Apple's SIRI System Stores And Shares All Your Queries

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It came as a surprise to some folks at a recent SXSW talk that Apple’s Siri “personal assistant” isn’t just working for us, it’s working full-time for Apple too by sending lots of our personal voice and user info to Apple to stockpile in its databases. Take a peek at Siri’s privacy policy (which, by the way, is pretty difficult to find) and you’ll realize what’s happening behind the scenes.

What info of yours is being collected and how is it being used? When you use Siri, it’s sending your “Voice Input Data” and “User Data” to Apple to be used for a variety of purposes.

Voice Input Data is all the types of data associated with your verbal commands and may also include audio recordings, transcripts of what you said, and related diagnostic data. Apple says this Voice Input Data is being used to process your request and to help Siri better recognize your commands, but it's additionally being used “generally to improve the overall accuracy and performance of Siri and other Apple products and services.”

Siri also collects “User Data” that it says gives it more context for your commands, like what you mean by “Call Dad.” This information can be pretty wide-ranging:

  • The names of your address book contacts, their nicknames, and their relationship with you (for example, “my dad”, or “work”)
  • Your first name and nickname
  • Labels you assign to your email accounts (for example, “My Home Email”)
  • Names of songs and playlists in your collection

This data can be really personal, like if you ask Siri, "where is the nearest abortion clinic?" And once Voice Input Data and User Data is collected, Apple reserves the right to share it with “Apple’s partners who are providing related services to Apple.”

Not sure that Siri is worth the serious data it’s collecting and how it might end up getting used? Rather live without Siri? Here’s how to opt out and stop your voice data and user data from continuing to be sent to Apple.

Opting out of Siri

Tap Settings > General > Siri.

Slide the Siri option to "off."

Once you turn off Siri, Apple’s privacy policy says it will delete User Data and any recent Voice Input Data. Though older Voice Input Data that has been already “disassociated” from you and your device may linger for an undisclosed period of time to “improve Siri and other Apple products and services.”

Siri privacy policy (pdf)


Figures. Apple is a leftist company
Posted by Crackers on 2012-05-26 08:51:21
Leftists love big brother (whether it's big govt robbing your privacy or some leviathan company) so you should have no fear.

Big brother only wants what's best for you, right lefties? That's what Mrs. Landers programmed you obama-goosesteppers to believe, and being the brainwashed big govt humpbot koolaid-drinking brownshirts you are, who are you to question your overlords?
gone crackers
Posted by Silas on 2012-06-02 22:38:14
Mr. Crackers has gone crackers, and appears to be incapable of holding more than one concept at a time in his tiny brain.
Posted by Pile on 2012-06-02 22:39:00
I wouldn't consider Apple to be "leftist", but then again, Reagan would be considered "leftist" by today's so-called "conservatives."
Posted by ra5yn on 2012-07-29 23:42:35
No, leftists don't like Big Brother, fascists do..


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