Can the employees of Facebook sneak in on your private posts?

A recent report by Reuters suggests that some members of Facebook’s team in Hyderabad, India may be peaking at your Facebook profile and checking out posts, pictures, and status updates uploaded since 2014.

The Facebook employees comb through these data and feed them to the artificial intelligence (AI) for training and other purposes.

However, this raises a serious concern for the privacy of users who are unaware that their personal data is being scrutinized by a bunch of strangers.

An Indian firm titled Wipro is assigned the task of labeling these data on a $4 million per year contract. Around 260 workers have been working on the project for the last five years.

As of now, around 30 employees are reported to be working on the task, which is expected to end by the last quarter of 2019.

Upon inquiry, Wipro and Facebook both confirmed that a similar analysis is being performed to enhance the usability of AI technology. In fact, it was further revealed that the posts not only comprised of Facebook members but Instagram users worldwide as well.
"The Wipro labelers and Facebook said the posts are a random sampling of text-based status updates, shared links, event posts, Stories feature uploads, videos and photos, including user-posted screenshots of chats on Facebook’s various messaging apps. The posts come from Facebook and Instagram users globally, in languages including English, Hindi and Arabic.", explained Munsif Vengattil and Paresh Dave in an article.
The social media giant also admitted to checking user’s private posts, usernames, and comments too. Unfortunately, the users are not given a choice to opt out of the analysis. This is also complete discrimination of the GDPR law that requires tech companies to provide transparency over the user’s data. But in this case, Facebook’s data policy does not mention any option for the users to control their data.

In its defense, the social media company claims that they are following all parameters associated with user’s privacy and the private data is not being compromised in all cases.

However, the question remains – how can we trust Facebook for not misusing the data?

Facebook Contractors Are Categorizing Your Private Posts Without Your Permission
Photo: Stephen Lam / Reuters

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