Voice-to-text service Spinvox fights BBC over privacy claims

Voice-to-text firm Spinvox has launched a major PR off­ensive in response to potentially damaging claims by the BBC about the company's technological processes.

Spinvox: accused of using humans not technology
Spinvox: accused of using humans not technology

The company has extended the brief of its retained agency Porter Novelli to counter the current crisis. Spinvox is a
popular service that transcribes voicemails into text messages. But the BBC story claimed much of this transcription is carried out by humans rather than, as Spinvox has always maintained, automated technology.

The story was rapidly picked up by other media and became a trending topic on Twitter within hours. Several journalists and bloggers questioned whether the inv­olvement of call centre workers in the Philippines and India in transcribing voicemails could constitute breaches of privacy. At the same time, Spinvox is fighting claims by ex-workers that it is facing financial problems.

Spinvox global PR director Jane Henry said the firm was using direct comms, media relations, blogs and social
media to ‘correct and explain the erroneous information’.

It has also invited the BBC to tour its UK headquarters.

However, industry figures criticised Spinvox’s tardy res­ponse. Speed PR MD Stephen Waddington said: ‘PR is partly how it built the brand so well. Suddenly it has changed the way it communicates.’

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