#Facebook has admitted it has listened to audio messages that users’ send to one another, claiming it was an effort to improve its voice recognition systems.
Facebook’s security breach stories just keep on coming, as the social network just revealed it paid contractors to transcribe audio messages sent between users. The contractors were not told who the audio was from or how Facebook obtained it, according to Bloomberg. Facebook responded to the report claiming that users who had their audio transcribed confirmed this option in its Messenger app, and note that the practice has stopped.
“Much like Apple and Google, we paused human review of audio more than a week ago,” the company said. But Bloomberg noted that in its data-use policy, there is no mention of humans interacting with the video. The policy only mentions “vendors and service providers who support our business” by “analyzing how our products are used.”
This makes Facebook the fourth company in a couple of months that has admitted to listening in on voice messages. It wasn’t until after privacy organizations raised concern that the companies decided to stop the practice. Last week, a federal appeals court rejected Facebook’s attempt to get out of a class-action lawsuit that claims the social media company illegally gathered and stored biometric data for millions of users without their consent.