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Facebook stores Portal voice recordings by default

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With rising scrutiny and privacy concerns around consumer voice data, tech companies such as Amazon and Apple were under fire for data mishandling and storing it on their servers, posing a great threat to consumer privacy.

In the wake of such consequences, Facebook has now announced changes with regards to how consumers can manage their voice data such as recordings and transcripts on Facebook and its services.

During the announcement of the social media giant’s new and upgraded line of Portal hardware, the company executive Andrew Bosworth said that Facebook will now give users the option to opt-out from sending their voice recordings to the Facebook servers.

He also asserted the fact that calls are generally neither recorded nor stored, however, when users say “Hey Portal” to request something, the company may sometimes take such voice data and analyze it for improving the company’s technology.

“Even with the first generation of Portal you were able to review and delete those voice interactions at any time. We’re now adding the ability to disable storage of voice interactions altogether,” said Bosworth.

Previously, users had the option to look for their voice data and delete it if they prefer; but now, they have a new option where they can altogether stop Facebook from storing their voice data in the first place. However, it is to be noted that the voice data storage option will be enabled by default and it’s the consumer’s responsibility to take charge and disable it for improved privacy.

This new update by Facebook might be a cautionary response to the recent happenings wherein Google and Apple were severely criticized for mishandling voice data.

Last month, it was revealed that the voice conversations with Siri were being listened to by the contractors hired by Apple, leading to a massive backlash from the tech and user community. Apple then announced that Siri audio clip review would be turned off by default and that the company would ask its users if they would want to enable the setting.

While Apple has gone the extra mile and has disabled voice review for Siri by default, Facebook, however, enables voice data storage by default wherein consumers are responsible for disabling the option, if they wish to.

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