Facebook paid contractors to transcribe users’ audio chats

  • actual
  • 13:16 14 August 2019
  • |
img
NEWS DESK - Facebook confirmed that it had been transcribing users’ audio and said it will no longer do so, following scrutiny into other companies.
 
Bloomberg reported that Facebook Inc. has been paying hundreds of outside contractors to transcribe clips of audio from users of its services, according to people with knowledge of the work.
 
According to the report, the work has rattled the contract employees, who are not told where the audio was recorded or how it was obtained -- only to transcribe it, said the people, who requested anonymity for fear of losing their jobs. They’re hearing Facebook users’ conversations, sometimes with vulgar content, but do not know why Facebook needs them transcribed, the people said.
 
Facebook confirmed that it had been transcribing users’ audio and said it will no longer do so, following scrutiny into other companies. “Much like Apple and Google, we paused human review of audio more than a week ago,” the company said Tuesday. The company said 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.
 
Big tech companies including Amazon.com Inc. and Apple Inc. have come under fire for collecting audio snippets from consumer computing devices and subjecting those clips to human review, a practice that critics say invades privacy. Bloomberg first reported in April that Amazon had a team of thousands of workers around the world listening to Alexa audio requests with the goal of improving the software, and that similar human review was used for Apple’s Siri and Alphabet Inc.’s Google Assistant. Apple and Google have since said they no longer engage in the practice and Amazon said it will let users opt out of human review.
 
The social networking giant, which just completed a $5 billion settlement with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission after a probe of its privacy practices, has long denied that it collects audio from users to inform ads or help determine what people see in their news feeds. Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg denied the idea directly in Congressional testimony.
 
“You’re talking about this conspiracy theory that gets passed around that we listen to what’s going on on your microphone and use that for ads,” Zuckerberg told U.S. Senator Gary Peters in April 2018. “We don’t do that.”
 
Facebook hasn’t disclosed to users that third parties may review their audio. That’s led some contractors to feel their work is unethical, according to the people with knowledge of the matter.

View More Articles

28/01/2020
18:27 The aid vehicles of Ergani Municipality have been prevented to enter Elazığ second time
18:02 Buldan: They reduced themselves as to gather politics out of wrecks
16:20 Arrest of Osman Kavala to Continue
15:04 Attorneys' Request for Recusation Rejected
14:42 16 countries condemn Iraq's "excessive use of force" on protesters
14:41 Türk-İş Union: Starvation line 2,219 Lira, poverty line 7,229 Lira in January
14:41 'If the jihadist transfer is proved Turkey will face serious trouble'
13:45 Earthquake victims in villages: Mobilization of aid has begun, but we have received nothing
12:54 New application from Öcalan's lawyers
12:53 Boy, 15, beaten twice for telling about police violence
12:51 Journalist Canözer faces charges for posts in social media
12:51 No follow-up to police harassment in custody
12:49 No one left under debris: 41 dead, 1607 injured
27/01/2020
14:33 The prison not admitted to hospital lost his life
14:28 Investigation about 50 people for posts about earthquake
14:00 Başkaya: Rojava is the the way out from the crisis of civilization
13:05 They gave tents but no heaters and blankets
12:16 Forces of the regime advances to Idlib
12:15 Gergerlioğlu: Those who dismissed with a law decree can not open bank accounts
10:59 Îlham Ehmed: Every step related to the Kurdish union is historical
10:57 22 Syrian prisoners prevented from seeing their families
10:27 Death toll in Elazığ earthquake rises to 39
09:57 5 rockets reported in Green Zone of Baghdad
09:52 Elazığ Governorate turns down HDP's solidarity with earthquake victims
09:49 Death toll in Elazığ rises to 35
25/01/2020
18:05 Parents demanding fair trial for their son on death fast detained
15:18 TUAY-DER: Prisoners in Elazığ and Malatya are fine
15:18 Evacuation of the 814 prisoners in Adıyaman Prison starts
14:38 Damages Adıyaman Prison to be evacuated
13:06 6 people rescued from wrecked building
12:40 Almost 300 aftershocks in Elazığ
11:36 AFAD shared the latest data: 21 dead 1030 injured
10:58 'Violations continue systematically in Elazig Prison'
10:57 Soylu: We will initiate an investigation regarding the social media posts
10:57 HDP sends delegation to Elazığ
09:45 One more people rescued from the wreckage of the collapsed building in Gezin
09:44 Earthquake in Elazığ: Search and rescue continues
09:43 Sur trials began with aggravated life imprisonment
09:43 One more resignation from AKP
09:10 Temelli: We must build the democratic Republic together
09:08 Families’ appeal to visit Imralı rejected
09:08 Prison sentence to journalist Osman Akın
24/01/2020
11:55 European Parliament to vote on Brexit next Wednesday
11:53 Chancellor Merkel meets President Erdogan
11:52 WikiLeaks founder trial split in two
11:51 Last call from United Metal Union: We are going on strike!
11:51 HDP Spokesperson Being Investigated for 'Insulting the Turkish Nation'
09:32 13 people including HDP Assembly member arrested in Diyarbakır
09:31 Lawyers appeal to visit Öcalan on Imralı
09:31 Asrın Law Office applies to Constitutional Court for Imralı