The new terms of conditions for Microsoft services released on October 2023 caused an outcry in the IT world. The reason was a paragraph who said, that now all Microsoft Services are powered by artificial intelligence. This A. I. supposed to be used to detect copyright violations. This includes things like Music, Movies, Graphics, E-Books and Software. In the case this A. I. Detect copyright violations on your system, those files supposed to got deleted automatically from the ‘system’. At this time it is not clear if this rule applies to your own local disk storage or just to the files on the Microsoft Cloud. Microsoft also declared that user which violates the copyright rule will be suspended from all Microsoft Services.
This exclusion has different flavors. The first questions rise up to my mind is what will happened with paid subscriptions like Skype? They will block me and refund my unused credits? A more worst scenario is may I will loose also all my credits and digital properties like access to games and other things. Or paid subscriptions will not be affected? Until now this part not clear.
If you are an Apple user my you could think this things will not affect you but better be sure you may use a Microsoft Service you don’t know its Microsoft. Not every Product include the companies name. Think about it, because who knows if those products spying around on your system. Some applications like Skype, Teams, Edge Browser and Visual Studio Code are available for other platforms like Apple and Linux.
Microsoft also owned the Source Code hosting Platform GitHub and an social network for professionals called LinkedIn. Whit Office 360 you can use the entire Microsoft Office Suite via Web Browser as Cloud solution and all your documents will be stored in the Microsoft Cloud. The same Cloud where US Government institutions like the CIA, NSA and many others keep their files. Well seems it will be a secure place for all your thought you place inside a office document.
This small detail about Office documents leads us to a little side note in the new terms of condition from Microsoft. The fight against hate speech. Whatever that means. Public insults and defamation have always been strictly enforced by the legislature. This means that it is not a trivial offense but rather a criminal offense. So it’s not clear to me what all this talk about hate speech means. Maybe it’s an attempt to introduce public censorship of freedom of expression.
But well back to the side notice from Microsoft term of conditions about hate speech. Microsoft wrote something like: if we detect hate speech we will warn the user and if the violations occur several times the Microsoft account of the user will be deactivated.
If you may think this is just something happen now by Microsoft, be sure many other companies working to introduce equal services. The communication platform Zoom for example included also A. I. techniques to observe the user communication for training purposes.
With all those news is still a big questions needed to be answered: What can I do by myself? The solution is simple. Move back from the digital universe into the real world. Turn the brain back on. Use pen and paper, pay in cash, leave your smartphone at home and there never on the bedside table. If you don’t use it turn it off. Meet your friend physically when ever it is possible and don’t bring your smartphone. There will be no government, no president and no messiahs to bring a change. It’s up to us.