The Examiner understands that over 300 employees at the contractor, Globetech, were let go following the Guardian’s report, which puts the 1,000 recordings per shift into context. Neither Apple nor Globetech have commented on the numbers. “Mostly it was users with Canadian, Australian or UK accents [who were heard] and there was a smaller team working on users with European languages,” says the employee. Staff at the contractor, Globetech, were then required to transcribe and grade the records to see how Siri was triggered and whether the query was dealt with successfully.
On your iPhone or iPad, head to GitHub to download the “Prevent server-side logging of Siri commands.mobileconfig” Swith to the Raw view, tap Allow to download the profile Complete the profile installation in Settings by reviewing it and tapping Install Kaiser is also encouraging users to let Apple know if they want a more transparent option in Setting to turn off server-side Siri response logging.
Providing some respite, the employee explained that the recordings they heard were anonymised and typically very short but “occasionally we would hear personal data or snippets of conversations… I understood the reasons why the company was doing it but I could see why people would feel it was a breach of privacy because they weren’t telling people.”It is worth noting that Apple is not alone in this practice. Amazon, Google and the aforementioned have all come clean about similar practices though it is Apple, in particular, which has promoted itself as ‘the only tech company you can trust’. In fact, the company states on its Privacy Page that “At Apple, we believe privacy is a fundamental human right.”
In a statement to the Irish Examiner, Apple said it “is committed to customer privacy and made the decision to suspend Siri grading while we conduct a thorough review of our processes.”
I suspect millions of iPhone and iPad customers around the world will also be starting their own thorough reviews but, instead of Siri, they’ll be grading how they now feel about Apple.
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