FACEBOOK staff are reading your private posts and photos in a massive breach of user privacy.
Teams of workers in India have already ploughed through millions of posts to help train the site’s creepy artificial intelligence tools.
Facebook employees read your private posts[/caption]
The Wipro workers said they gain a window into lives as they view a vacation photo or a post memorialising a deceased family member.
Facebook admitted that some posts, including screenshots and those with comments, may include user names.
The news emerged following an investigation by Reuters.
They found that, over the past year, a team of as many as 260 contract workers in Hyderabad, India has sifted through millions of Facebook photos, status updates and other content posted since 2014.
Facebook boss Mark Zuckerberg has had to steer his firm through a tidal wave of privacy scandals over the past 12 months[/caption]
Workers categorise items according to five “dimensions,” as Facebook calls them.
These include the subject of the post – whether it is food, for example, or a selfie or an animal; What is the occasion – whether it’s an everyday activity or major life event; And what is the author’s intention – perhaps to plan an event, to inspire, or to make a joke.
The work is aimed at understanding how the types of things users post on its services are changing, Facebook said. That can help the company develop new features, potentially increasing usage and ad revenue.
Details of the effort were provided by multiple employees at outsourcing firm Wipro over several months.
The workers spoke on condition of anonymity due to fear of retaliation by the Indian firm.
Facebook later confirmed many details of the project. Wipro declined to comment and referred all questions to Facebook.
The Wipro work is among about 200 content labeling projects that Facebook has at any time, employing thousands of people globally, company officials told Reuters.
Facebook is snooping on people’s posts to help train its AI systems[/caption]
Many projects are aimed at “training” the software that determines what appears in users’ news feeds and powers the artificial intelligence underlying many other features.
The content labeling program could raise new privacy issues for Facebook, according to legal experts consulted by Reuters.
The company is facing regulatory investigations worldwide over an unrelated set of alleged privacy abuses involving the sharing of user data with business partners.
Facebook said its legal and privacy teams must sign off on all labeling efforts, adding that it recently introduced an auditing system “to ensure that privacy expectations are being followed and parameters in place are working as expected.”
But one former Facebook privacy manager, speaking on condition of anonymity, expressed unease about users’ posts being scrutinised without their explicit permission.
The European Union’s year-old General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has strict rules about how companies gather and use personal data and in many cases requires specific consent.
A Facebook spokeswoman said: “We make it clear in our data policy that we use the information people provide to Facebook to improve their experience and that we might work with service providers to help in this process.”
TOP STORIES IN TECH
In other Facebook news, it was recently revealed that the site has “trust” ratings for users – but won’t tell you your score.
It emerged last week that Facebook Dating is adding a new Secret Crush feature to reveal which of your pals fancy you.
The social media giant saw its profits cut in half recently as it admits it’s facing recording-breaking £4billion US fine over data scandals.
Are you worried about Facebook employees seeing your posts? Let us know in the comments!