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Microsoft will not refuse to listen to custom audio recordings

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — Microsoft does not intend to refuse to listen to Skype audio calls made using the simultaneous interpreter, and voice calls to the Cortana assistant. After it turned out that third-party contractors were involved in the analysis of part of the user’s audio recordings, the Windows developer updated the privacy policy taking into account the comments.

The edited document now says that other people can analyze Cortana’s voice commands and Skype calls, in order to improve the quality of the services provided. “Our processing of personal data for these purposes includes both automatic and manual (human) processing methods,” Microsoft said.

Before the company made the changes, it was impossible to understand that conversations could be heard by third parties, writes Motherboard. Previously, it only stated that Skype only records voice conversations when the translator function is on.

According to the updated document, voice data and audio recordings are used to improve the quality of speech recognition, translation, understanding of requests in Microsoft products and services. The company assures that they are taking measures to de-identify the data, enter into non-disclosure agreements with contractors and their employees, and they require them to comply with “high standards of confidentiality established in the laws of European and other countries.”

Other large companies, including Apple, Google and Facebook, have previously recognized manual listening to voice messages . However, they suspended this practice in early August, when the public became aware of this. Amazon, in turn, promised to allow its customers to refuse to analyze their voice messages by other people.

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