Reviewed October 1st, 2020
service
privacy guide
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Microsoft Corporation πŸ”—
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Skype

Microsoft Corporation
6/10

Summary

Skype was in use before video chat features were commonplace on cell phones. The former leading video call platform has added features to keep up with the rising competition. A new feature called Meet Now allows users to quickly join a call by clicking a link on the web. In addition, Skype lets users blur their background for extra privacy, use language translation, and call regular phone numbers. The video chat app is owned by Microsoft, which means Skype integrates with Microsoft team services.

Privacy Checklist

Does it meet our minimum privacy standards?

Is any kind of biometric data collected (health, heart, voice, etc.)?

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Are you able to delete your data / the data collected about you?

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Does it use cookies, telemetry, or third-party tracking scripts?

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Is the privacy policy user-friendly (easy to understand)?

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Does it have parental controls?

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Does it use encryption to protect your data both in-transit and at-rest?

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Does it get regular software and / or firmware updates?

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Does it require you to create a strong password?

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Is there a system in place for managing security vulnerabilities?

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Does it have a privacy policy?

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How Can It Snoop?

What sensitive hardware access requirements does it have?

Does it have a camera or request / require access to a camera?

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Does it have a microphone or request / require access to a microphone?

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Does it track your location or request / require access to location data?

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Account Requirements

What information is required to create an account or use it?

Does it require an email address to use?

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Does it require a phone number to use?

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Does it require an address (home or office) to use?

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Payment Options

What payment methods are available?

Are you able to use a credit card as a payment option?

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Are you able to use a cryptocurrency as a payment option?

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Are you able to use PayPal as a payment option?

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Are you able to use cash or gift cards as a payment option?

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What Could Go Wrong?

What's the worst case scenario for your data?

Skype had some privacy concerns in the past. Most recently, Microsoft was allowing its contract workers in China to listen on Skype calls with no security measures in place. Obviously, Microsoft has changed these practices, but it is a good reminder that even companies with decent security practices can handle private data and conversations sloppily. Since Skype has also been around grown in popularity for years, it has become a prime target for malware and phishing attacks. Users should set up a two-factor authentication on Skype.

How Does It Share Your Data?

Where is your data going? Who has access to it?

Microsoft can collect a fair amount of data from the use of its products like name and contact data, payment data, different interactions, device data, payment history, browsing history, search history, images, contacts, and location data. It states in its privacy policy that it won’t use any information in personal messages for advertising. However, Microsoft does use some data to target you with advertising within Microsoft web properties and by partners such as Verizon and Facebook.

Good Things

Why should you use it?

  • Since Microsoft has acquired Skype, the security and privacy measures have shored up and continued to improve.
  • Bug bounty program for security vulnerabilities and security updates monthly.

Bad Things

What are the downsides?

  • Since Skype is popular, it has collected a fair amount of data and open to attacks from hackers. So be aware of that.
  • Skype collects your data and uses it to target you with advertising within Microsoft web properties.
  • Microsoft has been known to be sloppy with personal information.
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