Facebook (And Other Apps) Have Apparently Been Listening To Our Conversations

We knew it!

  • Wednesday, 14 August 2019
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Facebook (And Other Apps) Have Apparently Been Listening To Our Conversations

Ever had a conversation with someone, only to have an advertisement related to the exchange popping up on your Facebook timeline a couple of hours later?

True story: a couple of us in the office had this happen to them before, and we're officially freaked out.

Many have long suspected that tech giant Facebook Inc has been listening in to their conversations, but the company had denied it in the past. 

A recent Bloomberg report, however, shows otherwise. 

Creepy technology
According to the article, Facebook finally 'fessed up to transcribing users' audio but said it has paused human review of audio. 

Paused, not stopped. 

The company has reportedly been using the services of hundreds of outsourced companies to transcribe audios shared via Facebook Messenger. 
Who even uses messenger anymore?
Facebook also said that "users who were affected chose the option in Facebook’s Messenger app to have their voice chats transcribed."

We mean, who actually reads the terms and conditions, and privacy policies, before pressing the "I Agree" button? 

So, technically, you may have agreed to let Facebook access your conversations without you even realising it. 

If you're wondering why the audios have to be transcribed, it's to ensure that the social media platform's Artificial Intelligence (AI) correctly interpreted the conversations.

If you're rushing to delete your Facebook Messenger App from your phones, you should also know that some of the world's biggest tech companies such as Apple, Google and Amazon have done or still do the same thing. 

They apparently use your audio (all those fun conversations and instructions you give Siri, Google Assistant and Alexa) to improve your the cost of your privacy, of course. 

Apple and Google have reportedly said that they have stopped the practice (we're still skeptical though), while Amazon (surprise, surprise) said it'll continue as long as users agree to it. 

So, our advice is: be careful what you say in front of your smartphone. You'll never know who's listening in.

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