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Protecting personal conversations from human monitoring

Protecting personal conversations from human monitoring
Published on: 10 September 2019
Published by: LexisPSL
  • Protecting personal conversations from human monitoring
  • In what ways could Microsoft’s employees listening to real Skype conversations without this being explicitly stated in Skype's terms and conditions pose a risk to consumer rights and the laws that protect them?
  • What difference does it make, legally, that Skype uses humans (and not technology such as AI or processing software) to analyse the calls? What problems does this raise?
  • What is the impact of this discovery likely to be for companies which use Skype and other Microsoft applications for their business meetings and employee communication?
  • What wider reflections does this discovery have on how big tech companies treat user privacy?
  • What needs to change to better inform and protect consumers and their privacy?

Article summary

Risk & Compliance analysis: Vice’s ‘Motherboard’ team has found that Microsoft workers occasionally listen to real Skype conversations that have been processed by translation software, despite this not being explicitly stated in Skype's terms and conditions. Emma Wright, partner in the commercial technology team, and Anita Bapat, partner in the data protection and privacy team, both at Kemp Little, discuss the implications of this on consumers and businesses, and highlight the importance of consumers and businesses alike taking the time to read terms and conditions and privacy policies before signing on the dotted line. or take a trial to read the full analysis.

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