Facebook’s Privacy Woes Continue: Company Admits Transcribing Users’ Audio

Social network said contractors listened to audio to make sure its AI transcribing tools were working properly

Facebook’s privacy woes continue. In a Tuesday report by Bloomberg, the social media giant admitted that it has been paying contractors to transcribe users’ conversations — a practice it said it stopped “more than a week ago.”

The company told Bloomberg it had only been transcribing audio from users who had selected an option to transcribe voice conversations on Messenger; Facebook said it had its contractors check whether its artificial intelligence tools were transcribing conversations correctly and that it didn’t reveal the identity of users to its contractors.

Some contractors, according to Bloomberg, found the practice “unethical” since the company had not told users that outside parties may review their audio. It’s unclear how many users were impacted.

Facebook did not respond to TheWrap asking how long the practice had taken place and if the company planned to revisit it in the future.

Facebook’s stock dropped 2.75% an hour into trading on Wednesday, hitting $183.25 per share.

The company, like many others in recent weeks, has taken a dip as the U.S-China trade battle continues. The stock market was down…

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Sean Burch

Just a kid from the streets of Orange County, writing about tech