First off; RELAX ! This is the classic tempest in a teapot. Honest. And the New York Times should be ashamed of itself for posting it in the first place. Surely a bit more research is/was called for. At least that's my take on things.
NBC mentioned it and reporters took off with the thought, without checking the reality. Microsoft vehemently denies it and I believe them, as the presence of any such capability is relatively easy to verify, meaning they would be caught in relatively short order. It is a certainty that they know this and they do not want the product damaged in the public eye by such a thing.
Unfortunately, they might have been damaged a lot just because the subject came up and The Times ran with it.