Apple Contractors are listening to your Siri recordings


Just like Google and Amazon, Apple contractors are also reportedly listening to your recordings made by Voice Assistants. According to a report by The Guardian, Siri quality control contractors regularly hear sensitive info, including medical info, criminal activities and even “sexual encounters”. However, they are only listening to less than one percent of daily Siri recordings, and frequently only for a few seconds each. Still, some of them include request-linked data like app info, contacts, and locations.

The moto of sharing these recordings with the Siri quality control contractors is just to improve the user experience of the Siri voice assistant. They are measuring how well the Siri responds to the command given by the users. Apple clarified in a statement that it has multiple privacy protections. The recordings that are shared with the contractors aren’t tied to Apple IDs, and they’re studied in “secure facilities” by people who are bound to “strict confidentiality requirements.” It won’t know whose device made a request or otherwise make connections.

Although these recordings are kept with highly confidential contractors, they might be misused a malicious recruit get hired for this job. There’s reportedly a “high turnover” for contractors, according to the source, and there’s supposedly relatively little vetting for new hires. Even Apple hasn’t mentioned in its Privacy policy about this recording sharing.  Staff are encouraged to report accidental “hey Siri” requests as technical problems, but not the content itself.

Although you can disable the “Hey Siri” hotword, the worst thing is that Siri doesn’t allow you to control what data to be shared. While in the case of Google and Amazon, they at least allow you to opt-out of some uses for recordings. This doesn’t mean you’re at serious risk of privacy violations just by using Siri, Apple is just using this information to make improvements in the Siri Voice Assistant. 

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