Facebook has ordered, according to a new report from third-party audio-video sellers to view and transcribe their users Bloomberg, Facebook claims to have stopped "more than a week" from using human resources to view audio clips, and found that performers had previously been asked to confirm that anonymous conversations in the Messenger application had been properly copied.
Since 2015, Messenger has offered a feature to transmit voice clips to text, but by default it's off. Facebook claims that only those who turned on the feature viewed their third-party audio clips. However, according to the support page, if someone in your chat agreed to Facebook copying the conversation, any audio in the thread would be translated, no matter who sent it.
The results are particularly worrying because nowhere on the support page or on the Facebook service has it been stated that people would view the audio. “Voice to text uses machine learning. The more you use this feature, the more Voice to Text can help, "says the support page.
The report was created after it was discovered that Google, Apple, Microsoft and Amazon were using human performers to listen to audio downloaded through their Voice Assistant products, without being explicitly transparent to their users. Since then, Amazon has allowed users to log out while Google defends its practice, claiming that the process is helping Google Assistant work in multiple languages. Apple announced last week that it will stop hiring human contractors to review discussions with Siri and will soon allow users to sign out.
While there have been conspiracy theories on Facebook for years that hold secret conversations, it's important to keep this in mind. BloombergThe Facebook report does not claim to actually do Facebook. Performers were allowed to listen to audio data for which some users – in theory – gave permission. Facebook simply didn't tell users who made their transcripts.