After facing much scrutiny over its handling of users’ data, Facebook confirmed that it had been transcribing users’ audio messages. The company has been paying hundreds of dollars to outside contractors for transcribing audio clips of users using its services. Facebook has been doing this without the knowledge of the users.
Even the contract employees, were not told about where the audio was recorded or how it was obtained and only to transcribe it. They had been hearing users’ conversations, which can sometimes contain vulgar content.
Facebook has said that it will no longer do so. The company said, “Much like Apple and Google, we paused human review of audio more than a week ago”. The company claimed that the users who were affected chose the option in Facebook’s Messenger app to have their voice chats transcribed. The contractors were checking whether Facebook’s artificial intelligence correctly interpreted the messages, which were anonymized.