Include Facebook to the list of tech companies who have stopped their audio transcriptions over privacy issues. The firm verified to the media that contractors had been transcribing voice chats of Messenger to decide if AI had rightly interpreted the texts, but that it had “stopped” the practice over a week back in the wake of concerns about other firms’ transcription rules. The info was anonymized and came only from sources who had registered for transcriptions, Facebook claimed.
The issue, as per media sources, is the shortage of transparency. Contractors from TaskUs supposedly were not informed why they were transcribing it or where the audio arrived from. That resulted some of the employees in believing their work was “unprincipled,” especially when some of the chats comprised vulgar content. Facebook’s info privacy rule also does not make clear that human beings may observe content.
It is not shocking that Facebook might have halted transcriptions, at any rate. As with voice helpers, there is a fear that staff may hear sensitive data and possibly abuse that for their own purposes. The firm has long had to compete with blames of eavesdropping on handsets to aim ads. And when Facebook only just got a $5 Billion FTC penalty for privacy breaches, it likely did not need to endanger further government inspection.
On a related note, the plans by Facebook to combine Instagram, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger are attracting the inspection of European data controllers. The New York Times earlier broke plans of the deal. The Irish Data Protection Commission is demanding Facebook for “an insistent briefing on what is being planned.” The commission, which manages the social media behemoth in the EU, claims that it knows that the firm’s plans are still in initial stage and have not yet materialized.
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