Wednesday 28 August 2019 5:12 pm

Apple apologises for listening to Siri conversations

Apple has apologised after it emerged the tech giant allowed contractors to listen to conversations customers had with its voice assistant Siri. 

Workers are hired to grade Siri’s responses on a variety of factors in order to help the technology “learn”, however, last month it was revealed that contractors regularly picked up recordings of private events.

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Today Apple announced it would make a number of changes when grading starts again following a software update this autumn, after the process was suspended last month.

“As a result of our review, we realise we haven’t been fully living up to our high ideals, and for that we apologise,” the company said in a statement today.

Apple will no longer retain audio recordings of Siri interactions and will use computer-generated transcripts to help Siri improve, the company announced.

Users will be able to opt in to allow their audio recordings to be shared with Apple employees. 

Only employees will be able to listen to the files and will work to delete recordings that were caused by an inadvertent trigger of Siri. 

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The company added: “At Apple, we believe privacy is a fundamental human right. We design our products to protect users’ personal data, and we are constantly working to strengthen those protections.”

The Guardian reported today that hundreds of contractors have lost their jobs since the grading work was suspended earlier this month. 

Main image credit: Getty