Technology: Facebook paid contractors to transcribe users' audio: Bloomberg - PressFrom - US
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TechnologyFacebook paid contractors to transcribe users' audio: Bloomberg

23:40  13 august  2019
23:40  13 august  2019 Source:   reuters.com

Surprise: People are listening to your Google Assistant queries

Surprise: People are listening to your Google Assistant queries It's no secret that Google records your conversations with Google Assistant after you say a "wake word." But what you might not know is that Google uses contractors to manually review a handful of those recordings, about 0.2 percent. Yesterday, VRT NWS released reports detailing how it listened to thousands of recordings leaked by a whistleblower working for Google. At least one audio clip included a couple's address and personal information about their family. While the recordings are not associated with user accounts, people often share personal information like names and addresses that can reveal their identities.

Facebook paid contractors to transcribe users' audio: Bloomberg© Reuters/Stephen Lam FILE PHOTO: Attendees walk past a Facebook logo during Facebook Inc's F8 developers conference in San Jose (Reuters) - Facebook Inc has been paying outside contractors to transcribe audio clips from users of its services, Bloomberg reported on Tuesday, citing people familiar with the matter.

The company confirmed that it had been transcribing users' audio and said it was no longer doing so, Bloomberg reported. (https://bloom.bg/2KxlnYc)

Facebook did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

Bloomberg, citing the company, reported that the users who were affected chose the option in the Messenger app to have their voice chats transcribed. The contractors were checking whether Facebook's artificial intelligence correctly interpreted the messages.

FTC votes to approve $5 billion settlement with Facebook in privacy probe

FTC votes to approve $5 billion settlement with Facebook in privacy probe The Federal Trade Commission voted to approve a roughly $5 billion settlement with Facebook ending an investigation into its privacy practices, according to a source familiar with the matter but not authorized to speak on the record, a deal that could result in unprecedented federal oversight of the company. The settlement -- adopted with the FTC’s three Republicans supporting it and two Democrats against it -- could end a wide-ranging probe into Facebook’s mishandling of users’ personal information that began with the company’s entanglement with Cambridge Analytica.

Shares of Facebook pared gains after the report and were up 1.66% at $188.44.

The social media company has been facing broad criticism from lawmakers and regulators over its privacy practices.

Last week, a federal appeals court rejected Facebook's effort to undo a class action lawsuit claiming that it illegally collected and stored biometric data for millions of users without their consent. The company also agreed to pay a record $5 billion fine last month to settle a U.S. Federal Trade Commission data privacy probe.

Earlier this month, Apple Inc and Alphabet Inc's Google globally suspended reviewing recordings from users interacting with their voice assistants, as concerns over data privacy mount.

(Reporting by Nivedita Balu and Sayanti Chakraborty in Bengaluru; Editing by Maju Samuel)

Facebook reportedly pays contractors to transcribe Messenger calls.
The social network has since halted the process, according to a report.

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