Facebook contractors listened to and decrypted users ’ voice messages

The social network said that they decoded the audio with the consent of users and stopped doing this in August.

Facebook paid hundreds of third-party contractors to decrypt the voice messages of users of the corporation’s services. This was reported by Bloomberg, citing sources who wish to remain anonymous due to fear of losing their jobs.

Third-party contractors were “shocked” by the assignment because Facebook did not provide them with information about where, how and when the recordings were made. The corporation required only decryption of voice messages. Workers listened to conversations of users, sometimes of vulgar content, but did not know why Facebook needed to decrypt them.

Facebook confirmed the wiretapping information, but indicated that it had stopped decrypting messages “more than a week ago”. The representative of the social network noted that users whose messages were listened to by contractors agreed to decrypt speech in the Messenger application for Facebook.

The company explained that “the contractors verified the decoding of voice messages using artificial intelligence of Facebook”. Bloomberg emphasized that the social network did not warn users about the possibility of listening to audio recordings by third parties.

In July 2019, U.S. authorities fined Facebook $ 5 billion due to problems with storing user data. In July, Google and Apple admitted that they hired contractors to listen to voice requests from Google Assistant and Siri users. Both companies temporarily stopped listening to recordings. The media found that Microsoft also uses contractors to listen to part of the calls of Skype users.

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