The latest confession from Facebook has become the latest company to admit that human contractors listened to recordings of users without their knowledge, a practice the company now says has been “paused”.
All the companies, including Facebook, said the data was stripped of any identifying information and was only used to improve their products, and not to help tailor ads to users.
Facebook says it followed the lead of other companies to “limit human review of non-public audio.” When asked if it also captures audio from its Portal video calling product, the company declined to answer.
The revelation is just the latest in a long string of privacy violations the company has admitted to in recent years, including the Cambridge Analytica scandal, which compromised the data of 87 million users, and a 2018 hack that exposed the personal information of 50 million users. Just last month, the company last month agreed a $5 billion fine with the FTC after an investigation of privacy practices.
Facebook has become the latest company to admit that human contractors listened to recordings of users without their knowledge, a practice the company now says has been “paused”.
Citing contractors who worked on the project, Bloomberg News reported on Tuesday that the company hired people to listen to audio conversations carried out on Facebook Messenger.
The practice involved users who had opted in Messenger to have their voice chats transcribed, the company said. The contractors have tasked with re-transcribing the conversations in order to gauge the accuracy of the automatic transcription tool.