Click to Skip Ad
Closing in...
  1. Amazon Gift Card Promotion
    14:41 Deals

    Amazon’s giving away $15 credits, but this is your last chance to get one

  2. Control Garage Door With iPhone
    08:10 Deals

    Unreal deal gets you Amazon’s hottest smart home gadget for $23 – plus a $40 c…

  3. Best Memory Foam Mattress
    12:31 Deals

    When 75,000 Amazon shoppers rave about a $130 memory foam mattress, you need to check it o…

  4. Self-Emptying Robot Vacuum
    16:11 Deals

    Amazon coupon slashes our favorite self-emptying robot vacuum to its lowest price ever

  5. Best Amazon Finds 2021
    08:49 Deals

    5 must-have Amazon devices you might’ve never even heard of




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

August 13th, 2019 at 6:35 PM
Facebook user audio

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.

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.

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.

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.

Andy is a reporter in Memphis who also contributes to outlets like Fast Company and The Guardian. When he’s not writing about technology, he can be found hunched protectively over his burgeoning collection of vinyl, as well as nursing his Whovianism and bingeing on a variety of TV shows you probably don’t like.




Popular News