Report: Microsoft Shared Cortana, Skype Recordings in China With Few Protections

From Tom's Hardware: Last year it was revealed that contractors around the world listened to recordings from Google Assistant, Alexa, Siri and Cortana to help train the voice assistants' speech recognition capabilities. Microsoft was sharing recordings from Skype, too, and now The Guardian has reported that the company sent those recordings to contractors in China with very few safeguards in place to keep them secure.

The Guardian's report was based on information provided by "a former contractor who says he reviewed thousands of potentially sensitive recordings on his personal laptop from his home in Beijing over the two years he worked for the company." That anonymous source revealed that Microsoft emailed a URL, username and password to contractors so they could access the Cortana and Skype recordings.

There are of course worrying aspects of that arrangement. Microsoft allowed English recordings--the contractor specialized in British English--to be accessed from China, which could have exposed the recordings to the Chinese government. And Microsoft shared the credentials used to access these recordings via email, which could have been to intercepted or compromised.

View: Full Article