Microsoft announced that it will stop listening to Xbox users and said the move is “no longer necessary.” A Microsoft spokesperson said in a statement:
“We stopped reviewing any voice content taken through Xbox for product improvement purposes a number of months ago, as we no longer felt it was necessary, and we have no plans to restart those reviews. We occasionally review a low volume of voice recordings sent from one Xbox user to another when there are reports that a recording violated our terms of service and we need to investigate. This is done to keep the Xbox community safe and is clearly stated in our Xbox terms of service.”
It has been previously reported that the company has been recording and monitoring private conversations with gamers since 2014, many of whom are children. Microsoft said it did this to improve the voice control of the Xbox.
In April this year, it was reported that Amazon, Google, and Apple hired employees to monitor user recordings collected from smart speakers and voice assistant applications. But many users are unaware of it. There have been reports that Microsoft staff also listened to some Skype calls and audio recorded by their virtual assistant Cortana.