There Is Secure, Then There Is Secure

This ars technica article points out that Microsoft scans Skype message contents for signs of fraud, which means that Microsoft can read them. While Skype messages may be encrypted to prevent third parties from reading them, that apparently does not apply to Microsoft. 

This is not just a Microsoft issue. Other providers of communication and data storage may also be able to do that for certain services (Facebook, Google). A close read of various service provider terms of use and privacy policies show they have the option to review data. It is usually intended as a way to control things like spam and fraud or violations of acceptable use policies.

Users will have to decide if they require true end to end encryption where the service provider can’t access data at all, or whether they can accept service provider access and rely on contractual promises on what the service provider will do with that. The answer may vary depending on the sensitivity of the information being stored or communicated by the service, or legal or contractual obligations one has regarding the information.

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