Google and Amazon follow Apple’s lead on voice assistant grading policies

Mikey Campbell for AppleInsider:

Following Apple’s decision to temporarily halt Siri grading as it evaluates the program’s privacy safeguards, Amazon and Google this week followed suit and updated their respective policies on human reviews of recorded voice assistant audio.

Jon Brodkin for Ars Technica:

Google today confirmed that it recently “paused” human reviews of Google Assistant queries worldwide… Google didn’t say when it will resume human reviews of Google Assistant recordings. However, Google was ordered by German authorities to stop human evaluations of Google Assistant queries for at least three months.

Matt Day for Bloomberg: Inc. will let Alexa users opt out of human review of their voice recordings, a move that follows criticism that the program violated customers’ privacy.

A new policy took effect Friday that allows customers, through an option in the settings menu of the Alexa smartphone app, to remove their recordings from a pool that could be analyzed by Amazon employees and contract workers, a spokeswoman for the Seattle company said. It follows similar moves by Apple Inc. and Google.

MacDailyNews Take: Apple leads. All others follow. As usual.™

Apple’s statement on the matter: “We are committed to delivering a great Siri experience while protecting user privacy. While we conduct a thorough review, we are suspending Siri grading globally. Additionally, as part of a future software update, users will have the ability to choose to participate in grading.”


  1. Apparently, Apple got called out about it because of Apple’s vocal pro-privacy stance. Sometimes it doesn’t pay to boast about how good you are about something. People are just waiting out there to bring you down. I’m just somewhat surprised there are so many consumers concerned about their privacy when they’re using Android devices or social media services. Seriously, Amazon is practically built around listening devices, so why should anyone care who’s listening.

    I hear plenty of people talking loudly on their smartphones in public and you can hear all sorts of personal information being tossed about. Of course, I don’t hear them shouting out PIN numbers or passwords or at least, I’ve never heard them saying those sorts of things.

    Apple leads and others follow? It seems as though only Apple got burned on the internet for human grading policies. A nice fat bullseye for Apple. Anyway, goodbye human grading. Another loss to keep Siri being considered as the least intelligent voice assistant.

    1. It doesn’t pay to MISLEAD your customers and potential customers about your privacy stance. When you put up a giant neon sign reading “PRIVACY STORE” then you really ought to be just as up-front about the fact that everyone who enters is being recorded and their behavior analyzed so that you can sell them privacy better in the future.

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