Apple to Let Users Opt Out of Siri Response Grading Over Privacy Concerns
When The Guardian reported that people working for Apple regularly get an earful of our most private moments it shouldn't have been a surprise. Alex hern wrote, "Apple contractors regularly hear confidential medical information, drug deals, and recordings of couples having sex, as part of their job providing quality control, or 'grading,' the company’s Siri voice assistant, the Guardian has learned." But back in April, a similar story emerged about Amazon Alexa.
Back then, Bloomberg reported, "Amazon.com Inc. employs thousands of people around the world to help improve the Alexa digital assistant powering its line of Echo speakers. The team listens to voice recordings captured in Echo owners’ homes and offices. The recordings are transcribed, annotated and then fed back into the software as part of an effort to eliminate gaps in Alexa’s understanding of human speech and help it better respond to commands."
You can be sure similar practices are in place at Google and any company with a voice assistant. Reviewing the queries made to popular voice-enabled assistants is an integral part of making these tools work better. That being said, Apple has suspended Siri's response grading over this most recent round of privacy concerns. Apple also told Tech Crunch that Siri users will be able to opt-out of the response grading in the future.
Several big names have already been hit with fines under GDPR and voice data isn't exempt from the regulations. Smart vendors will follow Apple's lead and make it explicit that user recordings may be used this way, and give thems the ability to keep their data private.
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