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Apple rewrote Siri to ‘deflect’ questions about feminism | Technology

An internal project to rewrite how Apple’s Siri voice assistant handles “sensitive topics” such as feminism and the #MeToo movement advised developers to respond in one of three ways: “don’t engage”, “deflect” and finally “inform”. The project saw Siri’s responses explicitly rewritten to ensure that the service would say it was in favour of “equality”, […]

Apple apologises for allowing workers to listen to Siri recordings | Technology

Apple has apologised for allowing contractors to listen to voice recordings of Siri users in order to grade them. The company made the announcement after it completed a review of the grading programme, which had been triggered by a Guardian report revealing its existence. According to multiple former graders, accidental activations were regularly sent for […]

Apple lays off hundreds of contractors hired to listen to Siri | Technology

Hundreds of Apple workers across Europe who were employed to check Siri recordings for errors have lost their jobs after the company announced it was “suspending” the programme earlier this month. More than 300 employees have had their contracts ended in the company’s Cork facility alone, according to former employees, with more sent home from […]

Alexa allows users to disable human review of voice recordings | Technology

Amazon has given Alexa users the option to disable human review of their voice recordings, and committed to greater clarity about its use of the strategy in future, but says it will not follow Google and Apple in halting the practice altogether in Europe. Echo owners, and other users of the company’s virtual voice assistant, […]

Apple halts practice of contractors listening in to users on Siri | Technology

Apple has suspended its practice of having human contractors listen to users’ Siri recordings to “grade” them, following a Guardian report revealing the practice. The company said it would not restart the programme until it had conducted a thorough review of the practice. It has also committed to adding the ability for users to opt […]

Hey Siri! Stop recording and sharing my private conversations | Roisin Kiberd | Opinion

A news story in the Guardian last week confirmed what many Apple users likely already suspected: Siri, Apple’s voice assistant, has the power to record private conversations, and these audio clips aren’t always just stored on a server – a number of samples are passed along to third-party, human contractors who are paid to listen […]

Apple contractors ‘regularly hear confidential details’ on Siri recordings | Technology

Apple contractors regularly hear confidential medical information, drug deals, and recordings of couples having sex, as part of their job providing quality control, or “grading”, the company’s Siri voice assistant, the Guardian has learned. Although Apple does not explicitly disclose it in its consumer-facing privacy documentation, a small proportion of Siri recordings are passed on […]