Third party contractors transcribed Facebook’s audio data

Tech companies are coming under increasing scrutiny over data privacy issues revolving around their voice assistants.

According to a report from Bloomberg which cites sources familiar with the matter at hand, Facebook Inc has been paying outside contractors to transcribe audio clips from subscribers of its services.

In a statement, Facebook confirmed that it had transcribed users’ audio and that it no longer does so.

According to Bloomberg’s report, users who had been affected by Facebook’s transcription includes those who had opted to have their voice chats transcribed in Facebook Messenger. Third party contractors were checking whether Facebook’s artificial intelligence was correctly interpreted the messages.

With the news reaching the market, Facebook’s shares pared gains and were up 1.66% at $188.44.

Facebook has come under intense scrutiny from regulators and lawmakers over its privacy practices.

Last week, a federal appeals court had rejected Facebook’s effort to undo a class action lawsuit which alleged that the world’s largest social media company had illegally collected and stored biometric data of millions of users without their consent.

Last month, Facebook had agreed to pay an exemplary fine of $5 billion to settle a U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) probe surround the privacy of its user data.

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