CLE - Google, Amazon, and Apple Digital Voice Assistants

Did you know? Apple sends some people’s Siri recordings to its contractors around the world. The information goes back to the company to help improve its digital voice assistant. The rationale seems reasonable. After all, artificial intelligence can only be improved by collecting and examining data on what’s working and what’s not. Google’s done it too. Same with Alexa. The issue is in the private, accidental recordings received by Apple through digital voice assistants, which can be highly personal and sensitive, containing sufficient location and contact details to identify a user. Furthermore, the idea that we’re letting these companies review our information anonymously is no longer believable if it ever was.

Is Digital Privacy Impossible?

Apple’s privacy policy does disclose that “certain information” goes to its servers—data related to who you are, the way you communicate, your musical tastes and your search result preferences—like using digital voice assistants to help Siri understand the way you speak and what you’re hoping to find.

But you can’t opt-out. Amazon’s digital voice assistants Echo and Alexa systems have retained “deleted” personal information, so deleting isn’t the answer with this technology. Moreover, Bloomberg reported that Amazon employees listen to user voice recordings. Here’s a similar article you might like: FaceApp, the Viral Sensation—With Shades of Cambridge Analytica?

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