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Microsoft prepares to help companies spy on employees

With companies facing increased pressure to stop doing evil from their own employees, it must be nice to know that the Software King of the World is on their side.

Microsoft is preparing a couple of little updates that may curb employees from ratting out their employers.

According to Microsoft’s roadmap service, Vole is creating something it calls “Microsoft 365 compliance center: Insider risk management — Increased visibility on browsers.”

For those who don’t know when an administrator has “increased visibility on browsers,” it means that they can see what employees are typing into those browsers.

In this case, Microsoft is targeting “risky activity” which when flagged by methods known only to Vole  links to its “compliance center” so the admin can check if the web browsers are being used to access both sensitive and non-sensitive files within an organisation.

Vole said that the compliance center monitors “files copied to personal cloud storage, files printed to local or network devices, files transferred or copied to a network share, files copied to USB devices.”

While most administrators can do that already, Vole claims that their powers will be increased. Another update is called  “Microsoft 365 compliance center: Insider risk management — New ML detectors.”

We assume that ML means “Machine Learning” rather than “Much Love” so that means your office application will mean that Vole will be constantly alert for someone revealing something.

Microsoft offers a link to its Insider Risk Management page in which it says: “Customers acknowledge insights related to the individual user’s behaviour, character, or performance materially related to employment can be calculated by the administrator and made available to others in the organisation.”

Volish machine learning can make judgements about your character and tell your boss if you are a security risk.  To be fair that might be limited to just seeing if you visit porn sites or open poorly spelt emails from Nigeria or Russia. However, there is nothing that Vole says that suggests that.  In fact the wording is that it will tell your employer everything

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