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Yes, Apple is listening in on your Siri requests, but it’s all done in-house and you can opt out

A step in the right direction.

apple iphone with siri
Image: KnowTechie

Following the furor over how its Siri quality checks were conducted, Apple is moving the program in-house. The company is also making the “grading” process explicitly opt-in only in a future software update.

Those changes, and some of the inner workings of the Siri privacy process, were just outlined in a blog post released by Apple yesterday.

Apple has moved its Siri quality checks in-house

As part of their explanation of the existing grading program and how things will work going forward, Apple also apologized for the issue:

As a result of our review, we realize we haven’t been fully living up to our high ideals, and for that we apologize. As we previously announced, we halted the Siri grading program. We plan to resume later this fall when software updates are released to our users — but only after making the following changes…

Those changes are as follows:

  • The biggest change is that Apple will no longer retain audio recordings of Siri interactions. The company will still keep transcripts, in order to improve Siri’s performance
  • Users can now opt-in to help Siri improve, which is the “grading” process that caused a media firestorm. The way it’s worded, it sounds like your Siri interactions won’t be graded unless you explicitly opt-in, removing the major privacy concern shared by many
  • Apple won’t be using contractors to do the grading process anymore, now it will only be Apple employees listening to improve Siri

The timeline for these changes, and for the in-house grading process to resume, is slated to start once the software update to let users opt-in is ready. That means all Siri users are effectively opted out of the grading process until that time.

What do you think? Glad to see Apple making these changes or would you prefer they not listen at all? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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Maker, meme-r and unabashed geek. Hardware guy here at KnowTechie, if it runs on electricity (or even if it doesn't) I probably have one around here somewhere. My hobbies include photography, animation and hoarding Reddit gold.

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