Microsoft has made quite a fuss over being Scroogled and how Google “reads” users emails and the dangers of such behavior. Well I have news for Microsoft. Bing Now is a scandal waiting to happen. I’m talking about major device altering scandal proportions. First some info on what Bing Now is to catch you up to speed.
Bing Now is currently a Microsoft Research app in development that is intended to deliver a more visceral search experience to the user. The aim is to help users search for buinesses and locations and get a better feel for the location with the help of crowd sourcing noise levels, music playing and chatter levels. Pretty useful in theory. Just imagine how helpful Bing Now would be in finding a location you can have a quiet dinner or finding the most popular club on a particular night in real time. Bing Now is taking aim at delivering information that is relevant and most important in getting users to a place that meet their needs. So what’s the problem? Privacy issues abound.
In order for Bing Now to capture the metadata that is required to deliver such an enhanced and useful experience the Bing Now app captures 6-10 seconds of background noise to process and feed back to the user. Crowd sourcing is at the heart of Bing Now. So what happens when part of the audio captured is of someone in the background disclosing confidential or private information? Major scandals can be created in both business and personal areas. Seeing how highly rated the Scandal television show is it is fair t say there is nothing people like more than a good scandal.
In this day where Google is getting targeted for privacy issues its worth noting that the one pointing the finger the most, Microsoft, is developing an app that has the potential to shake a person’s life to pieces with this Bing Now app.