Good news everybody: Apple's really sorry about recording our conversations with Siri. In a statement issued earlier today, the company's talking heads stated that they realized that the '...haven’t been fully living up to our high ideals'. The letter goes on to say that, to make up for their eavesdropping shenanigans, Apple's going to be making a few changes to how Siri does its thing.
First, by default, we will no longer retain audio recordings of Siri interactions. We will continue to use computer-generated transcripts to help Siri improve.
Second, users will be able to opt in to help Siri improve by learning from the audio samples of their requests. We hope that many people will choose to help Siri get better, knowing that Apple respects their data and has strong privacy controls in place. Those who choose to participate will be able to opt out at any time.
Third, when customers opt in, only Apple employees will be allowed to listen to audio samples of the Siri interactions. Our team will work to delete any recording which is determined to be an inadvertent trigger of Siri
This of course, is great news for anyone that uses Apple's Siri voice assistant. Unfortunately, that less people will be needed to snoop on the conversations between the companies customers and their tech likely means that some resources will need to be shifted around in order to accomoda—wait, what?
From The Guardian:
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 other sites across Europe.
The staff had been on paid leave since 2 August, the day Apple announced its decision to suspend the programme, referred to as “grading”, as it conducted “a thorough review”.
Some of the people shit-canned as a result of Apple's shift in its privacy policies have been given a little more than a week's notice that their employment and, consequentially, their ability to pay their bills and eat, is coming to an end.
Smearing an area of your business in shit in an attempt to clean up something else will never allow you to come away clean.
Image via Wikipedia Commons