Apple Siri recordings opt-in only feature available for iPhone users
Apple’s iOS 13.2 is on its way, with a host of new features and updates. One particularly important change for Apple’s billion Siri users is starting to roll out with the latest beta for the soon to launch iOS 13.2 update.
The new feature comes after a scandal over Siri recordings earlier this year when Apple (as well as Google, Amazon, Facebook, and Microsoft) was caught using third-party contractors to listen and grade recordings of Siri conversations. The problem was that Apple didn’t make it clear that it had any actual humans listening in, much less random contractors who didn’t even formally work at Apple itself.
Apple said it would make Siri recordings opt-in only–rather than the setting being turned on by default. This option should be available in iOS 13.2 after the second beta rolled out with the feature, according to TechCrunch.
Apple first confirmed it would make Siri recordings opt-in only in August, following a massive backlash when the Guardian reported people’s interactions were being listened to by third party contractors.
Concerningly, it turned out that the Apple voice assistant was often activated by accident and was picking up sensitive conversations such as users talking to their doctor and sexual encounters. The scale of the operation was huge, with contractors listening to up to 1,000 Siri recordings a day.
Apple, which is striving to be seen as the firm that cares about your privacy, has also taken measures to make its Siri policy more clear. It stopped using external contractors and said it would develop a new opt in program–and it’s this initiative that is rolling out with the latest iOS 13.2 beta.
In a bid for clarity and to encourage people to opt-in, Apple says that only its own employees will now review audio clips of those who choose to allow the firm to listen to recordings. However, contractors and Apple employees can read text only computer-generated transcripts.