Last week, Apple released hundreds of contractors in Europe after it was revealed that they were listening in on conversations through Siri. It was announced by Apple earlier this month that they were suspending this particular program, even though it was initially used to collect data to improve their products. Contractors could hear (and possibly gather) personal and private information along with drug deals and explicit conversations.
Apple released a statement to the Guardian, saying that “A small portion of Siri requests are analysed to improve Siri and dictation. User requests are not associated with the user’s Apple ID. Siri responses are analysed in secure facilities and all reviewers are under the obligation to adhere to Apple’s strict confidentiality requirements.”
Many of the contracted workers are frustrated at the little notice they were given. One worker explained that Apple had taken no responsibility in this ordeal and that hundreds of people are now laid off with no protection for its contractors. However, a handful of them are relieved by the release. The ethics of the program seemed questionable, but they were conflicted with how to discuss it.
This news comes as no surprise as Google and Microsoft contractors were also contracting jobs out with Cortana, Skype, and Kinect to listen in to improve their products as well.
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