The Latest: Facebook uses humans to transcribe user audio

AP

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  • In this Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019, photo an iPhone displays the apps for Facebook and Messenger in New Orleans. Facebook says it paid contractors to transcribe audio clips from users of its Messenger service. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane)

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    In this Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019, photo an iPhone displays a Facebook page in New Orleans. Facebook says it paid contractors to transcribe audio clips from users of its Messenger service. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane)

  • In this Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019, photo an iPhone displays the apps for Facebook and Messenger in New Orleans. Facebook says it paid contractors to transcribe audio clips from users of its Messenger service. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane)

  • 1

    In this Sunday, Aug. 11, 2019, photo an iPhone displays a Facebook page in New Orleans. Facebook says it paid contractors to transcribe audio clips from users of its Messenger service. (AP Photo/Jenny Kane)

NEW YORK (AP) The Latest on Facebook privacy (all times local):

12:40 p.m.

Facebook says it paid contractors to transcribe audio clips from users of its Messenger service.

The practice raises privacy concerns, as users aren't typically aware that humans are reviewing audio. Tech companies say the practice helps improve their services. Facebook says audio snippets were masked so as not to reveal anyone's identity. The company says it has stopped the practice a week ago. The development was reported earlier by Bloomberg.

Amazon and Google have also used people to listen to audio from their digital assistant services rather than only using artificial intelligence. Google says it suspended doing this worldwide. Amazon says users can decline, or opt out. Published reports say Apple also has done this, but has stopped.

Irish data-protection regulators say they're seeking more details from Facebook.

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