Microsoft is pretty well known for its “Scroogled” campaign which pokes at Google’s potential privacy concerns. In the latest ‘leaked’ video Microsoft even directly parodied Google’s own commercials to show how Google allegedly tracks you everywhere (video posted below).
The big question is, how innocent is Microsoft here? According to Ars Technica and security researcher Ashkan Soltani, they are possibly guilty of similar privacy concerns with Skype. Apparently Skype messages are sent through a server before reaching the person you are talking to – in other words, they could potentially be read or scanned by Microsoft.
We can’t say for sure if Microsoft is really scanning/reading messages or if they are, whether it is just for security (checking for links with malware, etc) – but accoring to Professor Matt Green at John Hopkins the problem is about perception.
“The problem right now is that there’s a mismatch between the privacy people expect and what Microsoft is actually delivering. Even if Microsoft is only scanning links for ‘good’ purposes, say detecting malicious URLs, this indicates that they can intercept some of your text messages. And that means they could potentially intercept a lot more of them.”
The idea is that Microsoft should be clearer of their own privacy policies, though again we can’t confirm or deny that Microsoft really is scanning/reading said messages.
Personally, I don’t like the idea of being spied on through the net, but I’ve come to realize that privacy online is more of an illusion than anything and I wouldn’t put it past any company to ‘spy’ on our messages, emails, and browsing history – at the very least to serve us ads.
What do you think, would it surprise you if Microsoft is scanning Skype messages? Does it concern you? Let us know what you think in the comments below!
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