Facebook Admits to Paying Third-Party Contractors to Transcribe Users' Audio Messages

Adding that users affected willingly chose to have their voice chats transcribed.

By
Tech
4,967 Hypes 7 Comments

Its been revealed that Facebook Inc. has been paying third-party contractors to help transcribe audio clips from users of its Messenger app. A number of contracted employees — all anonymous in fear of losing their jobs — divulged that they have been listening to different types of conversations, but were in the dark regarding the reason behind it.

According to sources, one of the companies reviewing user conversations is Santa Monica-based outsourcing firm TaskUs Inc., and that Facebook is one of its biggest and most important clients. Employees, however, are banned from publicly mentioning who they work for and refer to Facebook by the code name “Prism.” “Facebook asked TaskUs to pause this work over a week ago, and it did,” TaskUs said in response. Aside from the audio transcriptions, the firm also reviews Facebook content that possibly violates the app’s policies.

Confirming the report, Facebook has said that it will stop this action following the backlash on Google, Apple’s Siri and Amazon’s Alexa. “Much like Apple and Google, we paused human review of audio more than a week ago,” the company said. It continued to defend its stance, stating that the owners of the conversations willingly chose the option in the Messenger app to have their voice chats transcribed, and that the contractors were hired to double check if Facebook’s artificial intelligence was correctly interpreting the messages.

While Facebook’s data-policy states that it will collect “content, communications and other information you provide” when users “message or communicate with others,” there’s no mention of what they do with the collected data. Facebook says its “systems automatically process content and communications you and others provide to analyze context and what’s in them.” It includes no mention of other “human beings screening the content,” the report reads. In a list of “types of third parties we share information with,” Facebook doesn’t mention a transcription team, but vaguely refers to “vendors and service providers who support our business” by “analyzing” how its products are used.

In other tech news, the PlayStation 5 is set to be revealed during the 2020 State of Play.

Read Full Article

What to Read Next

Ben Baller Shares His List of the 20 Best Jewelers of All-Time
Fashion

Ben Baller Shares His List of the 20 Best Jewelers of All-Time

See who made the cut.

uniform experiment Drops a Quartet of Shiny Aluminum Carabiners
Fashion

uniform experiment Drops a Quartet of Shiny Aluminum Carabiners

Complete with bright enamel tags.

88rising Announces 'Head in the Clouds II' Compilation Album & Shares NIKI's Lead Single "Indigo"
Music

88rising Announces 'Head in the Clouds II' Compilation Album & Shares NIKI's Lead Single "Indigo"

The followup to the collective’s 2018 predecessor.


Dunkin' Readies Its Fall Menu With an Array of Pumpkin-Flavored Offerings
Food & Beverage

Dunkin' Readies Its Fall Menu With an Array of Pumpkin-Flavored Offerings

Free for the first 250 guests.

COMME des GARÇONS Taps George Cox for Latest Pair of Leopard Bondage Creepers
Footwear

COMME des GARÇONS Taps George Cox for Latest Pair of Leopard Bondage Creepers

Shaking up the mold with BDSM-inspired details.

The 2020 Rezvani Tank Is the World's Most Powerful Production SUV
Automotive

The 2020 Rezvani Tank Is the World's Most Powerful Production SUV

Equipped with thermal night vision and EMP protection.

More ▾
 
Subscribe to our Newsletter

Gain access to exclusive interviews with industry creatives, think pieces, trend forecasts, guides and more.

By subscribing, you agree to our Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

Help us serve you better

We appreciate your support in allowing HYPEBEAST ads, where we can share contents from the latest fashion, to those culturally relevant. In adding HYPEBEAST to your ad blocker's whitelist, ads on our sites will show while you continue to browse.