Apple, Google, and Amazon are accused of listening to the private conversation of the users using the voice assistant products. Google with Google Assistant, Amazon with Alexa Voice Assistant, Apple with Siri, and now Microsoft is accused of using Cortana and Skype conversions for quality control purposes. According to the small voice recordings shared by the ex-contractor of Microsoft, the company is extracting the conversation snippets from the Cortana and Skype conversations of the users. Microsoft is conducting the quality control program for Cortana voice assistant with the data obtained from the users of the same. Just after the controversy of Apple listening to all of the intimate conversations of the users, Microsoft’s similar program is a shocking one.
According to the investigation done by Vice’s Motherboard portal, the company is collecting the voice recordings from the users. Also, they are receiving the transcriptions of Skype conversations and Skype translations. To improve the features of the Cortana and Skype, the contractors used to listen to the voice recordings and provide accurate transcriptions. Also, they had to share the opinion of the voice clip whenever needed. All of the voice recordings retrieved from the users are 5-10 seconds of length.
Microsoft representative has agreed to the program and provided further details about the system. First of all, the company fetches the voice recordings through a secure online portal and then filters the conversations which have the name, address, mobile numbers or any other private information that may reveal the identity of the user. After that, the contractors review the audio recordings to provide the feedback, which improves the response quality of the voice assistant. Even though the company uses Secure online portal for transferring the recordings, it is still unacceptable for a giant like Microsoft to follow the controversial path like Amazon, Google, and Apple.