Following the ruckus caused by a whistle-blower, Apple has decided to suspend Siri grading, a process which had allowed contractors to listen to Apple users’ Siri recordings. The whistle-blower had also added that the process had exposed some confidential information from the users, since Siri was accidentally activated also. Drug deals, recordings of people having sex were some of the sensitive information that were made available to the contractor workers.
“We are committed to delivering a great Siri experience while protecting user privacy. While we conduct a thorough review, we are suspending Siri grading globally. Additionally, as part of a future software update, users will have the ability to choose to participate in grading,” an Apple spokesperson was quoted saying in an official statement given to The Verge. The statement makes it clear that Apple has finally acknowledged, at least indirectly, the act of giving access to at least some Siri recordings.
More importantly, Apple says that users still have to wait for some time to get the opt-out feature. It means a user cannot stay away from the Siri grading process, even if they want to. This is unlike the case of Alexa or Google Assistant, both of which allow customers to opt out of the human-review process of conversations they have with the digital assistant. Only time will prove how Apple is going to change the grading process, as to encourage better privacy.