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Microsoft faces flak over changes in service agreement

Privacy experts have criticized Microsoft over the changes it made in its service

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Representational image. Wikimedia Commons
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Privacy experts have criticized Microsoft over the changes it made in its service through which the company has the right to review user’s content without their consent. The new rules prohibit users from using Microsoft’s services to “publicly display or share inappropriate content or material” including “offensive language” and nudity, Fortune reported.

According to civil rights activist Jonathan Corbett, the term “offensive language” is ambiguous as its definition varies from person to person.

Microsoft’s new privacy policy allows it to see users’ content without their permission.

Trash-talking is a regular occurrence among Xbox Live players. “If I call someone a mean name in Xbox Live, not only will they cancel my account, but also confiscate any funds I’ve deposited in my account?” he asked.

The activist noted that couples who engage in sexy video chats when they’re separated could not only be banned but also monitored. “In 2018, when anyone can be offended by anything, these terms allow Microsoft staff to play unrestrained censor if and when they choose,” Corbett was quoted as saying.

Also Read: Three users sue Facebook over call, text data scraping

“What’s also clear is that they reserve the right to go through your private data and these terms seem to pretty clearly allow them to watch and listen to your Skype calls, so long as they are ‘investigating’ something. The terms don’t appear to require any complaint to be filed against you-just that an employee deciding that they want to investigate,” he added.

The criticism comes at a time when several tech giants, especially Facebook, are facing the heat over users’ privacy and data sharing. On Tuesday, the US Federal Trade Commission confirmed that it was investigating Facebook after the leak of personal and other data on some 50 million users to political consulting firm Cambridge Analytica.

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Users’ data is in great risk with this step. Wikimedia Commons

The German government on Monday said the social media giant would get stricter regulations in the country. Meanwhile, Apple chief Tim Cook and IBM chair Ginni Rometty have also called for more measures to ensure user data protection. IANS

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Microsoft to End Support for Skype ‘Classic’ Following New Desktop Release

Skype version 8.0 will also roll out on iPads

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New Microsoft Skype version for desktop is rolling out from September 1. Pixabay

Microsoft is rolling out the new version 8.0 of Skype for desktop, replacing its previously active “Skype Classic 7.0”, from September 1.

The new version of Skype comes with features like free HD video and group calls that could bring together over 24 people at once, the Skype team wrote in a blog post late on Monday.

“We built Skype version 8.0 based on feedback from our community, adding exciting new features while ensuring it is simple to use with the same familiar interface of Skype version 7.0,” said the post.

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Skype version 8.0 will also roll out on iPads. Pixabay

Skype 8.0 includes message reactions, “@mentions” to send individual notifications in a group chat, a chat media gallery and an option to share up to 300MB of pictures and videos at a time over Skype.

Also Read: Microsoft Calls for Facial Recognition Technology Rules Given ‘Potential for Abuse’

The video-and-voice platform plans to roll out additional features later which would include read receipts, end-to-end encrypted Skype audio calls and text messages with hidden notifications, Cloud-based video call recordings with notification for everyone present during the call, profile invites and more.

Skype version 8.0 will also roll out on iPads. (IANS)