FACEBOOK has been paying hundreds of contractors to listen to and transcribe users’ private audio chats, some of which are X-rated.
The tech giant confirmed that it had been transcribing users’ audio and said it was no longer doing so, Bloomberg reported.
Facebook has been paying hundreds of contractors to listen to and transcribe users’ private audio chats[/caption]
Contract employees from the firm TaskUs revealed that they had transcribed some “vulgar” conversations while listening in to the chats.
It is the latest in a series of privacy scandals to hit Facebook, with the company facing criticism from lawmakers and regulators over its practices.
The users’ affected in this case had chosen the option in Facebook’s Messenger app to have their voice chats transcribed, according to reports.
The contractors were checking whether Facebook’s artificial intelligence correctly interpreted the messages, which were anonymous.
Earlier this month, Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc’s Google globally suspended reviewing recordings from users interacting with their voice assistants, as concerns over data privacy mount.
“Much like Apple and Google, we paused human review of audio more than a week ago,” Facebook said on Tuesday.
Facebook’s data-use policy did not warn users that their audio conversations may be written down.
It does, however, say Facebook will collect “content, communications and other information you provide” when users “message or communicate with others.”
The social media giant does not warn users that other human beings may screen their content.
Last week, a federal appeals court rejected Facebook’s effort to undo a class action lawsuit claiming that it illegally collected and stored biometric data for millions of users without their consent.
The company also agreed to pay a record $5billion fine last month to settle a U.S. Federal Trade Commission data privacy probe.
Amazon and Apple have also recently come under fire for paying workers to listen to customers’ conversations through their devices.
Employees recorded thousands of Amazon Alexa clips including a woman singing in the shower and a sex assault, it emerged last night.
Full-time workers and contractors at the online retail giant reportedly sifted through as many as 1,000 recordings per shift – and even share “amusing” clips between themselves.
Seven former employees who worked in Amazon’s voice review programme came forward with the startling revelations in April.
They said the recordings – made through Amazon devices like the Echo speaker – were linked to the customer’s first name, their device’s serial number and even their personal account number.
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