After the many criticisms raised by an article published by The Guardian , according to which some recordings of our requests to Siri were heard by contractors, Apple decided to suspend the program that dealt with it indefinitely, all over the world.
Apple informs that it has suspended Siri’s clip listening program while waiting for the entire process to be reviewed and possibly modified to better protect users’ security and privacy. The company says that, during this suspension period, it will review the process used to date to determine if Siri is properly listening to the queries and when it is called out by mistake.
In addition to that, Apple says that it is working on a new software update that will allow Siri users to choose whether or not to participate in the virtual assistant’s testing process.
The Guardian article stated that Apple’s contracted employees who control Siri’s program have listened into some of the clips that contain personal information. However, Apple has replied to the article in an official press statement where it explained that privacy protection is not put at risk.
The recordings are not linked to Apple IDs and are controlled in secure facilities by people who must comply with very strict security requirements. No one can know from which device a request was made and it is impossible to link the various clips to a specific identity. However, private finance details, for example, could allow anyone to identify someone, no matter how hard Apple tries to keep these record anonymous.
“We are committed to delivering a great Siri experience while protecting user privacy,” Apple told TechCrunch. “While we conduct a thorough review, we are suspending Siri grading globally. Additionally, as part of a future software update, users will have the ability to choose to participate in grading.”
Apple has assured the users again and again since the article came out that it takes every necessary precaution to keep the user’s personal information safe. In spite of this, in order to continue to maintain their trust, the company decided to suspend the program temporarily.
The company is well known for its attention to privacy and wants to position itself a leader on the market when it comes to keeping user data safe. It’s not an easy task, but by letting the users agree to having their audio used and by giving the company explicit permission for most data transmissions, these are the small things that might take Apple a step further, ahead of its competitors, as it has always intended.