Apple pays entrepreneurs to listen to recorded Siri conversations, according to a new report by The Guardian with a former entrepreneur who revealed that workers have heard random recordings of users' personal lives, including medical appointments, addresses, and even possible drug deals.
According to that contractor, the Siri interaction is sent to workers who listen to the recording and are asked to rank it for a number of factors, such as whether the request was intentional or a false positive that accidentally triggered Siri, or the answer was helpful.
In a statement to The Guardian the company acknowledged that "A small portion of the Siri requests have been analyzed to improve Siri and dictation. User requests are not associated with the user's Apple ID. The Siri responses are analyzed in secure facilities, and all reviewers are required to comply with Apple's strict confidentiality requirements. "Apple also noted that less than 1
The fact that people listen to voice assistant recordings in general is not exactly news – both Amazon (for Alexa) and Google (for assistant) have been shown to have similar systems where actual human workers listen to recorded conversations to better improve those systems. It makes sense: smart assistants can clearly not tell the difference between false positives and actual questions (if they could, it would not be a false positive), and anyone who has used a smart assistant can tell you that false positives are still very, very Common at this stage of their development.
But for all these three companies, it was only recently to what extent these companies listened to customers.
Apple's system may also be more concerned for a few reasons, such as the breakthrough of Apple products. Where Alexa is largely limited to smart speakers, and Google Assistant to speakers and phones, Siri is also on Apple's hugely popular Apple Watch, which is on millions of people's wrists every waking moment. In addition, Siri activates an Apple Watch when a user lifts his wrist, not just when it thinks it has heard the word "Hey, Siri".
According to The Guardian its source has led to some very personal conversations that have taken place to complete alien jobs for Apple: "There have been countless instances of recordings containing private discussions between doctors and patients, business deals, apparently criminal matters, sexual encounters, etc. These recordings are accompanied by user data showing location, contact information, and app data." 19659011] In addition, as The Guardian notes, while Amazon and Google allow customers to opt out of their uses for their recordings, Apple does not offer a similar option that protects privacy, except to disable Siri altogether. appearance, given that Apple has built so much of its reputation for selling itself as the privacy company as for Answer your data in ways that Google and Amazon don't. Implicitly telling customers that "the only way to have peace of mind that a random stranger will not listen to their randomly triggered Siri recordings is to stop using Siri altogether" is quite a mixed message from the company putting privacy into one prize.
Briefly about stopping the use of smart assistants altogether, there is probably not much that Siri customers will be able to do to avoid the problem, other than being careful about what they say about iPhones and HomePods (unless the public press here causes Apple to add an option option). Nevertheless, it is a good reminder that when you agree to use these products, you often give up much more privacy than you think.