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Microsoft contractors have been listening to audio recordings of Xbox users

Microsoft contractors have been listening to audio recordings of Xbox users

Microsoft contractors have revealed they've listened to audio recordings by Xbox users.

As reported by Vice, the captured audio was being used to improve Xbox voice commands. However, some user interactions were created by mistake.

"Most of the Xbox related stuff I can recall doing was obviously unintentional activations with people telling Cortana 'No' as they were obviously in the middle of a game and doing normal game chat," a current contractor said.

Skype calls and Cortana audio on PC and mobile has also been listened to by Microsoft contractors.

Recently the company updated its privacy policies, giving greater clarity to consumers, informing them people may listen to the captured audio.

The company has begun to move on from the use of user interactions.

“We stopped reviewing any voice content taken through Xbox for product improvement purposes a number of months ago, as we no longer felt it was necessary, and we have no plans to re-start those reviews,” said a spokesperson.

“We’ve long been clear that we collect voice data to improve voice-enabled services and that this data is sometimes reviewed by vendors.”

A second spokesperson added: “We’ve recently updated our privacy statement to add greater clarity that people sometimes review this data as part of the product improvement process.

“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 in the law.”


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A freelance writer based in Berkshire. Besides PG and PCGI she has written as a guides writer, specialising in RPG's and horror.

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