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Apple apologizes for Siri wiretap scandal

UNITED STATES, WASHINGTON (OBSERVATORY) — Apple has officially apologized for the scandal with listening to conversations with voice assistant Siri. From now on, the company promised that only those people who expressed their express consent to participate in the Siri calibration program will be used for quality control. And even in this case, Apple employees, and not third-party contractors, will analyze voice data.

“By examining Siri’s working methods, we’ve found that they don’t fully meet our high standards, and we apologize for that,” the Apple blog said. The assistant calibration program has been suspended and will be resumed this fall with the release of software updates.

When this happens, by default audio recordings of interactions with Siri will not be stored, but automatic decryption will continue. If the user agrees to participate in improving the work of the assistant, only company employees will manually process his data. “Our team will be at the earliest opportunity to delete any entries that were mistakenly perceived as Siri calls,” – committed to Apple. Consent to participate in the “calibration” can be waived at any time.

Previously, Apple was involved in decrypting audio fragments of third parties and could store recordings of communication with Siri for up to six months. According to The Guardian, the company has already laid off “hundreds” of contractors across Europe who have been on paid leave since August 2. In Ireland alone, more than 300 people lost their jobs.

Other large companies have previously admitted to manually listening to voice messages and attracting third parties for these purposes. Google and Facebook suspended this practice in early August , and Amazon promised to allow its customers to stop other people from analyzing their voice messages. At Microsoft, they did not refuse to listen to Cortana voice commands and Skype calls, but they updated the privacy policy taking into account the comments.

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