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Find your recordings in the Privacy Dashboard
Voice-based assistants and smart speakers have been becoming exceedingly popular in the common consumer space. This gave rise to growing concerns about “companies listening in,” with companies assuring consumers that wasn’t the case. Turned out, that was the case. Then companies said that the random voice data was not being stored, which it turns out, was being stored. Now, the third blow in this space comes with the expose that third party humans have been listening to bits of those audio recordings. Facebook was caught doing it, as was Apple. Now Microsoft has come forward stating that it too allows third parties to listen in on some of your voice data.
While it is concerning that every laptop which runs Windows 10 potentially allows Microsoft to pick up snippets of conversations, all is not bleak. Microsoft does not offer a way to opt-out from having third parties listen to your audio, but you could turn off Cortana if you wished so. Additionally, you can visit the Microsoft Privacy Dashboard where you will find any and all the voice snippets that the company may have stored. Additionally, you will also find a transcript of the recordings based on what Microsoft or its third party think it to contain.
At this point, it is hardly any surprise that Microsoft is also having third parties audit snippets of audio files picked up from your Cortana queries. Amazon was caught doing the same thing, after they denied even storing audio recordings. Unfortunately, due to a lack of laws to govern how voice data is handled, consumers are left at the mercy of tech companies in terms of how they choose to protect consumer data.
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