identity was not disclosed, revealed the work to the Vice. The fact that I can share some of the conversations with you shows how weak the data protection of users is, the official told the site.
Skype monitors user conversations to improve translator performance Photo: Anna Kellen Bull / dnetc
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Skype Translator, the messaging translation service, uses artificial intelligence to translate conversations into video or voice calls in real time. The audio portions obtained are short and range from five to ten seconds, but the source said other recordings may be longer.
According to Vice's finding, the voice messages presented by the source had been sent specifically by the service's Android app. The news site has also gained access to audios that certify that third parties hired by Microsoft also have access to commands directed by Cortana, Microsoft's voice assistant available on Windows 10.
According to Microsoft employee, Cortana commands are also available. Photo: Divulgao / Microsoft
Skype collects and uses your conversations to help you develop Microsoft products and services. To help conversion and speech recognition technology learn and grow, we analyze automatic sentences and transcriptions, and all corrections are inserted into our system to create more high performance services.
In response Vice, Microsoft said they get permission from users before collecting and using voice data. We strive to be transparent about our collection and use of voice data to ensure that customers can make informed choices about when their information is used, a company spokesman said.
Following a similar privacy breach policy, Apple on Friday suspended its global interaction monitoring program with Siri, iOS's virtual assistant. Google, which also listened to voice recordings of users through Google Assistant, interrupted the analysis of audio for three months in the European Union.
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Microsoft Insights: See Skype Translator at