Microsoft contractors listened to what people told their Xbox consoles

Microsoft contractors allegedly listened to Xbox owners also. Earlier this month, we learned that builders heard sound snippets out of Skype calls and Cortana interactions. Now, Vice reports which Microsoft contractors also listened to audio picked up by Xbox consoles. The apparatus was just supposed to capture audio after voice commands, such as”Xbox” or”Hey Cortana,” but contractors assert recordings were occasionally triggered unintentionally.

According to the contractors Motherboard spoke to, this was going on as before Cortana arrived on the scene. Motherboard’s sources said they listened to audio when Xbox could be controlled via voice commands together with the Kinect program. Microsoft removed Cortana from the Xbox in July, but the voice assistant can control the console through the Cortana Android and iOS apps.

Like Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google — which have been charged with listening to voice helper queries — Microsoft listened in on audio in an attempt to enhance products and services. The company admits that it utilizes voice data to enhance voice-enabled providers In a statement (that can be read under ), a Microsoft spokesperson told Engadget,”We’ve long been apparent that we gather voice information to enhance voice-enabled providers and that this data is occasionally examined by sellers.”

After recent news coverage and public outcry, Apple, Facebook and Google temporarily halted those practices. Amazon will let users select out of getting Alexa conversations reviewed by people. Microsoft previously said it would continue listening to users In an updated announcement, Microsoft said it ceased listening to voice information collected through Xbox for product improvement purposes, but it is going to occasionally listen in if it believes there’s a terms of service violation.

The Entire statement from Microsoft is below:

“We’ve Been evident that we collect voice data to improve voice-enabled services and that this information is occasionally reviewed by vendors. We’ve recently upgraded our privacy statement to include greater clarity that we sometimes review this information as part of their product improvement process. We always get customer consent before collecting voice information, we take actions to de-identify voice snippets being reviewed to safeguard people’s privacy, and we need that handling of the data be held to the maximum privacy standards in the law. At precisely the same time, we’re actively working on further measures we can take to provide clients more transparency and more control on how their information is used to enhance products.” — a Microsoft spokesperson

Update 8/22/2019 9:10AM ET: Microsoft provided an updated comment stating:

“We Stopped reviewing any voice content obtained through Xbox for merchandise Improvement functions a number of months past, as we no longer believed it was Necessary, and also we have no plans to re-start these testimonials. We Sometimes review a very low volume of voice files sent out of one Xbox User to another when there are reports that a recording busted our Terms of support and we will need to investigate. This is done to keep the Xbox community safe and is clearly stated in our Xbox terms of service.” — a Microsoft spokesperson

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