Apple Suspends Siri Grading After Reports Of Contractors Listening To Private Talks

Posted: Aug 2 2019, 12:03pm CDT | by , in Technology News


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Apple suspends Siri grading after reports of contractors listening to private talks
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Apple said it will conduct a thorough review of the matter.

Apple has temporarily suspended all assessment of Siri recordings by its hired contractors over concerns that private talks by Apple device users are being secretly collected and graded.

A report by The Guardian last week, which cited a whistleblower, revealed that Apple has contractors who regularly listen in on conversations such as drug deals, talks with doctors to discuss medical information and even couples having sex.

The job is reportedly part of Apple’s initiative to check whether Siri’s responses are appropriate. Apple users know that Siri is activated whenever it hears “Hey Siri,” or when double-tapping the Home button on iPhones with buttons.

However, the whistleblower reportedly said that Siri can also be triggered by sounds other than the user saying “Hey Siri,” such as when it hears a zip. The Guardian’s source also stressed earlier that the Apple Watch and Apple’s HomePod smart speaker are the most frequent sources of mistaken recordings.

A privacy concern like this could put Apple further in hot water, so the Macbook, iPad and iPhone maker came out to tell Techcrunch in a statement that it will suspend Siri grading globally as it conducts a thorough review of the matter.

“We are committed to delivering a great Siri experience while protecting user privacy,” Apple said.

In a major shift from the current process, Apple further told Techcrunch that “as part of a future software update, users will have the ability to choose to participate in grading.”

Meanwhile, in a similar move, Google has also suspended transcriptions of recordings from its voice assistant in the European Union, also a week after the tech giant admitted that its contractors had access to some private conversations as part of evaluations of Google Assistant, CNBC reported.

Google’s move comes as more than 1,000 voice snippets of private conversations that were analyzed by its contractors were leaked to a Belgian news outlet. The conversations contained critical information like addresses and medical condition, the report said.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/81" rel="author">Mandy Jean</a>
Mandy covers the latest news in Tech and Business.




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