Facebook paid contractors to transcribe users’ audio clips

NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook says it paid contractors to transcribe audio clips from users of its Messenger service.

The practice raises privacy concerns, as users aren’t typically aware that humans are reviewing audio. Tech companies say the practice helps improve their services. Facebook says audio snippets were masked so as not to reveal anyone’s identity. The company says it has stopped the practice a week ago. The development was reported earlier by Bloomberg.

Amazon and Google have also used people to listen to audio from their digital assistant services rather than only using artificial intelligence. Google says it suspended doing this in the EU. Amazon says users can decline, or opt out. Published reports say Apple also has done this, but has stopped.

Irish data-protection regulators say they’re seeking more details from Facebook.

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