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What privacy? Don’t dream! Facebook listen to your Messenger conversations

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If you’re planning to delete your Messenger account, or at least delete your message history, you’re not the only one. The privacy concerns have always been present around the technology, and until now the large companies have managed to mitigate most of the fears of the consumers about the possibility that their private lives could be exposed. However, that is changing, thanks to revelations linked to Amazon, Google, Apple and Microsoft. Now, Facebook is joining the trend.

According to Bloomberg, Facebook has hired independent employees to listen to and systematically analyze audio files, chat Messenger, with the goal of transcribing them. Messenger, the messaging application of the social network, reported 1.3 billion users (1.3 billion) at the global level.

After the revelations, Facebook confirmed the information but said they are not transcribing the audio. “Like Apple and Google, stopped human review of the audio over a week ago,” said Facebook to Bloomberg.

The social networking giant said that users could choose the option of transcribing your voice chats in the Messenger app of Facebook. The contractors were testing the technology of artificial intelligence to ensure that messages are transcribieran correctly from voice to text.

How much privacy can you really expect from Messenger?

This news should not surprise us. Facebook and had previously confirmed that he had access to the messages in their Messenger app. Last year, the CEO of Facebook, Mark Zuckerberg, said that while the conversations in the Messenger app are considered to be private, Facebook “the scans and use the same tools to prevent abuse in the social network in general.”

In other words, if you thought that the messages and images that you send through Facebook Messenger are private, you are wrong. In the wake of the scandal of Cambridge Analytica, which has shaken the confidence of the public in Facebook, the founder and CEO of the company was forced to disclose even more information about the way in which the social networking giant interacts with the data of its users.

In an interview with Vox conducted last year, Zuckerberg pointed out that the system of Facebook is able to “detect what is happening” in the Messenger app. He added that when “messages sensational”, these are detainees that are not posted or arriving at their destination.

Of course, this raised meaningful questions about the extent to which Facebook can monitor the content of your chat application. Later, the company told Bloomberg that, although the Messenger conversations are considered private, “Facebook scan them and use the same tools to avoid abuses there, in the way that it does in the social network in general.”

The company noted that all of the content of the site must be adjusted to identical “community standards”. Users can report messages that seem to be against these standards, in which case the team of “community operations” of the company performs a review. Sometimes, the automated tools are also in charge of reviewing them.

“In Messenger, when you send a photograph, our automated systems the scan, using the technology of photo matching, to detect, for example, images of child exploitation. Or when you submit a link, we scan in search of malware or virus,” said a spokesperson of Facebook Messenger in a statement. “Facebook has designed these automated tools so that we can quickly stop the abusive behavior on our platform”.

Facebook also noted that the methods with which Messenger analyzes the messages of the users are, in fact, “very similar to those that other Internet companies use today”.

But at the other end of the spectrum, another primary application of chat, which is also the property of Facebook, is proud of not being able to read the content sent through its platform. WhatsApp, which was acquired by Facebook in 2014, with end-end encryption, which means that you can’t read messages at all. Although Messenger has a option encrypted, users should opt for it and set it up.

Facebook updated its data policy, and established new terms of service to clarify the rules about their services, specially Messenger, and Instagram. In a blog post, the network wrote: “it Is better to explain how we fight the abuse and investigate suspicious activities, even by analyzing the content shared by the people”.

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