Voice-activated digital assistants sound like the convenience of the future that many of us have grown up seeing in movies, but is it really? Or rather, would you be willing to sacrifice some of your privacy in favor of convenience? Unfortunately, sometimes that choice seems to be made on behalf of the user.
Recently, we’ve been hearing reports about how outsider contractors have been listening to audio recordings made by users when using digital assistants. This has happened to companies such as Apple, Facebook, and Google, and more recently, it seems that Xbox users have also been similarly affected.
This is according to a report from Motherboard in which they have heard from contractors who admit that they have been listening to audio recordings made on Xbox consoles. Now, to be clear, they weren’t spying on users, but rather they were supposed to listen to recordings that were capture when using the Xbox’s voice controlled features, such as when saying “Xbox” or “Hey Cortana”.
However, according to the contractors, sometimes this can be triggered accidentally, thus giving them recordings that might have been private in nature. Microsoft had previously doubled down on how they plan to continue using humans to analyze recordings so don’t expect this practice to end anytime soon.