Of course, Apple hopes that you will continue to opt in for better Siri improvements in the future, knowing now that only Apple employees will be using these anonymized audio samples for that reason.
They regularly heard drug deals, sensitive business deals, and even recordings of people having sex, picked up by Apple's digital assistant.
The company said these contractors were meant to improve users' experiences with its digital assistant.
An earlier report in Irish Examiner said that contractors in the city of Cork listened to over 1,000 Siri recordings per shift before Apple suspended the programme last month. "We are grateful to our users for their passion for Siri, and for pushing us to constantly improve".
"The nature of our business means that the majority of our employee contracts are fixed goal and are linked to client requirements and project lifecycles".
When we store Siri data on our servers, we don't use it to build a marketing profile and we never sell it to anyone.
"As we previously announced, we halted the Siri grading programme". Apple had tapped hundreds of third-party contractors to listen in as part of this "grading" program.
Whatever Apple. | Screenshot from
The iOS and macOS assistant has been caught up in ongoing controversies around all of the major virtual assistants the past few weeks, with privacy advocates warning that human assessment and intervention is far more prevalent than many users might assume.
"Apple, recruiting through vendor companies in Ireland, take absolutely no responsibility in the employment of contractors and their treatment in work", one employee told the Guardian, "They do what they want, and when they're done with your project or they screw up (like what just happened), they tell your vendor company to let you go, which they do ..."
The company said it will resume the Siri grading program this fall, but with changes, including not keeping any audio recordings from Siri.
Users will be able to decide whether or not to share their data with Apple, and they'll be able to opt out at any time.
"The sound of a zip, Siri often hears as a trigger", the contractor said.
It also said it would limit human review of what audio it does collect to its own employees rather than contractors.
As a part of the new changes, Apple said it will work to ensure that any information accidentally harvested from the company will be deleted.
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