Facebook Paid Contractors To Transcribe Users' Audio Chats

Tech giant Facebook Inc. (FB) has admitted to having paid contractors to listen in on and transcribe the audio chats of its users. Bloomberg reported Wednesday that the social media giant has been paying hundreds of contractors to transcribe clips of audio from users of its Facebook Messenger services. The report said Facebook did not reveal any details to its contract employees about the audio, including where it was recorded or how it was obtained. The employees were required to transcribe the conversations, including vulgar content. The Irish Data Protection Commission said it was examining the activity for possible violations of the EU's strict privacy rules. Meanwhile, Facebook admitted that it had been transcribing users' audio, but claimed it has paused the process. The company said employees only transcribed the audio of users who chose the option in Facebook's Messenger app. The contractors were checking whether Facebook's AI accurately understood the messages. "Much like Apple and Google, we paused human review of audio more than a week ago," the company said. Facebook is the fourth major company after Amazon, Apple and Google to have been caught listening to audio recordings of users, which should have been only heard by an artificial intelligence.