Like a pendulum, the technology industry goes through good and bad phases; the most recent “crisis” involves the breach of privacy of customer voice content by outsourced companies from some industry giants, such as Apple itself.
In the case of Maçã, the audios were collected anonymously by Siri and analyzed by outsourced employees – but, after reports of this practice, the company decided to suspend its internal program. Now, it turned out that the Facebook also performed the same activity, at least until last week, according to the Bloomberg.
According to the publication, Mark Zuckerberg’s social network was using “hundreds of outside contractors” to transcribe audio excerpts from Messenger users. Specifically, these officials were tasked with verifying that the messenger was “accurately interpreting voice messages”, which was apparently done anonymously.
They [os funcionários] they listened to the conversations of Facebook users, some with vulgar content, but they do not know why Facebook needed this to be transcribed.
According to Bloomberg, the company responsible for analyzing the audios (whose name was not revealed) stopped the practice last week due to the pressure that Apple, Google, Amazon and Microsoft suffered from maintaining similar programs.
Facebook has not yet commented on the analysis of conversations by Messenger users, but it is known that this will not be the problem that the company should address, since Instagram has also been accused of allowing a startup to store Stories and user location data, as reported by Business Insider.