Et tu, Brute! Facebook sent private audio messages to outsource contractors to be transcribed

Et tu, Brute! Facebook sent private audio messages to outsource contractors to be transcribed

The social media giant has been hiring outside contractors to transcribe audio messages sent by its users, Bloomberg reports.

Facebook paid hundreds of outsource workers to listen to and transcribe audio clips from private messages its users sent through the company’s service. The people tasked with this were not told what the audio clips were and where they came from, Bloomberg writes, but said they heard Facebook users talking and felt that their job was “unethical”.

This comes after a string of similar revelations, which included Amazon, Apple and Google, all listening in on and recording their users’ private conversations.

The company confirmed to Bloomberg that it has indeed been transcribing users’ audio messages, but pointed out that the practice has recently been stopped.

“Much like Apple and Google, we paused human review of audio more than a week ago,” the company told Bloomberg.

Facebook, along with the rest of the bunch does not explicitly say in its privacy policy, that messages will be listened in on by humans. Only that "systems automatically process content and communications you and others provide” with “vendors and service providers who support our business” but not mentioning the possibility of people transcribing personal messages.

The audio clips came from Facebook’s Messenger voice chat transcription service, which allows users to record voice messages that an AI transcribes for the recipient. The contractors were hired to check if the company’s AI preformed the job correctly.

Discuss

Recommended

1 / 3