Apple has temporarily suspended its practice of using human contractors to grade snippets of Siri voice recordings for accuracy. The action comes after a report in The Guardian where a former worker detailed the program, claiming that contractors “regularly hear confidential medical information, drug deals, and recordings of couples having sex” as part of their job.
The purpose of the grading program is to help improve the accuracy of Siri voice recognition and prevent accidental triggers. The company’s terms of service are less clear about whether third parties outside Apple are listening in on Siri. The terms of service do note that “certain information such as your name, contacts, music you listen to, and searches is sent to Apple servers using encrypted protocols.”
Apple did not comment on whether it would also stop actually saving those recordings on its servers. Currently the company says it keeps recordings for six months before removing identifying information from a copy that it could keep for two years or more.