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TechnologyFacebook ends human review of user audio after other companies do the same

02:41  14 august  2019
02:41  14 august  2019 Source:   bgr.com

Facebook Paid Hundreds of Contractors to Transcribe Users’ Audio

Facebook Paid Hundreds of Contractors to Transcribe Users’ Audio 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. © Photographer: Johannes Berg/Bloomberg The Facebook Inc. application is displayed on an Apple Inc. iPhone in an arranged photograph taken in New York, U.S., on Thursday, July 26, 2018. Facebook shares plunged 19 percent Thursday after second-quarter sales and user growth missed Wall Street estimates.

Facebook is now the latest tech giant to put a stop to human review of user audio recordings, following a In Facebook ’s case, the company acknowledged Tuesday that it paused the practice earlier this month after those other companies started to attract scrutiny over basically the same thing.

In Facebook ’s case, the company acknowledged Tuesday that it paused the practice earlier this month after those other companies started to attract scrutiny over basically the same thing. That’s according to Bloomberg, which reports that Facebook had been paying third party contractors to transcribe

Facebook is now the latest tech giant to put a stop to human review of user audio recordings, following a slew of companies from Google to Amazon and Apple all likewise coming under fire in recent weeks over the human review of audio collected from users.

Facebook ends human review of user audio after other companies do the same© Provided by Penske Media Corporation Facebook iPhone iPad Sign

In Facebook’s case, the company acknowledged Tuesday that it paused the practice earlier this month after those other companies started to attract scrutiny over basically the same thing. That’s according to Bloomberg, which reports that Facebook had been paying third-party contractors to transcribe audio from users who’d allowed their chats to be transcribed.

Facebook paid people to transcribe Messenger voice chats

Facebook paid people to transcribe Messenger voice chats Add Facebook to the list of tech firms who've halted their audio transcriptions over privacy concerns. The company confirmed to Bloomberg that contractors had been transcribing Messenger voice chats to determine if AI had correctly interpreted the messages, but that it had "paused" the practice over a week ago in the wake of worries about other companies' transcription policies. The data was anonymized and came solely from people who'd volunteered for transcriptions, Facebook added. The problem, according to Bloomberg's sources, is the lack of transparency. Contractors from TaskUs reportedly weren't told where the audio came from or why they were transcribing it.

Facebook ends human review of user audio after other companies do the same . Coming Wednesday: FTC complaint against Facebook over That’s the kind of compromise we users often agree to. We turn a blind eye or outright agree to a company selling our data to get access to a service.

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

The last part there is a bit problematic, given that Facebook’s policies don’t seem to make clear, in easy-to-understand language, that user audio is collected or reviewed by third parties. Some contractors have also reportedly felt uneasy about the practice since users didn’t seem to be aware they would be listening to their recordings. Even so, Facebook’s position, per Bloomberg, is that the affected users here “opted-in” to this practice, with Facebook able to collect audio a number of ways including through its smart speaker as well as its standalone Messenger app.

This news doesn’t exactly come at an opportune time for the social networking giant, given that only last month it agreed to pay a $5 billion fine to settle a Federal Trade Commission investigation into the way Facebook handles user data.

Facebook contractors listened to Messenger chats

Facebook contractors listened to Messenger chats Facebook said it's ended the practice of having contractors listen to and transcribe the recordings

Facebook is now the latest tech giant to put a stop to human review of user audio recordings, following a In Facebook 's case, the company acknowledged Tuesday that it paused the practice earlier this month after those other companies started to attract scrutiny over basically the same thing.

"We paused human review of audio more than a week ago,” the company said Tuesday. The company said the users who were affected chose Of course, Facebook can just plead ignorance, and claim all other big tech companies - including Amazon and Apple - were doing the same .

This also comes just a few days after Microsoft contractors were reported to be listening to user audio via Skype and Cortana, as we mentioned here, though the company stressed that the records aren’t user-identifiable. Amazon, meanwhile, now lets users opt-out of human review of Alexa voice recordings, while Apple completely suspended its program that included human review of conversations between users and its Siri digital assistant.

The Facebook news stemmed from contractors who didn’t like the practice and anonymously confirmed it to Bloomberg.

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Google is reducing how much audio it saves for human review .
Google is making some changes to its audio data retention policies in the coming months. Most importantly for those concerned about humans reviewers listening to you, it plans on asking every user to re-affirm their choice to opt-in to that program — which is “paused globally” pending an EU investigation. The company is also making other changes, including a new sensitivity option for “Hey Google” hotword detection, so that users who want to can make it less likely that their smart speakers will pick up unintended audio.

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