Apple just offered 1 billion iPhone users a reason to enable Siri

Kate O’Flaherty for Forbes:

Apple has responded to concerns over its practice of listening to Siri recordings by making the feature opt-in only. It follows a report in U.K.-based news outlet The Guardian revealing that Siri recordings were being listened to by external contractors.

Worse, it emerged that the voice assistant was easily activated by accident, and had picked up private conversations such as people talking to their doctor, drug deals and sexual encounters.

Yesterday, Apple said it would stop recording Siri interactions and the program would become opt-in only. The grading program will also be brought in house from this fall.

Following the fallout, The Guardian reported, Apple has now ended the contracts of those employed to listen to Siri recordings.

The Siri news was a PR disaster for the firm, but one that it has handled well… Opting into data collection should be the default, and it is best practice under the EU general update to data protection regulation (GDPR)… Apple just made a very smart move to lead the way and stand out against its voice assistant rivals.

MacDailyNews Take: Yup.

Allowing users to opt-in to help improve Siri is the proper solution.

Apple’s stance on privacy should be sacrosanct, but not to the detriment of quality. Allowing users to opt-in to help improve Siri is a good solution. — MacDailyNews, August 2, 2019


  1. If they need to make this offer, it’s pretty clear virtually no one uses it. I’d be willing to wager the competition’s numbers are hyperbole, too, relative to user base. Sorry, voice assistants are a non-starter outside of geekery. I doubt this will change that.

  2. Talking assistants and self driving cars. Failing inventions of narcissistic geeks who can’t hold a conversation in person and for many reasons aren’t invited to go anywhere. It’s pathetic that anyone buys this needless junk.

  3. Since the ‘audience’ is made up of users willing to use Siri, this announcement is more a ‘reason to not turn off Siri’ than a reason for every iOS user to turn it on.

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