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Microsoft Admits Humans Listen to Skype and Cortana in Privacy Policy Update (vice.com)
70 points by metaphysics on Aug 15, 2019 | hide | past | favorite | 9 comments

I can relate a funny story about this. A Microsoft employee I know very well used to work at Bing and then moved on to another organization within MSFT. He isn't a big fan of Google (surprise!). When similar news came out about Google recently (audio recordings got leaked I think), he said everyone should stop using Google if they care about their privacy. So I told him that if that is the case Microsoft should have at least distanced themselves from Facebook after all the Facebook scandals which came out recently (they actually still own some chunk of Facebook shares if I understand correctly). He got a little stunned, mumbled something about how no one person represents an entire company's views, and proceeded to change the topic. :-) I would also now be curious to know what he thinks about the current story.

so.. if they just added a simple disclaimer when you start a chat with translator enabled would that fix the issue?

This is akin to asking for forgiveness being easier than asking for permission.

The problem is that you don't get to opt in and know in advance so you don't say anything confidential over a call. If they gave users a warning then I guess this whole thing wouldn't be blown out of proportion.

How do you sensibly tell a user "we are listening to this conversation"?

Like Google did it in the old days?


> We are going to READ ALL YOUR FILES to index them.

> If you have a problem with this, cancel the installation.

> We are not going to ..."

This is how I remember that part of the installation process for Google Desktop Search. Crystal clear. I knew exactly what was supposed to happen and I had a warning in case it wouldn't be OK with policies at work.

And yes, YADDA YADDA or something similarily sounding was part of the first line.

"For the purposes of improving our automated translation service your conversation may be recorded and later become available to human intepreter to evaluate our machine translation" (add lawyer-speak here)

"we are listening to this conversation"

That should do it, I think.

“By logging in and encountering this message, you have given us permission to listen to and record your conversations in the past”

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