IBM paranoid Apple’s Siri could steal corporate secrets, bans use on company networks

“Apple’s Siri voice-recognition software, a staple on the iPhone 4S, is one of the great consumer electronics advances in memory,” Kensey Lamb reports for Yahoo Finance. “It can, with uncanny accuracy, answer a seemingly endless variety of questions posed by the user. Many iPhone owners say it has become an absolutely essential part of managing their daily lives–both business and personal. But the employees of the world’s largest tech company, IBM, cannot use it, according to comments from the firm’s chief technology officer, Jeanette Horan.”

“IBM has a right to be paranoid. It regularly issues more patents each year than any other company – 5,896 last year in 2010,” Lamb reports. “IBM has to keep track of more than 440,000 people who produce over $110 billion in sales.”

Lamb reports, “Horan is in charge of all the company’s internal use of IT. Her worry about Siri is that Apple takes all communications made through the Siri function of the iPhone 4S and sends them to a data center to be translated and answered. No one outside Apple is certain how long the data is stored or who sees it… IBM can be accused of being ridiculously cautious. In reality, it is no more so than Apple, the creator of Siri.”

Read more in the full article here.


  1. Favorite sentence: “But IBM doesn’t ban Google.”

    I’m amused at the inherent “web-based queries are stored ON THE WEB?!?!?” sentiment. I’ll be careful the next time I ask Siri to post a question to the WELL when I’m logged into CompuServe.

  2. How is this different from banning Google searches?

    Siri is just Mobile Voice Search.

    IBM still doesn’t get the point that interfaces evolve.

    Do they want their employees to search for information using IBM Cardboard Punch Cards?

    Voice? No !

    Mouse? No !

    Keyboard? No !

    Punch cards . . . from the 1950s? . . . . YES ! ! ! !

    Thanks Big Blue your era is over.

    Go read:


    Bob Cringely explains this monster called IBM quite well.

  3. I thought you asked Siri questions and waited for the answer, not use it to tell company secrets.

    User – Siri?
    Siri – Yes master.
    User – Here are the secret details to the Flux Capacitor.
    Siri – Okay, I’ll pass them on to Apple.

  4. I think in the next few years you will see IBM draw a line in the sand with Apple. That’s look from the inside out! They just sold there POS division due to low margins and growth of ipad sales systems. What business will Apple take next?

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