Apple Stores Siri Voice Clips For Up To Two Years

Wired reported yesterday that the American Civil Liberties Union was posing questions about Siri's privacy policies, citing privacy statements claiming that older "disassociated" voice input data would be retained for "period of time" even if a user turn off Siri on his or her device.

"It's not clear what 'disassociated' means. It's not clear what 'period of time' means. It's not clear what using it to 'generally improve Siri and other Apple products and services' means," says Nicole Ozer, a lawyer with the ACLU. "The only thing that's clear is we really don't know what may be happening to the personal information we have told Siri, even after we turn Siri off."

The report noted that last year IBM banned the use of Siri on its network over privacy concerns.

Today, Wired shared official word from Apple revealing general details on how input voice data is stored.

"Whenever you speak into Apple's voice activated personal digital assistant, it ships it off to Apple's data farm for analysis. Apple generates a random numbers to represent the user and it associates the voice files with that number. This number - not your Apple user ID or email address - represents you as far as Siri's back-end voice analysis system is concerned".

When the voice files is six months old, the company "disassociates" the user number from the voice recording, deleting the number from the voice file. But Apple stores these files for up to 18 more months for product improvements and testing purposes.

Ozer suggest that Apple should publicize these privacy policies and link them from its Siri FAQ page and that people should be careful of what they are saying to their personal digital assistant because "Siri works for Apple".

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Written by maxim

Friday, April 19, 2013. 22:00

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