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Siri data stored for up to two years, Apple says

updated 11:25 am EDT, Fri April 19, 2013

Apple claims data anonymized, used to improve technology

All the requests people have made through Siri are being stored on Apple servers for a period of up to two years, says Apple spokeswoman Trudy Muller. The statement comes in response to Wired inquiries about ambiguity in Siri's privacy policies, initially pointed out by American Civil Liberties Union lawyer Nicole Ozer. Muller insists that Apple is anonymizing the request data, and only collecting voice clips in order to improve Siri.

In detail Muller explains that when a Siri request is made, the voice clip is sent to Apple servers for analysis. A set of random numbers is generated to represent a person, with which voice files are linked. After six months a file is disassociated with its user number, but the file is kept for as long as 18 months afterward for the sake of testing and development. Muller adds that if a person turns Siri off, identifiers and any associated data are deleted immediately.

Ozer argues that Apple should link people to its Siri privacy policy in the Siri FAQ, so they can decide if they're okay with the arrangement before they buy a device. "There is no good reason for Apple to not include information about privacy practices on their Siri FAQ page," she comments. At the moment, the only way of seeing the privacy policy is going into Siri settings in iOS.

The lawyer adds that because recordings are sent to Apple, they may want to watch what they say. Transcripts "could reveal sensitive things about you, your family, or business," she points out.

by MacNN Staff



  1. pairof9s

    Senior User

    Joined: 01-03-08

    Good luck w/ that data...

    Some of the tirades I've fed Siri in the last week of screwing up my requests should prove worthless...but perhaps humorous.

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