Apple as Caesar’s wife

Siri can’t be allowed to eavesdrop on users’ sex lives. Not without their permission.

From Matthew Panzarino’s “Apple suspends Siri response grading in response to privacy concerns,” posted Friday on the Verge:

The process of taking a snippet of audio a few seconds long and sending it to either internal personnel or contractors to evaluate is, essentially, industry standard. Audio recordings of requests made to Amazon and Google assistants are also reviewed by humans.

An explicit way for users to agree to the audio being used this way is table stakes in this kind of business. I’m glad Apple says it will be adding one.

It also aligns better with the way that Apple handles other data, like app performance data that can be used by developers to identify and fix bugs in their software. Currently, when you set up your iPhone, you must give Apple permission to transmit that data.

Apple has embarked on a long campaign of positioning itself as the most privacy conscious of the major mobile firms, and therefore holds a heavier burden when it comes to standards. Doing as much as the other major companies do when it comes to things like using user data for quality control and service improvements cannot be enough if it wants to maintain the stance and the market edge that it brings along with it.

My take: But for Apple, Google and Amazon would still be playing Peeping Tom.

One Comment

  1. David Emery said:
    Hail Caesar! We who are about to spy, salute you!

    August 3, 2019

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