Microsoft contractors reportedly listened in to Cortana and Xbox audio recordings

Joanna Estrada
August 25, 2019

Some of these accidentally recorded audio had players telling Cortana "No" after it was unintentionally activated in the middle of a game.

It had previously been reported that Microsoft workers listened to some Skype calls as well as audio recorded by Cortana, its virtual assistant.

"The Xbox stuff was actually a bit of a welcome respite, honestly".

Most of the recordings occurred when users ask the console to perform specific functions.

"We've always been clear that we collect voice data to improve voice-enabled services and that this data is sometimes reviewed by vendors", the company added, although - as Motherboard points out - Microsoft did not explicitly state human staff may review these audio recordings in its privacy policy until after Motherboard's prior reporting on the subject.

"It was frequently the same games". And then the high-speed instant gaming using solid state drives to enable instant resume, getting into games and being able to play by removing load times and load screens that exist today.

According to Microsoft, the company has now ceased listening to voice recordings and has altered its privacy policy.

Back in June, Xbox head Phil Spencer talked to Giant Bomb about the rumored collaboration with Nintendo, and stated that he would like to see Game Pass on as many systems as possible.

Microsoft has now owned up to these issues, and the service did gradually improve.

A Microsoft spokesperson responded to Motherboard's report, saying that the company recently stopped listening to audio to improve its products.

As is known, Microsoft would like to bring the Xbox lineup to the largest number of devices in the near future, a first timid step in this direction was made with the arrival of Cuphead, Ori and the Blind Forest and Super Lucky's Tale on Switch but the future could reserve many other surprises.

It added: "We occasionally review a low volume of voice recordings sent from one Xbox user to another when there are reports that a recording violated our terms of service and we need to investigate".

Microsoft offers a dedicated page for users to delete any audio captured by the company's products.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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