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Facebook Records User Audio, Sparking Privacy Questions
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Quote:Hundreds of contractors reportedly were hired to transcribe Messenger voice chats in order to test the accuracy of an AI algorithm — raising questions about what Facebook does with the data.
 
Facebook has admitted that it has been transcribing audio chats between its users on its Messenger platform. Sources said that it’s paying hundreds to third-party outside contractors to do so. The latter calls into question Facebook’s data-handling practices when it comes to being open with its users.
 
While Facebook confirmed that it had been transcribing users’ audio, it maintains that affected users chose to have their voice chats transcribed. In [Only registered and activated users can see links Click here to register] related to a Congressional probe last year, the company said that it “only accesses users’ microphone if the user has given our app permission and if they are actively using a specific feature that requires audio (like voice messaging features).”

It also said this week that it is halting the program – which is meant to train its algorithm to be more accurate – to review the privacy implications.

“Much like Apple and Google, we paused human review of audio more than a week ago,” the social network said Tuesday in a statement to media. One of the firms reviewing the user chat logs, TaskUs, confirmed that to be the case: “Facebook asked TaskUs to pause this work over a week ago, and it did,” a spokesperson told [Only registered and activated users can see links Click here to register].

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