Previously, the five tech companies from Facebook to Microsoft and now Apple have been caught to secretly using human contractors, in order to listen to the conversations recorded by the gadgets and their services. After this news revealed apple suspended the grading program which used contractors to listen to Siri recordings for quality control purposes, but in a recent report, employees are told to listen to more than 1,000 Siri recordings per shift.
Pro-privacy Apple is one of those companies, toa report from the Irish Examiner, we came to know a little more about Apple’s actual work. Apple Siri assistant currently records and sends snippets of your voice requests back to the company to be studied so that Apple would be able to make Siri a better assistant and provide you what you want.
In July, a report published in the Guardian that contractors also hear some personal things, like confidential medical information, drug deals, and recordings of couples private moments. A contractor exclusively spoke with Irish examiner and told them that his job was noting when Siri could actually help or if Siri was triggered accidentally. The contractors regularly hear confidential information, but the contractor told that the recordings occasionally contains the personal information or snippets of information.
Apple temporarily stopped the working of contractors to listen to Siri recordings, plus the Irish Examiner reports that Apple no longer needed the services of Cork which is an Ireland-based contracting company GlobeTech. Neither Apple nor Globetech is denying the facts, earlier in a statement, Globetech said that they have ended a client project. On the other hand, Apple said that it is working closely with our partners as it reviews its processes around grading Siri conversations.
Prior to this decision, Apple restricted the employees at work not to bring cellphones to work. The Apple contractors might sound similar to how Microsoft contractors transcribe Cortana recordings to help train Microsoft voice assistant. One of the Cortana contractors told Motherboard in an interview that contractors are expected to transcribe and classify roughly three tasks every minute. For Siri contractors to transcribe 1000 voice commands means that they usually had to listen to each recording in about two minutes, assuming they were working an eight-hour day.
It is not clear when will Siri grading resume, but it is likely to remain suspended until or unless Apple is able to release a software update that adds a toggle allowing customers to opt-out. In this regard, Apple is facing a class-action lawsuit over the issue, that claims Apple did not inform consumers they are regularly being recorded without consent. Still, this is not going to cast a good impression on the part of the company.