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Microsoft Contractors in China Listen to Skype Calls: Report

Microsoft contractors in China listened to Skype chats too

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Microsoft contractors in China reportedly listened to calls made on Skype and digital assistant Cortana. Pixabay

Microsoft contractors in China reportedly listened to calls made on Skype and digital assistant Cortana as they reviewed thousands of audio recordings from Skype and Cortana without cybersecurity protection.

A Guardian report on Friday quoted an unidentified former Microsoft contractor as saying that he reviewed thousands of audio recordings from Skype and Cortana on his personal laptop from his home in Beijing over a two-year period.

The contractor said that he heard “all kinds of unusual conversations” while performing the transcription.

“It sounds a bit crazy now, after educating myself on computer security, that they gave me the URL, username and password sent over email,” he was quoted as saying.

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Microsoft in August last year admitted that third-party contractors listen to voice conversations on Skype and virtual assistant Cortana. Pixabay

Microsoft said in a statement given to CNET that calls are now transcribed in “secure facilities in a small number of countries.

Microsoft has also made changes, including moving its review program to “secure facilities,” none of which are in China.

“This past summer we carefully reviewed both the process we use and the communications with customers,” said a Microsoft spokesperson.

“As a result we updated our privacy statement to be even more clear about this work, and since then we’ve significantly enhanced the process including by moving these reviews to secure facilities in a small number of countries”.

Microsoft in August last year admitted that third-party contractors listen to voice conversations on Skype and virtual assistant Cortana.

The revelation came after Motherboard found contractors were listening to audio from both Skype and Cortana, including sensitive and personal conversations of Microsoft customers.

Microsoft’s human review contractors were paid between $12 and $14 an hour for the job, and transcribe up to 200 audio clips every hour.

Also Read- Company Can Start Mass Production of Mi Mix Alpha Smartphones: Xiaomi Executives

Apple, Google and Amazon recently suspended human review of user audio recordings after reports said the companies used third-party contractors to listen to users’ voice recordings.

While Apple suspended the programme that let its virtual assistant Siri listen to users’ recordings for “quality control”, Google stopped listening and transcribing Google Assistant recordings in Europe. (IANS)

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Google Smartphone Pixel 5 May Have Reverse Charging Feature

In a statement, the company said it has decided not to make Pixel 4 duo available in the country

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In a statement, the company said it has decided not to make Pixel 4 duo available in the country. Pixabay

Almost a week after a purported Pixel 5 XL image had leaked with a unique-looking design language, the smartphone is likely to come with support for reverse charging.

The feature will be called Battery share in the Settings menu, and will let your Pixel 5 wirelessly charge things such as true wireless earbuds, smartwatches, and even other phones.

This feature is obviously nothing new in the mobile world, but so far no Pixel has had it, GSMArena reported on Wednesday quoting XDA Developers.

An earlier leaked image is one of three prototype renders, thus, meaning that the render we are seeing may not see the light of the day as the Google Pixel 5 smartphone.

The YouTuber showed the back of the Pixel 5 in his leak.

It looks monstrous, yes, but it ultimately won’t matter what Google does with the camera module as long as the Pixel 5 takes better photos than ever, according to BGR.

Earlier in October, Google announced the newly-launched Pixel 4 and Pixel 4 XL smartphones will not be available in India.

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Almost a week after a purported Pixel 5 XL image had leaked with a unique-looking design language, the smartphone is likely to come with support for reverse charging. Wikimedia Commons

In a statement, the company said it has decided not to make Pixel 4 duo available in the country.

The Google Pixel 4 has a radar sensor, dubbed Project Soli during development, and now called Motion Sense.

This allows the smartphone to support air gestures – so you can wave your hands at your phone to execute certain actions. This works on 60GHz spectrum and that was said to be the reason why the company didn’t launch the phones in India. (IANS)