Microsoft released their new privacy policy and they are actually admitting that humans are listening to some Skype and Cortana recordings. Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook all were questioned on this matter but only Microsoft admitted that they have been quietly letting human contractors listen to your Skype translations and Cortana voice recordings. Google and Apple both stopped listening to some of their recordings after the revelations but Microsoft just appears to be merely updating its privacy policy.

The privacy policy stated, “To build, train and improve the accuracy of our automated methods of processing (including AI), we manually review some of the predictions and inferences produced by the automated methods against the underlying data from which the predictions and inferences were made”. The claim is that these steps are taken to improve speech services, such as recognition and translation.

Modern voice recognition and other machine learning capabilities, generally need to be audited by humans in order to improve. To Microsoft’s credit, they are offering a privacy dashboard where you can retroactively delete your voice data. But the scandal that lies with most of the large tech companies is that they didn’t want to make it clear that humans were listening to extremely personal details like people speaking their exact street address, confidential medical info or sex noises into a voice assistants microphone. Apple is now on board to let their customers opt out, will other companies follow suit?