Apple developed the software for its iPad and iPhone users to record and store their voice data at will at their own time. The move was welcomed by apple customers around the world as one of the ways to embrace technology in enhancing lives, but the problem was the unexplained principle behind Siri. Since the software when activated for an apple gadget can store virtually every voice data it records, one was concerned as to how long can the private data remain in the system; is the data available to Apple management board if needed; how is Apple using the data; how is the data secured from leaking or tripling into unwanted channels and so on. All these questions were only answerable by Apple itself, but the problem was that apple had not gone out vocal about this issue yet.
In its recent explanation about how the Siri data is secure and can be optimized to emphasize privacy, apple started by explaining exactly how long the information stored on Siri can last. Apple’s spokesperson Trudy Muller first confirmed and assured that Apple is very much concerned about its customer’s privacy. By this she implied that Siri’s privacy has been taken into strict consideration by Apple. She went on further to explain that once Siri is activated in an Apple device, it records the voice data but assigns that voice, a number different from the users phone number or user ID or email address or name. Apple only associates and identifies the voice with that number and not the user. The counter argument with critics regarding that statement was that it was not entirely convincing since Apple could still identify the user.
After the recorded voice has aged to six months in the system, apple deletes the number assigned to identify the voice but still keeps the voice in Siri system further on up to precisely one and a half years. The purpose of storing this voice even when it is disassociated with the owner is for Apple’s testing of Siri software for improvement purposes.
As Muller further explained, Apple can keep the now unidentified Siri voice data for up 24 months undeleted. At this period, you as the owner might not be able to access the data, but Apple can. After two years, according to Muller, the voice is discarded completely by Siri.
Her explanation was however not fully convincing according to critics at American Civil Liberty Lawyers. Much more was still unclear as to what could apple do with the individual private data it keeps in the soft ware. Nevertheless, it is apparent that any user of Siri software could simply turn off the Siri software application handle on their phone and it is deactivated. However, even after switching off, other people could still be skeptical that Siri was completely inactive. It is such intelligent software if it can adapt to what the user is accustomed to. Therefore it is hard to tell whether it is off or otherwise.
According to privacy Lawyers, and other reviewers, Apple could only do better to convince people that it uses the Siri data anonymously for the purposes of improving its products and software alone. Also, it should sensitize Apple users on what Siri is, the need of having it, how to activate and deactivate it; simply, getting aware about Siri on your phone instead of it collecting private information without your consent.
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