Privacy (noun): free from observation by other people.
This is a concept that Facebook just cannot seem to grasp, and in the wake of the recent privacy scandal that resulted in a $5 billion fine for them, one would think that they would get the hint by now.
Tuesday, August 13: word got out that Facebook paid outside contractors to sit and transcribe users’ audio in order to improve the AI functionality behind the scenes of Facebook. This affected users who used the Messenger app and allowed Messenger to transcribe their chats and voice chats. AI would attempt to transcribe while humans listened in with them to observe any mistakes they might have made. Though they agreed to this, they probably didn’t expect to have actual, live people listening in and reading their conversations. This is where Facebook crossed a line they probably should have avoided.
Going back on their word
Back in 2018, Mark Zuckerberg vehemently assured the public that Facebook did not use any sort of human review. He also said Facebook never listened in on users’ microphones and took the privacy of users very seriously. Facebook also said that they “only access users’ microphones if the user has given our app permission and if they are actively using a specific feature that requires audio (like voice messaging features.)” But we still don’t know what happens to the audio, if it goes through third parties, how they use it, etc.
How this affects you
Regular people, marketers, and businessmen alike use Facebook for just about everything, including signing into other websites, apps, and systems. By doing this, they give up their valuable information and have to trust that Facebook will keep it safe. How can people trust a company if they refuse to make good on their promises? When the same company that received the largest fine by the Federal Trade Commission ever just promised everyone to have a more comprehensive oversight on the information that means the most to them, how can they expect people to trust them after this?
Yes, Facebook provides so many people with so many useful applications, services, and connections. But how might that compromise a person’s overall privacy in the process?