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Facebook On Another User Privacy Matter, Now Under Probed By Authorities


TechInAfrica – Facebook Inc. is under probe of Hamburg’s authority of data protection due to transcribing audio from users’ activities across its services, adding to an investigation of Google’s automatic speech assistant.

Facebook had agreed to take their activity on halt during a span of at least 3 months, as Hamburg has been probing Google about the recordings. The regulator encouraged the Alphabet Inc. unit to warn users the possible risk of the speech recordings’ accidental activation, and seek consent for transcriptions.

Being the subject of a separate investigation into the transcription of human-to-machine and human-to-human communications, as informed by the Hamburg Commissioner for Data Protection on a press release on Monday, uses manual evaluation in the Messenger feature of Facebook to make the most of the transcription’s quality.

These days, the controversial networking medium has been facing intense mandatory inspection on its businesses in Europe, including an antitrust probe into its Libra cryptocurrency and legions of privacy investigations that could lead to ponderous fines. The company has also been asked by Ireland, which is Facebook’s main privacy watchdog in the EU region, regarding the information on news that it has been paying contractors to transcribe audio clips of users.

On the matter that has thrown spotlight to Facebook’s front, the company remains low, declining to have an immediate response, as seen on Google and the Irish data protection commissioner’s office that didn’t address the matter upon a request for comment.

 The subject of virtual assistants and transcription of user’s commands has, indomitably, putting the known higher companies on in the border of landmine and steep hills. Tech platforms claimed human analysis of voice chats allows for mistake correction and training, consequently improve the regulated responses against queries made by the users. On the short end of the digital roam, there lies a number of privacy advocates that worry for the breach of users’ rights when the worst case is the lack of clarity about the service’s terms regarding the practice, or when things are happening in the background, ignorant of users’ consent, and in Facebook’s case, the transcription problem.


Apple Inc. and Inc. have also suspended or announced changes to the human analysis of user commands, amid increasing global scrutiny by regulators and lawmakers over the privacy implications of the practice. The U.S. Congress is working on a federal privacy bill that could also tackle the handling of voice recordings.

Other big companies that have suspended or announced changes to the human analysis of users’ commands are Apple Inc. and Inc., amid the increasing global audit by regulators and lawmakers in terms of the privacy implications resulting from the practice. As of now, The U.S. Congress is working on a federal privacy bill that could regulate on ways of handling the voice recordings.

More recently, Microsoft Corp. was found to engage in the practice, according to articles by Motherboard, highlighting the importance human review still plays in training machine-learning algorithms.

On a recent note, Microsoft Corp. was also found to engage in this practice, according to articles by Motherboard, which highlight the importance of human review that’s a key determining role for training the machine learning algorithms.



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