Facebook has been listening to users' voice messages without their knowledge

Facebook paid people to transcribe Messenger voice chats

The social network has admitted to hiring hundreds of external contractors to listen in and transcribe audio clips taken from its users' Messenger app.

Facebook's privacy policy does not explicitly mention that humans will listen to users' audio messages, only saying that it may share "content, communications and other information you provide" with "vendors and service providers who support our business".

Facebook collects and has contractors transcribe the audio data to check the accuracy of its automated speech recognition systems, according to Bloomberg. Some said the uncertainty and apparent duplicity - Facebook doesn't tell users third parties may review their audio - troubled them.

Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of Facebook, has previously denied in front of US Congress that his company was collecting audio from users to inform ads or help determine what people see in their news feeds, calling it “conspiracy theory” in a response to US Senator Gary Peters.

The murkiness of what Facebook did with these recordings is creepy, to say the least.

Facebook claims that it has since stopped this transcription process and "will no longer do so".


Amazon had a team of thousands of workers around the world listening to Alexa audio requests with the goal of improving the software, and similar human review was used for Apple's Siri and Google Assistant. That led some of the workers to believe their work was "unethical", especially when some of the conversations included vulgar material.

Facebook and invading privacy - name a more iconic duo.

"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", Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg said in US Senate testimony previous year.

"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 United States senator Gary Peters in April 2018.

Zuckerberg never disclosed that Facebook was sending recordings to third party contractors.

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