The company listens in on intimate moments of its 1.4 billion users worldwide, including during couples having sex, to improve ‘Siri’.
About a month ago, The Guardian revealed that Apple employees would regularly listen to and grade Siri recordings, which were meant to be confidential. This included medical information, drug deals and even recordings of couples having sex.
Now a report by Irish Examiner reveals that the situation is much more severe at Apple.
Whats’s going on at Apple?
Globetech, Apple’s contractor was forced to abruptly terminate the contracts of about 300 employees. Consequentially, the remaining employees now had to listen in on about a 1,000 conversations per shift. However, neither Globetech nor Apple commented on the exact numbers.
“Mostly it was users with Canadian, Australian or UK accents [who were heard] and there was a smaller team working on users with European languages,” says the employee.
Why do they do this?
The employee also revealed that the employees were required to transcribe and grade the records to see when Siri was triggered and whether users were happy with Siri’s response.
The employee added in that the recordings that they heard were anonymous and usually very short. But every now and then people would reveal their personal information in the snippets. The employee revealed that though he understood why the company was indulging in the practice, he also understood why people would think that the act breached their privacy, especially since Apple didn’t tell people of their methods to improve Siri.
Is Apple a hypocrite? You decide!
While it is noteworthy that Apple isn’t the only brand doing acts like this, and companies like Amazon, Facebook and even Google have recently revealed their participation in similar practices, it is Apple who usually throws up the trump card of ‘Privacy’ being their top priority at the company. The company has time and time again promoted themselves as the only tech company users can trust.
In a statement to the Irish Examiner, Apple said it “is committed to customer privacy and made the decision to suspend Siri grading while we conduct a thorough review of our processes.”