Microsoft’s Skype contractors listen to your private conversations

skype logo microsoft

Turns out Skype calls are not all too private, a report by Vice revealed on Wednesday.

In fact, the publication’s Motherboard discovered that Microsoft contractors (i.e., actual humans) have been listening to snippets of private Skype calls.

According to Motherboard, which obtained “internal documents, screenshots, and audio recordings” from a contractor, the employees are able to listen to personal conversations that last about five to ten seconds via Skype’s translation feature in an attempt to improve the service.

The publication also found that contractors could listen to voice commands for Microsoft’s Cortana assistant too.

Of course, this isn’t the first time that a task designed for artificial intelligence has been performed by actual humans instead. In May, The New York Times discovered that at least 25% of calls from Google’s restaurant booking app Duplex were made by people.

Perhaps AI is simply not powerful enough to translate our language or order our food without the help of a real person?

Or, maybe big companies just love eavesdropping?

Feature image: Skype

Shereesa Moodley


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