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Facebook pays the voice recordings of users after it was caught listening to Messenger chats

Facebook pays for voice recordings by users after being caught listening to and transcribing private Messenger chats to improve speech recognition software

  • The platform pays up to $ 5 via PayPal for various voice recordings
  • Recordings contain phrases such as ‘Hey Portal’ and first names of Facebook friends
  • Facebook says it won’t link the recordings to someone’s account
  • The policy follows reports from last year that it was listening to audio recordings
  • Facebook paid external contractors to analyze recordings for accuracy

Facebook says it will pay users to harvest their voice data for the speech recognition software training after it was caught last year analyzing their speech without permission.

In a program called “Statements,” participants receive a small amount, up to $ 5, to use the company’s market research app Viewpoints to record various words and phrases that the company will then use to train its speech recognition AI.

That speech data will be used to improve products such as Portal, which is the smart display of Facebook, which can be used for video calls and can be activated with the voice, among other things.

Facebook Viewpoints is a market research initiative that invites approved users to take surveys in exchange for points, which can later be exchanged for cash via PayPal

Facebook Viewpoints is a market research initiative that invites approved users to take surveys in exchange for points, which can later be exchanged for cash via PayPal

In the program, participants who are at least 18 years old must express specific expressions such as ‘Hey Portal’ and also say the first names of 10 of their friends on Facebook.

Participants receive 200 points for each ‘set’ of prompts. They can pay out as soon as the points total reaches 1,000 and $ 5 is paid through PayPal.

Facebook says that the company does not link voice recordings to participants’ Facebook accounts or names and that the data is used anonymously.


Facebook Viewpoints is a new market research program that gives users points in exchange for completing surveys.

Users can redeem points for cash deposits into their PayPal account.

The first study focuses on ‘well-being’ and is expected to take approximately 15 minutes.

Facebook says the data collected will be used to improve their subsidiaries and will not be sold to third parties.

It also says it will not share the data with other parties, including its other services, without the user’s consent.

The program marks a deviation from previous Facebook practices that were caught while harvesting and listening to voice recordings from users without their explicit permission last summer.

In particular, Facebook paid external contractors to listen to voice commands and check whether artificial intelligence has correctly interpreted the messages.

A series of reports last year revealed that Facebook was just one of the many large technology companies involved in that practice.

Among the other devices found to be recording users were Apple’s Homepod, Amazon’s hugely popular smart speaker, Alexa, the Google Home, and Microsoft’s Cortana Assistant devices.

Devices that capture audio clips regularly collected data that most would consider private, such as sex, private conversations, business and even medical information, according to whistleblower reports.