Apple has announced that it is temporarily suspending its practice of grading Siri recordings through human contractors. The news comes a week after a whistleblower revealed that contractors for Apple hear sensitive, private and confidential information when listening to recordings of Siri conversations.
In a move to secure its stand on privacy, Apple has now suspended its program when human contractors listen to Siri recordings to grade them for accuracy. In a statement to TechCrunch, the Cupertino company said that while it conducts a ‘thorough’ review on the matter, it is “suspending Siri grading globally”.
Apple also suggested the likelihood of an option in the future where users will be able to participate in grading Siri recording. Considering its stance on privacy, this kind of option would allow users to grade their own conversations with Siri to improve its accuracy.
While it temporarily suspends its Siri grading program, Apple hasn’t made it clear whether it would stop storing Siri recordings in the first place. As far as we know, the company saves users conversations for six months with their identity after which it remains in their servers for a couple more years.
Last week, Apple disclosed that it does analyse a small number of Siri requests for the “purpose of improving Siri”. Grading is done by confirming whether the responses provided by Siri were helpful to the user and how often was Siri triggered unintentionally.
The news of Apple employees listening on Siri recordings comes just weeks after the company made fun of Google over matters of privacy. At around the same time, Google was caught employing humans to eavesdrop into your conversations with the Google Assistant for better transcription.
All this started when Amazon was caught employing workers to listen to voice recordings extracted through Echo devices with some of them even having the power to access a user’s address and contact number.