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Spinvox privacy issues exposed?

23rd July 2009

A UK telecoms firm could be putting customers' mobile call privacy at risk, an investigation has revealed.

Spinvox offers a service that converts mobile voice messages into text using speech recognition software.

Messages can then be delivered to the subscriber's email inbox, blog, wall or space on a social networking site.

But a BBC investigation has revealed that messages may have been heard by call centre staff abroad, raising privacy concerns.

In a statement, the company said: 'Speech algorithms do not learn without human intervention and all speech systems require humans for learning - Spinvox does this in real-time.

'The actual proportion of messages automatically converted is highly confidential and sensitive data.'

Commenting on the investigation, Rory Cellan-Jones explained on the BBC's dot-life technology blog that employees have indicated a large proportion of the translation is done using people, rather than machines.

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