Microsofts contractors listened in on Xbox users

first_img Now playing: Watch this: Is Microsoft listening in on you? James Martin/CNET Microsoft’s contractors listened in on Xbox players using Cortana voice control features, Vice reported Wednesday. Voice data was also captured from the Kinect system’s voice commands prior to Cortana being added in 2016, according to the report. Microsoft last week revealed that humans could be listening to “short snippets” of voice conversations on its audio services, including Skype and virtual assistant Cortana. That followed similar revelations about other big tech firms and their audio services. Earlier this month, Apple, Google and Amazon all suspended human review of user audio recordings, and then Facebook followed suit. Microsoft said in an emailed statement Wednesday that it has “long been clear” that it collects voice data that’s sometimes reviewed by people. “We always get customer permission before collecting voice data, we take steps to de-identify voice snippets being reviewed to protect people’s privacy and we require that handling of this data be held to the highest privacy standards,” the spokesperson said. In a further statement Wednesday night, Microsoft said it stopped reviewing Xbox voice content taken “a number of months ago, as we no longer felt it was necessary.””We have no plans to restart those reviews,” the spokesperson added in an emailed statement. “We occasionally review a low volume of voice recordings sent from one Xbox user to another when there are reports that a recording violated our terms of service and we need to investigate. This is done to keep the Xbox community safe and is clearly stated in our Xbox terms of service.”The Xbox eavesdropping “came up first as a bit of an outlier, then became about half of what we did before becoming most of what we did,” a former Microsoft contractor reportedly told Vice. Microsoft’s privacy statement says human review is used to help build, train and improve the accuracy of its artificial intelligence systems. Cortana was removed from Xbox headsets in July, though it can still be used via the Cortana phone app. Originally published Aug. 21, 1:51 p.m. PT. Updates, 3:41 p.m.: Adds statement from Microsoft; Aug. 22: Includes further statement from Microsoft. 0 Microsoft Kinect CNET may get a commission from retail offers. 6:16 Mentioned Above Microsoft Kinect Cortana Kinect Microsoft Review • Microsoft Kinect See itcenter_img Microsoft announces Project Scarlett Computers Consoles Security Gaming Tags Post a comment $11 Share your voice 40 Photos Why 2020 could be the best year for video gameslast_img

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