Episode 644- Aussie Tech Heads Shownotes

posted in: Show Notes

Microsoft workers ‘listen’ to some translated Skype calls


According to tech site Motherboard, some contractors for Microsoft review such conversations to check the quality of translations.

However, the fact that humans may listen in to calls is not explicitly stated in Skype’s terms and conditions.

Microsoft said it had users’ permission to collect and process their data.


also said it had evidence that human contractors could hear voice commands spoken to Cortana, Microsoft’s virtual voice-activated assistant.

The practice of using human contractors to assess recordings of customers using tech products has faced increasing scrutiny lately.

Last week, Apple and Google decided to suspend their use of human contractors for reviewing voice recordings made by the firms’ virtual assistants and smart speakers, including Apple’s Siri.

A few days later, Luxembourg’s data protection watchdog said that it had opened discussions with Amazon about how the firm processed voice recordings made of people using its smart assistant Alexa.



‘lockable’ C1 e-cigarette for UK vapers

The Juul C1 e-cigarette pairs with an Android smartphone to limit who can use it as well as to provide a way of monitoring how often the user vapes.

Juul said the C1 could only be used if people got through age-verification and face-recognition checks.

ACCC targets HealthEngine over data sharing, reviews


The ACCC said that HealthEngine passed on patient information including name, phone number, email address, date or year of birth, appointment time, type of health care practice a booking was made with, and whether or not an individual had private health insurance.

The information was passed on to brokers when a HealthEngine user indicated they were interested in receiving a call related to comparing health insurance services. However, according to the ACCC the service did not adequately disclose that the information would be shared if the patient answered ‘yes’ to the relevant question.

HealthEngine received fees for referring some 135,000 patients to brokers between 30 April 2014 and 30 June 2018, according to an ACCC court filing.

The ACCC has also accused the service of manipulating patient reviews of health services. The company selectively published 50,000 out of around 128,000 reviews received between 31 March 2015 and 1 March 2018, the ACCC said.


Apple Card will not allow purchase of cryptocurrencies

The Apple Card customer agreement said the card cannot be used to purchase cash advances or cash equivalents that include cryptocurrencies, casino gaming chips, race track wagers or lottery tickets. Goldman declined to comment and Apple did not immediately respond to request for comment.


NBN Co floats making 100/40Mbps plans business-only

NBN Co is considering “repositioning” the current 100/40Mbps residential broadband product as a business-only service.

The proposal is contained within the current NBN wholesale price review and is a previously unknown extension of the company’s future thinking around the 100Mbps tier.

Aussie Broadband offered a counter-view in its submission to the price review.

“We believe there is still a reasonable segment of the residential market that want the 40Mbps upstream speed, particularly given the popularity of cloud applications for storing photos and videos,” it said.

“We would discourage NBN Co from restricting this product solely to businesses.”