Recently, many people have asked this question multiple times on different groups skeptically: I see many advertisements on Facebook related to the product I was discussing with my mother the last day. How come what I talk and discuss with others somehow reaches to Facebook every time?
To answer this, people hold the view that Facebook listens to your conversations through your microphone just like Apple’s Siri, Amazons’ Alexa and Google Assistant. However, Mark Zuckerberg, CEO of the famous social media giant app hushed this news in the past calling it just a “conspiracy theory” and a coincidence.
But lately, Facebook has been fined by FTC for gaining access to people’s voice messages on Facebook messenger without getting their consent for doing so. In fact, nobody knew about it until a couple of days back. Reportedly, Facebook also hired human contractors to transcribe users’ audio clips from its services which were inclusive of all sort of sensitive information.
The indulgence in something unethical was sensed by TaskUs Inc. (one of the hired contractors amongst others). According to TaskUs Inc., Facebook never revealed the whereabouts of those clips as to from whom do they originate and the reason behind transcription of such audios leading them to suspect something fishy and unprofessional.
Interestingly, Facebook has admitted to doing this breach of privacy manually in order to check the efficiency of its AI (Artificial intelligence) system. Furthermore, it has claimed that the practice has been halted “a week ago” after other tech companies were also seen to be doing this invasion of privacy.
Google and Apple have also stopped recording and listening to their users’ conversation while Amazon has come up with an option to turn off the microphones.
If we go through Facebook’s data-use policy, it nowhere mentions any such thing as recording audio clips. Therefore, it is quite shocking as to how these companies are tracing every private detail in the veil of enhancement of their services without the users’ knowledge.
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Glisten Pakistan Editorial