Apple Apologizes For Listening To Customers’ Siri Audio Recordings, Company Announces Privacy Changes

Tech giant Apple has issued a formal apology after the company admitted to having human contractors secretly listen to customers’ recordings with the digital assistant Siri, in order to improve the service. “We realize we haven’t been fully living up to our high ideals, and for that, we apologize,” Apple’s statement reads.

In the apology, the company revealed its new privacy policy: “First, by default, we will no longer retain audio recordings of Siri interactions. We will continue to use computer-generated transcripts to help Siri improve. Second, users will be able to opt in to help Siri improve by learning from the audio samples of their requests. We hope that many people will choose to help Siri get better, knowing that Apple respects their data and has strong privacy controls in place. Those who choose to participate will be able to opt-out at any time. Third, when customers opt-in, only Apple employees will be allowed to listen to audio samples of the Siri interactions. Our team will work to delete any recording which is determined to be an inadvertent trigger of Siri,” the statement read.

Apple isn’t the first company to be caught invading its customers’ privacy using human contractors; they are joined by Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Microsoft. According to the Guardian, the hired contractors had access to recordings that included full private details, which were often caused by accidental #Siri triggers. Workers reportedly were listening to up to 1,000 recordings a day. That report led to Apple announcing it would suspend the grading program that analyzes those recordings. “We are committed to delivering a great Siri experience while protecting user privacy,” an Apple spokesperson said in a statement to The Verge at the time.

Apple still plans to continue grading its Siri recordings under the new policies later year. Customers will then be able to decide if they want to be recorded.

Apple Apologizes For Siri
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