Apple said in a statement that the company realized that they haven't been living up to their high ideals.
Two months after Apple was exposed for allowing third-party contractors to hear audio recordings picked up by its Siri, the company apologised on Wednesday. The eavesdropping practice by Apple was reported by The Guardian newspaper in June. The report quoted a former Apple contractor revealing that Apple let them hear private recordings of users.
The contractor had revealed that the sound of a zip often triggered Siri. The malpractice by Apple let contractors hear recordings in order to rank Siri’s performance. The expose created a storm as it revealed that the voice assistant regularly recorded users private conversations that included a confidential medical discussion between a doctor and patient, having sex and even making drug deals.
Finally, on Wednesday, Apple formally apologized for the malpractice, including the instance when the Siri was activated by background noise accidentally.
Apple said in a statement that the company realized that they haven’t been living up to their high ideals.
The company, known for its signature iPhone brand, says it will roll out the Siri grading program again with new regulations in place which will let users opt into the program. Additionally, Siri will not keep audio recordings for grading itself without the expressed permission of users, Apple said.
Reiterating its stance on respecting strong privacy controls and respecting user data, the iPhone maker said it will only let its own employees review the audio recordings and not the third-party contractors. It also promised to delete recordings which were caused due to accidental activation of Siri.
However, despite Apple making an apology to its users, it cannot be denied that it took an expose to reveal the company’s malpractices and the apology comes two months after the whistleblower exposed it.
Privacy controls and user data have been hotly debated in the wake of the disastrous Cambridge Analytica scandal that hit Facebook.