August 17, 2019 News Magazine

Facebook contractors said to have collected and transcribed users’ audio without permission

Reset the counter on “number of days since the last Facebook privacy scandal.”

Facebook has become the latest tech giant to face scrutiny over its handling of users’ data, following a report that said the social media giant collected audio data and recordings from its users and transcribed it using third-party contractors.

The report came from Bloomberg, citing the contractors who requested anonymity for fear of losing their jobs.

According to the report, it’s not known where the audio came from or why it was transcribed, but that Facebook users’ conversations were often matched against to see if they were properly interpreted by the company’s artificial intelligence.

There are several ways that Facebook collects voice and audio data, including from its mobile devices, its Messenger voice and video service, and through its smart speaker. But the social media giant’s privacy policy makes no clear mention of voice data. Bloomberg also noted that contractors felt their work was “unethical” because Facebook “hasn’t disclosed to users that third parties may review their audio.”

Facebook has since stopped the practice.

We’ve asked Facebook several questions, including how the audio was collected, for what reason it was transcribed, and why users weren’t explicitly told of the third-party transcription, but did not immediately hear back.

Facebook becomes the latest tech company to face questions about its use of third-party contractors and staff to review user audio.

Amazon saw the initial round of flak for allowing contractors to manually review Alexa recordings without express user permission, forcing the company to add an opt-out to its Echo devices. Google also faced the heat for allowing human review of audio data, along with Apple which used contractors to listen to seemingly private Siri recordings. Microsoft also listened to some Skype calls made through the company’s app translation feature.

It’s been over a year since Facebook last had a chief security officer in the wake of Alex Stamos’ departure.

Read more:


Source: TechCrunch

Tags: in Uncategorized
Banner
Related Posts

Founders Factory Africa and Netcare to fund 35 health-tech startups

June 27, 2019

June 27, 2019

Founders Factory Africa and South African healthcare company Netcare will select 35 African health-tech startups for an acceleration and incubation...

Google makes travel planning easier

May 14, 2019

May 14, 2019

Google today announced a major revamp of its travel planning tools on the web. After launching a similar set of...

Xbox One does away with discs in new $249 All-Digital Edition

April 16, 2019

April 16, 2019

Discs! What are they good for? Well, if they’re nice if you don’t want to be tied to an online-only...

Barbershop management platform Squire raises $8 million Series A round

June 25, 2019

June 25, 2019

Squire, a Y Combinator-backed business management platform for barbershops, just raised an $8 million Series A round led by Trinity...

Google launches new security tools for G Suite users

April 10, 2019

April 10, 2019

Google today launched a number of security updates to G Suite, its online productivity and collaboration platform. The focus of...

Verified Expert Lawyer: Andrew Erskine

February 27, 2019

February 27, 2019

Andrew Erskine has developed his legal career along with the rise of the tech startup scene in Los Angeles. Today,...

Blue Moon Brewing is capitalizing on Bezos’ news with a lunar lander keg

May 10, 2019

May 10, 2019

Every so often, a big corporation manages to play the news cycle just right. Generally such things aren’t recommended and...

Talk about the big news from GDC with TechCrunch writers

March 22, 2019

March 22, 2019

The Game Developers Conference concludes today in San Francisco but that doesn’t mean our coverage is over. TechCrunch writer Lucas...

The startup behind Walmart’s shelf-scanning robots

April 10, 2019

April 10, 2019

Earlier this week, Walmart announced a wide-scale expansion of in-store technology. The news came, of course, as the superstore chain...

How Facebook does IT

August 15, 2019

August 15, 2019

If you have ever worked at any sizable company, the word “IT” probably doesn’t conjure up many warm feelings. If...

Space tech rockets higher

April 6, 2019

April 6, 2019

Joanna Glasner Contributor More posts by this contributor Corporate biotech venture funding rises again 2019 US VC funds take a...

Apigee jumps on hybrid bandwagon with new API for hybrid environments

April 9, 2019

April 9, 2019

This year at Google Cloud Next, the theme is all about supporting hybrid environments, so it shouldn’t come as a...

Sonic the Hedgehog director says character is getting makeover after backlash

May 3, 2019

May 3, 2019

In 2006, New Line Cinema added five days of reshoots for Snakes on a Plane, six months after principal filming...

Startups Weekly: Flexport, Clutter and SoftBank’s blood money

February 23, 2019

February 23, 2019

The Wall Street Journal published a thought-provoking story this week, highlighting limited partners’ concerns with the SoftBank Vision Fund’s investment...

Microsoft open-sources a crucial algorithm behind its Bing Search services

May 15, 2019

May 15, 2019

Microsoft today announced that it has open-sourced a key piece of what makes its Bing search services able to quickly...

Comments
Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *