Apple’s main regulator in the European Union, Ireland’s Data Protection Commissioner (DPC), on Thursday said it was in contact with the company after a whistleblower called for action over a program, now changed, that listened to users’ Siri recordings.
The regulator acted after Thomas Le Bonniec, a former Apple contractor, wrote to European data protection regulators on May 20 to push for investigations into these practices.
“The DPC engaged with Apple on this issue when it first arose last summer and Apple has since made some changes,” Graham Doyle, Deputy Commissioner at the Irish DPC, said in an emailed statement to Reuters.
Apple said last year it would quit its default practice of retaining audio recordings of the requests users make to its Siri personal assistant and limit human review of what audio it does collect to its own employees rather than contractors.
MacDailyNews Note: In a letter sent to all European data protection regulators, Le Bonniec wrote, “It is worrying that Apple (and undoubtedly not just Apple) keeps ignoring and violating fundamental rights and continues their massive collection of data… I am extremely concerned that big tech companies are basically wiretapping entire populations despite European citizens being told the EU has one of the strongest data protection laws in the world. Passing a law is not good enough: it needs to be enforced upon privacy offenders.”