if you ever thought your iPhone was listening to you, it just might’ve been! Apparently, #Apple contractors have had access to Siri commands, and the company is now promising major changes.
According to CNN, Apple’s apology comes in the form of a blog post, where they explain the thought process behind its employees having access to customer recordings. As of now, Apple’s default is for human reviewers to listen to the recordings for the purposes of research.
Now, Apple says it will require users to opt in to having their recordings listened to by human reviewers. The tech giant also says only Apple employees will be allowed to listen to audio samples of Siri interactions, rather than contract workers.
The company is also promising to no longer keep audio recordings of users’ interactions with Siri.
The changes follow a report from he Guardian, which details how Apple contractors could hear users’ private conversations. Initially, apple responded by temporarily suspending the practice while the company reviewed it.
“We know that customers have been concerned by recent reports of people listening to audio Siri recordings as part of our Siri quality evaluation process,” Apple says in the post. “As a result of our review, we realize we haven’t been fully living up to our high ideals, and for that we apologize.”
Apple isn’t the only company that has come under this type of scrutiny, though. Google was forced to review its practices due to privacy concerns, after employees reviewed customer recordings as well. Amazon also changed its settings to make it easier for people to avoid their Alexa recordings being reviewed.
Artificial Intelligence experts tell CNN Business there is a legitimate need to humans to listen to some parts of conversations in order to improve on voice-operated technology. However, experts also say tech companies should do more to make it clear to users what happens to these recordings.
Hopefully, Apple will stand bytes new policies and return user privacy!