Apple is building its advertising campaign around privacy and confidentiality. Against this background, between the "Apple" Corporation and Facebook even had a skirmish. However, a published report by The Guardian says that Apple not only overhears its users but also transmits this data to third parties.
The Guardian report says that Apple sends the recordings received from Siri voice assistant to the contractors. Amazon does the same with its Alexa and Google with its "Assistant", but these two companies allow to refuse the collection and use of data, while the "Apple" Corporation does not provide such a right of choice.
Companies collect recordings to evaluate and improve the performance of voice assistants. Apple claims that it sends less than 1% of daily Siri activations to third parties to determine whether the assistant was activated intentionally or accidentally. They also assess whether Siri had the ability to respond to a user's request and whether that response was appropriate. Apple claims that each piece of audio from Siri is only a few seconds. The company also notes that users ' records are not associated with their Apple ID, so they are completely anonymous. The Corporation also imposes strict confidentiality requirements on its partners.
Journalists of The Guardian, referring to an anonymous source in one of these contractors Apple, said that in many cases, users accidentally activate Siri, which often allows you to hear confidential information. For example, sometimes an assistant turns on during intimacy, during personal conversations containing medical information, or during a conversation, during which specific names of people and their addresses are mentioned.
According to the source, most often Siri is mistakenly turned on on the smartwatch Apple Watch and the HomePod column. In the case of the watch, the assistant can be activated when the user just raised his hand. Another Siri is often turned on by the noise of lightning on clothes. Such records are a large part of the data that contractors receive for analysis.
"The regularity of random operations on the clock is incredibly high. They can record some fragments that will last 30 seconds — not much, but you can get a good idea of what's going on. For example, you can definitely hear the doctor and patient discussing medical history. Or someone against the background of the noise of the car engine — and with a certain degree of probability it can be a deal for the sale of drugs," - says an employee of the company for the analysis of Siri.
The insider says they have plans and regulations, so workers need to listen to the recordings as quickly as possible. He also says that the people on the recordings, in General, can be identified by voice. In addition, often users themselves during conversations mention personal information that allows them to identify.
It is not clear how the users of Apple technology and Apple itself will react to this.