It is no secret that companies such as Microsoft have been outsourcing the analysis of recordings made through platforms such as Cortana. The analysis is meant to help the company better understand how to improve their services, although we imagine that not many people are too thrilled at the idea.

However, to make matters worse, a recent report from The Guardian has revealed that not only has Microsoft been outsourcing recordings made through Skype and Cortana, but they have been sending them to China without any security in place. Sources told the publication that new hires weren’t even vetted to ensure that they were trustworthy.

It was also revealed that they were told to create accounts with the same password for the sake of convenience. The contractor also revealed more details such as how his account username and password was sent to him over email and he was even allowed to do his work from home, meaning that in theory, anyone else could have just as easily listened in on those recordings as well.

Microsoft later issued a statement in which they stated that the information sent for analysis only contained short lengths of audio that had been de-identified. The company added, “Review snippets are typically fewer than ten seconds long and no one reviewing these snippets would have access to longer conversations. We’ve always disclosed this to customers and operate to the highest privacy standards set out in laws like Europe’s GDPR.”

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